When the 2020 season ended, Detroit Lions left tackle Taylor Decker spoke to the local media about wanting to have a meeting with team president Rod Wood to give his input and discuss the future of the franchise.
“I’m not going to overstep, but I’m going to go and have conversations—probably here in an hour or two—I’m going to see if Rod is available,” Decker said in January. “I’m going to talk to Rod and just give my opinion, because I am invested in this team, and there are people that, if it were up to me, I’d want to keep. That’s not my decision to make, but over the past five years, I feel like I’ve put a lot into this organization, given what I can. So if I can just put a word in for a player or a coach, I’ll do it.”
Today, Decker confirmed that he did indeed get to have a meeting with Lions management and noted: “I felt like my words were taken very seriously and that was awesome to see.” Decker also revealed that during that meeting, one of the individuals he specifically asked Lions’ management to consider keeping was offensive line coach Hank Fraley.
“One thing I flat out asked for was to give Hank an opportunity to interview for the (offensive line coach) job,” Decker said. “Don’t just clean house, because I think he does a really great job. I think he has a really great understanding of the game. Studies the hell out of everything and all the defenses. And I think his approach with delivering information and new techniques is fantastic because he played the game for 11 years. He’s good for the room—a lot of young guys in the room—and I think he's done a really good job.”
Under Fraley’s leadership in 2020, Decker had a career year, rookie Jonah Jackson started every game, Frank Ragnow made the Pro Bowl and received second-team All-Pro honors, and despite a litany of injuries on the right side of the offensive line, the Lions still managed to patchwork together a solid level of play, often with replacement players like Oday Aboushi and Matt Nelson.
The Lions seem poised to add to the offensive line in this draft, and Decker is happy to welcome more players who can help the team be successful. Decker once again reiterated his investment in Detroit and his appreciation that they were willing to hear him out.
“It’s a good feeling knowing the organization wants to hear what the players want to say.”