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Decker appreciates Lions' emphasis on offensive line

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn has made it his mission since arriving in Detroit 16 months ago to revamp and retool the offensive line.

He selected three offensive linemen – Taylor Decker, Graham Glasgow and Joe Dahl – among the first five picks in his first draft.

Then this offseason he signed one of the best right tackles available in free agency, Rick Wagner, and a Pro Bowl right guard in T.J. Lang.

Depending on how the competition plays out at the left guard spot this offseason, Travis Swanson could be the only remaining starter from the line Quinn inherited when taking over as GM in January of 2016.

"It's really cool to see that this organization is putting an emphasis on offensive line," Decker said earlier this week. "They drafted three of us the other year with me, Graham and Joe and they're bringing in obviously documented very good players. That's cool to see.

"I think it's going to help get kind of a different perspective on things as guys have played in different systems and maybe they can help me with a little thing here or there."

Decker made the point that a bunch of little things here and there can end up making someone a much better player in the long run.

With all the resources Quinn has dedicated to that position over the last year and a half, Decker knows the expectations are also much higher for that unit to perform.

In 2016, the offensive line blocked for the league's 30th ranked rushing attack, and finished 19th among Pro Football Focus' offensive line rankings.

They finished 14th in STATS, INC's overall protection index for the 2016 season.

"It's cool to see we're building upfront and now it's just day-to-day getting better and hopefully we get results from that," Decker said.

"Obviously, the organization and the front office thinks that you build well upfront and the team will be good. We obviously want to improve every single day. I don't want to project too far ahead, but I think we do have a hard-working group and a group that meshes well with everyone's personality."

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