For 14 seasons, Dominic Raiola could be found at the center of the Detroit Lions' offensive line. Changing protections pre-snap and always being willing to get into extracurricular activities after the whistle—Raiola made up for his relative lack of size with an attitude that endeared him to teammates.
Now, eight years into retirement, his son Dylan is the number one ranked quarterback prospect in the country. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press caught up with Dominic and discussed just how much of his retirement Raiola has spent watching his kids play their respective sports.
“Being quarterback parents now, it’s nerve-wracking,” Raiola told the Free Press on Monday. “The ball’s in your hands, but I feel like we’re more nervous than he is. He’s the coolest one on the field.”
Like his father’s longtime quarterback, Matthew Stafford, Dylan is committed to attending the University of Georgia after he finishes high school where he will play for Stafford’s former position coach, Mike Bobo. But make no mistake about it, the pressure will be on Dylan to succeed—his father knows that, and Dylan seems prepared for it.
“It’s definitely special to see, cause you never want your kids to have to follow what you did, especially as a former player who did it at the highest level,” Raiola said of the expectations surrounding Dylan. “You never want to put that on your kids, but if they want to do it, I always said I’ll be right there to hold you accountable and hold you to that standard as long as you tell me what you want to do.”
Beyond Dylan, Raiola’s daughter, Taylor is a captain for Texas Christian University’s volleyball team. Dayton, Raiola’s other son, is also a high school quarterback.
You can read the whole story from the Free Press here.
And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:
- All-Pro tight end George Kittle named Lions’ rookie tight end Sam LaPorta as one of his tight ends to be excited about for the 2023 season.
- Defensive lineman John Cominsky talked about his football camp and the Lions' defensive line in the latest edition of Dannie Rogers’ “Off the Record”:
- The media may no longer be present, but Lions OTAs are still going on. Here’s a photo gallery from Wednesday’s practice.
- Colton Pouncy of The Athletic has 10 takeaways from Lions offseason workouts. (subscription required)
- Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire projected the NFL’s All-Underrated Team: One Secret Superstar for all 32 teams, naming a Lions sack artist as Detroit’s list representative.