Throughout his career, the Detroit Lions' Dominic Raiola has been one of the smallest centers in the NFL, both from a height and weight standpoint. He's listed as being 6-1 and 295 pounds, which is smaller than the average size of the other 31 starting centers (6-3, 305 pounds).
To his credit, Raiola has been the Lions' starting center since 2002 despite his lack of size. His play has certainly been criticized over the years, but Raiola is heading into what should be his 12th consecutive season as the Lions' starting center.
This year, in an effort to continue to hold the job of starting center, Raiola bulked up a bit by adding some weight. Raiola's goal heading into the offseason was to get a bit bigger, and he now weighs 310 pounds, according to Mike O'Hara.
Raiola is thicker in the neck and shoulders and broader across the chest. Without saying so, Raiola is making a statement that if anyone tries to push him out of a job, they're going to meet resistance.
"I figured if I can still move and run around, a little extra weight is only going to help me – help me in everything," Raiola said after Tuesday's mini-camp practice.
Raiola added the weight by "eating good stuff" and "doing different stuff in the weight room." He obviously didn't want to add weight in a bad way, so he made sure to bulk up in a way that will actually be beneficial on the football field.