Jansen At Right Tackle -- For Now

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz tackled the Jon Jansen signing, among other issues concerning the team, during a recent OTA outing in Allen Park. Where will Jansen play? Details inside.

The underlying concern to any hype (see: loose term) that might surround the Detroit Lions in 2009 revolves around the offensive line.

Certainly, the team's draft has drawn high praise, and rookie Matthew Stafford has looked lights-out during the team's regular off-season training activities in Allen Park. Many in league circles and close to the organization think he should start ahead of veteran Daunte Culpepper.

With second-year back Kevin Smith, Calvin Johnson, and a revamped defense, it's difficult not to believe the Lions will be vastly improved from last year's winless debacle.

Then again, how could they not?

Detroit took a step towards quelling the Titanic-sized, proverbial "if" with the signing of former Michigan standout Jon Jansen over the weekend. Jansen worked out with the team on Monday, even though position hasn't yet been officially determined.

With each tackle position locked up, and position battles at each guard spot, the 10-year, starting right tackle will asked to become versatile.

"Guys need to be multi-dimensional, whether you're a starter or you're a backup, because there's a lot of guys that mix," said Lions' head coach Jim Schwartz on Monday. "So you'll probably see us in practice move him around - left, right, guard, tackle - stuff like that.

"We sort of left (Gosder Cherilus) and (Jeff) Backus at one spot, and we left Dominic (Raiola) at one spot, but everybody else has played a lot of different positions."

Schwartz said Jansen will begin at right tackle behind Cherilus on the depth chart, but he'll be moved around as training camp approaches.

Jansen is especially known for his ability to run block. Although the team handed a five-year deal to right guard Stephen Peterman during the off-season, it doesn't mean he has that position secure.

Detroit's coaching staff is more than willing to move Peterman, and with a handful of guards (including tackle Daniel Loper, who could slide over to left guard), Jansen -- at the least -- helps solidify a unit that hasn't collected the recognition, but has certainly collected the players to help keep the team's big-time talent on offense relevant.


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