Camp Spotlight: Tackle Riley Reiff

Posted Aug 9, 2016

Tim Twentyman tracks the performance of tackle Riley Reiff during Day 10 of training camp practice.


Position: Right tackle

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 305

College: Iowa

Experience: 5th season

Outlook: Reiff manned the left tackle spot the last three seasons in Detroit, but following the addition of first-round draft pick Taylor Decker this offseason, Reiff's been moved over to the right side.

Reiff has the most experience among all of the prospective starters upfront, and his move over to the right side certainly strengthens the spot. Time will tell if the Lions are stronger at left tackle with Decker.

Pro Football Focus credited Reiff with allowing six sacks last season. That ranked among the 13 fewest in the NFL among all tackles. His 38 hurries ranked in the Top 12. Reiff might not be a Pro Bowler at the position or considered “elite” by pundits, but he’s tough, durable and does his job at an above average level.

Practice report: Reiff entered Tuesday’s joint practice with the Steelers with a tough task against the blitzing 3-4 scheme the Steelers employ.

During an early team session, Reiff was very good against the likes of Lawrence Timmons, Stephon Tuitt and Bud Dupree. Reiff has proven to be the most consistent lineman of Detroit’s starting five through the first week of camp, and he was again on Tuesday.

He stood up linebacker Jordan Zumwalt in a one-on-one pass rushing period and easily won the rep. He stiff-armed linebacker Arthur Moats in the same drill and forced him wide with his rush to the point where if the quarterback was aware, he would have stepped up and avoided the rush altogether.

Reiff was also part of a 16-play drive that culminated with a 4-yard Cole Wick touchdown during a team period pitting the Lions’ No. 1 offense vs. Pittsburgh’s No. 1 defense.

Overall, it was a good day for Reiff vs. the Steelers defense.

Quotable: “Riley is a warrior,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Reiff’s transition to the right side. “Riley does not care about anything other than wanting to play his position and play it well and he doesn’t care where he plays.

“He’s a talented guy that’s tough and hard-nosed, the exact kind of guy that you’re looking for to lead your group and obviously that’s why they voted (him) to the leadership council as well.”