Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 5/27/13
They lost some key members of the offensive line this offseason, but Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford thinks he will have all the protection he needs in 2013, if what he's seeing at the team's OTAs translates to actual games. “I don’t expect a big change,” Stafford said, via MLive.com. “I don’t expect any kind of a drop-off. I think we’re extremely talented up front.” The Lions lost left tackle Jeff Backus, who retired, and right tackle Gosder Cherilus signed with the Colts. Their weak link last year, guard Stephen Peterson was released (fortunatley.) In comes some fresh new faces to hopefully step up and keep Stafford's uniform clean. First rounder Riley Reiff will take Backus' spot, and third-round pick Larry Warford looks to replace Peterson. At right tackle, where the the team faces the most uncertainty, will see a compeition for the starting job with Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard. Stafford thinks they have the talent in front of him to get the job done, and is confident going forward. "Any time you play quarterback, your dream is a perfect pocket every time," he said. "But let's be honest, in the NFL, the defensive guys get paid to rush the passer. That's something we'll focus on, like we do every year, is improving the pocket and me moving in the correct ways -- left, right, up, back, whatever it is -- to avoid pressure. That's something we're constantly working on and something we'll have an emphasis on this spring."
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