Detroit Lions camp: Frank Ragnow not anchored at left guard – at least for now

Every change on O-line in practice is scripted

ALLEN PARK >> Graham Glasgow was back at practice on Wednesday, after going down with a knee injury on Tuesday.

However, the Lions center didn’t take all the reps at center. Rookie Frank Ragnow was snapping the ball to Matthew Stafford during team drills toward the end of Wednesday’s session with the New York Giants.

Here’s the thing, no matter what happened to Glasgow, that role at center might have been planned for Ragnow who started at center as a junior and senior at Arkansas.

“All those guys on the offensive line know multiple positions, and however we do it in practice, we’re going to try to get everybody a certain amount of reps,’’ coach Matt Patricia said on Wednesday.

The coach said practice is scripted.

“We’re not really in the mode where we’re just calling against each other blindly. And (Tuesday) was a scripted practice where there might be particular plays that we want guys to see in certain positions, so that affects where they get lined up,’’ Patricia said.

During camp and since he was drafted, Ragnow has taken most of his reps at left guard. It’s expected that’s where he’ll start when the season gets under way.

“So, there’s a little bit more to it than just kind of throwing guys in there and throwing them around in a certain set. So, again, let’s just say hypothetically Frank was at a guard position and I wanted to see one of his pulls, and see how he went and attacked the edge, maybe on a particular run play or a particular protection against an individual player that the Giants have – you weigh the value of moving the guy to a different position or leave him where he is and get the valued rep that you need to evaluate and see him do. So, a lot of that goes into that decision there,’’ Patricia said.

When GM Bob Quinn drafted Ragnow in the first round, it was expected that he would start at center. But it appears that Glasgow, who started a few games at center in 2017, has won that spot.

“We can put Frank anywhere, which is great. We can move him to center, guard, tackle, or put any of those guys all the way across the board. And again, it’s so early in the stage of what we’re trying to do from all positions that these guys are still going to play multiple positions and get a lot of reps,’’ Patricia said.

“And there are going to be guys that are playing positions this week that will play completely different positions next week just to get another evaluation. The good thing is that we have quite a few more weeks here before we get to the regular season, so we have a timeline of how we have to evaluate all those guys,’’ the coach added.

Thursday will be the third and final practice against the Giants at the Lions’ facility. Detroit is coming off two practices at the Oakland Raiders last week.

Going against different competition in camp should especially benefit Ragnow and all the young guys.

“I think it’s the biggest thing for the young guys to see—the increase of what the competition looks like on game day. And for us to have these practices where they can kind of see it a little bit more and get a little bit more experience with that helps every bit,’’ Patricia said. “I would also say that the more we can get on tape of competitive reps against different people, different teams, our own guys, we can coach and teach off of that. And that’s the most important thing, where we can—not just a, call it a walk through or tempered down sort of mentality—where we’re actually teaching live or coaching off of live reps. I think that’s where we make our biggest improvements.”

Thursday’s practice at 9 a.m. is open to the public.

The Lions and Giants play a preseason game at 7 p.m. on Friday at Ford Field.

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Author: Paula Pasche

Paula Pasche, a veteran sports writer, covers the Detroit Lions for her Lions Lowdown blog. She has written two books, "Game of My Life Detroit Lions" and "100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" which are available at bookstores and on Amazon.com. She won first place for column writing from the Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit (Class B) in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was The Oakland Press 2010 Staffer of the Year.

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