As the Detroit Lions continue to mix around their interior offensive lineman, one of the biggest factors in how things play out will be the players’ comfortability as a protection play-caller. Oftentimes, it will be the center’s responsibility to recognize the defense they’re facing and adjust the protection accordingly. Communication is key for every part of the offensive line, but for the center, it is essential.
2018 first-round pick Frank Ragnow is the latest to get a significant amount of playing time at the crucial center position. Having spent the majority of his college career at center, Ragnow said the play-calling aspect was something he loved about the job.
“I enjoy that part of the game,” Ragnow said. “That’s a part of the game I really enjoyed in college, making all the calls, kind of leading the guys.”
But Ragnow also downplayed the importance of that role, considering just how close the offensive line is.
“This offensive line room is so unique, it’s like there’s five centers up front,” Ragnow said. “Everybody talking, everybody’s communicating, so it’s great.”
This mirrors what Lions left tackle Taylor Decker said earlier in the month, when talking about the team’s fantastic offensive line chemistry.
“I think this is the best group I’ve ever been around, as far as personalities fitting together, guys being on the same page, just kind of on the same wavelength,” Decker said. “You just kind of got a feel for everybody. Everybody gets along really, really well. There’s just a good chemistry in that room and that’s exciting. And I think we do have a good group that we can do some good thing with on field.”
Not only is Ragnow comfortable and happy being the team’s offensive line play-caller, but in terms of his technique, his days at Arkansas prepared him for the next level. Ragnow says not much adjustment is required in his footwork or any technical aspects of his game.
“At Arkansas, I was blessed to play in a pro-style offense and it’s transitioned pretty well here,” Ragnow said.
So it looks like the table is set. If Ragnow excels in the duties he’s very clearly comfortable with during the offseason, his transition back to center looks like the right thing to do.