Camp Spotlight: Tackle Riley Reiff

Posted Aug 17, 2015

Tim Twentyman tracks the performance of offensive tackle Riley Reiff during Day 11 of training camp practice.


Position: Left tackle

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 313

College: Iowa

Experience: Fourth year

Outlook: Reiff enters his fourth year in the NFL and his third as the Lions’ full-time starting left tackle.

Every week he’s up against the best pass rushers in the league, and he was only credited with allowing three sacks in 15 regular-season starts last season.

Riley ReiffT Riley Reiff (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Pro Football Focus graded Reiff as the 14th-best left tackle in 2014.

He's started 32 games (including playoffs) the last two seasons at left tackle, missing one start because of a knee injury.

The Lions have worked hard to reshape their offensive line after it underperformed in 2014. Travis Swanson replaces Dominic Raiola at center and either Laken Tomlinson or Manny Ramirez will start at left guard. Reiff and right guard Larry Warford were the best performers on the line last season and are two mainstays returning.

Reiff has had a quiet (which is a good thing) but strong training camp so far.

Practice report: Reiff and third-year defensive end Ziggy Ansah have battled in individual and team drills most of camp. Ansah is a good test for Reiff to match up against day in and day out with his size, speed and athleticism.

"I think anytime you have two guys that are top performers they challenge one another," head coach Jim Caldwell said before Monday night's practice at Edsel Ford High.

"You know the old saying in the Bible, 'Iron sharpen iron.' I think you get that from Ziggy and from Riley as well. They look forward to working against one another, they challenge one another and I think, obviously, it makes them better."

Ansah got the better of Reiff on an inside spin move in their first one-on-one rep in pass-rushing drills. Reiff held his ground during the second rep. He was able to anchor after a couple steps backward on Ansah's bull rush and keep him off the quarterback.

The Lions worked on their two-point-conversion offense and defense during a team period and the first-team offense scored on four of their five attempts by my count. Reiff was able to put Ansah to the ground on the first rep. He stood up Caraun Reid on another rep.

Reiff struggled a couple of times blocking at the second level in another team period. He missed a block on James Ihedigbo on a play run away from Reiff around the right tackle.

Overall it was a nice practice for Reiff.


Caldwell on Reiff’s training camp thus far:

“He’s performed well. He’s done a nice job. He’s done a nice job in his pass protection. Nice job of run blocking. He’s playing like you’d anticipate he’d play. He doesn’t make many mistakes and he’s a tough competitor.”