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Lions' offensive line, Reiff looking to continue success from 2013

Parkston native Riley Reiff was one of four offensive linemen on the Detroit Lions to start all 16 games last season.

Reiff, who's starting his third NFL season, and the Detroit Lions wrapped up their seventh day of training camp Monday.

The 6-foot-6, 313-pounder took over the Lions' starting left tackle duties last year, a season in which the Lions finished 7-9 and in third place in the NFC North Division. He started every game of the season with offensive line teammates Dominic Raiola, a center; Larry Warford, a right guard; and Rob Sims, a left guard.

Reiff and the offensive line helped the team last season average about 4.2 yards per carry, sixth-best in the league. The group is looking to continue off its success from last year with a new head coach.

Lions first-year head coach Jim Caldwell, who replaced Jim Schwartz, was asked about what he likes most about the offensive line at Monday's practice and said there are about 10 players from the line who are "pretty special guys."

"They always say, 'The mark of a true leader is a man who can lead himself,' " Caldwell told reporters. "Every single one of those guys are quality people in every single dimension. They do things the right way. They are tough, physical, smart and they have great leadership in that line. (Rob) Sims has been around, good experience. Dom (Raiola) in the middle is an anchor and just tremendous for that group. He's like the gel that holds that group together, he binds them.

"We have some young guys that have had some opportunity to play a quite a bit of football. Larry (Warford) and (Riley) Reiff and the rest of them, those guys have done well through the years and we expect them to continue to get better. In that particular position it takes them awhile to really perfect their craft. Some of those guys are pretty good already and I think as you see as time goes on they're going to get better and better and better because they will see different styles, get accustomed to it and after a while they will know their opponents pretty well, what to expect and how to best use their skills and gifts and abilities. I think those guys work well to try and achieve that. They're a great unit, they work well together and they get along together."

The Lions' first preseason game is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field in Detroit. The game will be televised on NFL Network.

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