ALLEN PARK, MI - MAY 12: Riley Reiff #71 of the Detroit Lions looks on during a rookie mini camp at the Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility on May 12, 2012 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Although the Detroit Lions drafted Riley Reiff to play left tackle, his position for 2012 isn't set in stone. With the starters on the offensive line from last year returning -- Jeff Backus included -- there isn't an opening for Reiff. Instead, Reiff is going to have to compete with a returning starter if he wants playing time, and assuming Backus is healthy, the thinking is Reiff's best chance to see the field in 2012 is by pushing Gosder Cherilus out of the starting job at right tackle.
While Reiff will eventually get time at right tackle, the Lions had him practicing at left tackle on Friday and Saturday. Jim Schwartz explained the thinking behind having Reiff focus solely on one position so far during the rookie minicamp.
"What we're going to do in this camp is play him at one position through the whole practice so that he's not flipping," coach Jim Schwartz said. "We're going to give him some time at right tackle in this camp, but we're not going to flip him within a practice -- let him work that entire practice at a certain position."
With one practice left this weekend, it seems like Reiff will move over to right tackle on Sunday. As he gets more of a grasp on the playbook, it sounds as though Reiff will eventually get to the point where he will see time at multiple positions in one practice. For now, though, it's either left or right tackle, and so far it has been strictly left tackle.