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O'HARA: Glasgow's toughness a fit, but at center or guard?

Graham Glasgow was the rock on the interior of the Detroit Lions' offensive line last season as it crumbled around him piece by piece.

In an extreme example of survival of the fittest caused by injuries that seemed to never end, Glasgow was the only player on the roster to play every snap on his unit. On offense, that meant all 1,041 offensive plays. Nobody on defense played every snap.

How tough was it going the distance without a break?

"I'll just say it's tough," Glasgow said Tuesday. "I'm going to focus on doing it again."

Glasgow's durability and mindset fit the mandate expressed after last month's draft by general manager Bob Quinn that he wants a "a big, strong, tough, physical team in the trenches."

The only catch is where Glasgow fits. He started 12 games at left guard and four at center because of injuries to Travis Swanson.

Swanson signed with the New York Jets as a free agent when he was not signed back by the Lions, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Glasgow will take up permanent residence at center.

The Lions used their first-round pick in the draft to take Frank Ragnow, who played center the last two seasons at Arkansas after one year as a starting guard. Quinn said after the draft that Ragnow was drafted to play interior offensive line.

That's that same way Glasgow defined his position when asked Tuesday where he expects to play this season.

"That's up to Bob, and that's up to the coaches," Glasgow said. "I'm an interior offensive lineman. I play left guard. I play center.

"I play wherever they ask me to play."

Barring injuries, it's likely that Glasgow and Ragnow will be starting on the interior of the offensive line. It's a matter of who plays guard and center.

Both have shown the toughness that the Lions want to bring to the offense to improve a running game that ranked last in the NFL last year in average yards per game and per carry.

View photos from Phase 2 of the Detroit Lions offseason workouts on May 8, 2018.

Quinn also said after the draft that he was bothered by poor performances in short-yardage situations.

"I would say it's right for him to be bothered by that," Glasgow said. "We (the offensive linemen) were bothered by that. It's frustrating in a lot of ways. We're our own harshest critics.

"That's something that in a lot of ways we took very personally and tried to work out. I think that's something we'd like to improve on."

A team's toughness often is defined by the running game – moving the ball on the ground, and stopping the other team. For obvious reasons, improving the running game has been a focus of the offseason.

"A lot of things come into that," Glasgow said of being a tough team. "A lot of that, I pride myself on. I pride our offense and O-line on being tough. A lot of guys were playing through a lot of things last year.

"Part of playing the position is exerting your will on another person – moving him from Point A to Point B. The easiest way to do that is in the run game.

"It sets the tone of the down, the series – the possession you're in."

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