General manager Martin Mayhew said Friday morning that Reiff could play another position on the line in 2015.
“It depends on how the offseason goes,” Mayhew said. “I wouldn’t say he is locked in at left. He could probably play right, too. We’ll see how things go.”
Reiff played fairly well at left tackle for the Lions this season, grading out along with right guard Larry Warford as the team’s best linemen according to Pro Football Focus.
But the argument could be made that Detroit’s other tackles -- particularly Cornelius Lucas -- looked better on the left side replacing Reiff than he did on the right side when he was replacing LaAdrian Waddle last season. There’s also a chance the Lions could draft a tackle in the first round, which would further shake up the offensive line.
Detroit is in the midst of at least somewhat of an overhaul on the offensive line. The team already moved on from center Dominic Raiola and there are questions as to whether Rob Sims will return to the Lions. Then there’s the tackle situation, which appears to be at least open to some competition.
It could also be a young offensive line in 2015, especially if Sims does not return. Reiff, entering his fourth season, would be the longest-tenured lineman at that point. So that could be a reason to retain Sims for at least one season, potentially giving him the chance to groom his replacement.
These are some of the decisions that the Lions need to make on their offensive line over the next couple of months.
“Leadership is really important in that group, as you know,” Mayhew said. “Not having Dom, obviously, Riley would be a really key part of that. On the other hand, you also want to see some of the young guys, the younger guys, Riley Reiff -- is he still a younger guy now? He’s got a bunch of starts under his belt.
“You want to see some young guys step up and lead, too. There’s a point where the handoff has to happen to the next generation, so to speak, but yeah, Rob’s been a great guy in the locker room and great leader and just a really tough guy.”