There will be at least two new starters along Detroit's offensive line this season – right tackle and right guard – and maybe more depending on what happens with the left guard competition and incumbent Joe Dahl.
On top of that, the normalcy and routine that is a typical NFL offseason was turned on its side due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teams are now navigating through a new reality for training camp, and all of it together is tough.
In addition to that, the offensive linemen in Detroit have a new offensive line coach in Hank Fraley, but he was the assistant o-line coach under Jeff Davidson the prior two seasons, so there is some familiarity there.
"I think the one thing about having Hank transition in is that he's been the assistant o-line coach for the last couple years, so he obviously knows the guys in the room," starting left tackle Taylor Decker said.
"There's a level of familiarity, the guys are comfortable to ask questions and obviously he played for a long time."
Fraley played 11 seasons in the NFL after entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2000 out of Robert Morris (Pa.).
He played with Philadelphia (2000-05), Cleveland (2006-09) and the St. Louis Rams (2010), primarily as a center. He helped Philadelphia win four consecutive NFC East titles between 2001-04 and reach four consecutive NFC title games. The Eagles advanced to Super Bowl XXXIX against New England following the 2004 regular season.
"He's going to have that insight for the guys, especially playing on the inside," Decker said of Fraley. "Just seeing how he goes about our meetings so far, and I've known this about him from him being an assistant o-line coach, he's very, very detailed.
"Very detailed with how he has plays drawn up, with how his concepts are worded towards us, with how his techniques are worded in his presentations. So, I think it'll be great and I'm super excited for him and we were all super excited when he got that job. He deserves it because the dude works really hard. We're excited to have Old Hank."
With so much new to navigate through for the offensive line in training camp, Decker says it's good to have a familiar face leading them through it.