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Riley Reiff adds muscle for Detroit Lions tackle shift

Reggie Bush has gotten the most attention when talking about the Detroit Lions this offseason, but the offensive line ultimately might play a bigger part in the team's success or failure in 2013.

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The team has three new starters along the front line. Above all stands Riley Reiff, the second-year player who steps in for the retired Jeff Backus at left tackle.

Protecting the blind side of quarterback Matthew Stafford is an important task, and Reiff prepared for the shift from the right side by adding 10 pounds of muscle to his frame. He's playing at 315 pounds, up from 305 as a rookie.

"Riley's doing great," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said during minicamp, according to the Lions' site. "When we drafted him that was a role we envisioned for him. He's done a great job there, and he's making progress every day.

"I hope he keeps making those steps every day of practice come training camp. We feel really, really confident in his ability to do a great job for us."

Consider this a one-year tryout for Reiff. The Lions likely would have taken one of the high-level tackles in April's draft if Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel or Lane Johnson had lasted to No. 5. Instead, Reiff gets his shot at the line's glamour position.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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