“Riley is coming, you know, physically, mentally, experience wise, all those things,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said Friday of his rookie first-round pick. “And I think that combined with our offensive line played probably their best game of the year against Philadelphia.
“We run-blocked well; we protected well; no sacks and even the quarterback didn’t get hit very often. You know, it’s one thing taking sacks if he’s just throwing away and getting hit, but we averaged almost five yards a carry – I think 5.1 for run plays – and protected the quarterback. That’s what you expect out of an offensive line. So those guys all played well and Riley’s been a nice addition to that.”
Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan says he considers Reiff a starter right now because he’s playing so many snaps, but it might not be long before he’s the true definition of the word and not an extra lineman on jumbo packages.
“He’s getting close,” Linehan said. “I don’t know what day that day will be. But we’re getting a lot of good production out of a rookie player and I think he’s gaining confidence with his time on the field right now.”
It’s a nice dilemma to have right now for the Lions. They've got an offensive line that’s been together going on three years and a first-round draft pick who’s play on the field is starting to warrant talk of him breaking into that group.
“We’ve got a good, solid, confident group of offensive linemen that have played together 3-4 years now,” Linehan said. “Riley’s day’s coming, there’s no question in what we see in his production where we play him now. We know that day is coming but right now we’re just going game-by-game, day-by-day and involving him more in our offense.”
Linehan says the nice thing about Reiff is the Lions have plenty of options with him.
“I think he can play either tackle. We drafted him to play left tackle but we also knew he had position versatility. And so, other than center I think he can play any position on the offensive line,” Linehan said. “That’s what really good offensive linemen can do. We haven’t really pinpointed that at this point. It’s going to basically be based on where we need him first. I think that’s going to be where he starts. I think at some point you’ll see him settle into a certain role but right now it’s his rookie year and he’s getting his feet wet.”
"Nnamdi (would have gotten) fined,” Johnson said Friday. “I’m glad the NBA is starting that rule because that used to tick me off about the NBA too.”
Starting this season, the NBA will penalize players who flop looking for fouls to be called.
Johnson is referring to a fourth-quarter offensive pass interference call he received last week that wiped away a touchdown. It appeared Asomugha might have exaggerated the contact he received from Johnson a little bit.
“There was hardly any contact,” Johnson said. “I was just feeling him where he’s at and then when I went back and watched it on film I was like, ‘C’mon ref.’ And the crazy thing is the ref was looking at me and he didn’t even throw it until after the dude said something.”
“I feel like I threw him one last week but Nnamdi almost jumped all the way down the end zone on that one,” he said “He almost jumped in the front row of the stands.”
It should be noted that Eagles tight end Brent Celek was called for a suspect offensive pass interference a quarter earlier that took a touchdown off the board for the Eagles and they had to settle for a field goal.
At least the Lions scored a touchdown three plays after the Johnson OPI with a 1-yard run by Stafford.
Reserve defensive end
Jackson was penalized 15 yards on the play and said via Twitter Friday afternoon that he planned on appealing the fine.