As the Detroit Lions go through preparation for this weekend’s contest against the Dallas Cowboys, an area they will surely try to exploit is the Cowboys inexperience on the offensive line.
Four of the five starters on the Cowboys offensive line accounted for only eight starts heading into the 2011 season.
The Cowboys spent their top pick – ninth overall – on tackle Tyron Smith, who is currently their starting right tackle.
Despite Smith’s obvious talents, fourth-year pro Cliff Avril – who will matchup with Smith – will try to take advantage of the rookie’s lacking experience.
“He’s a good player, he’s a good athlete actually,” said Avril. “But there are a few things that we can try to exploit, like you do with any tackle. With him being young, we definitely think there are a few things we can do to try and exploit him. But he’s a heck of an athlete and a heck of a player.”
Smith isn’t the only player the Lions will target.
Starting center Phil Costa is a second year pro with only four career starts. He is flanked by Bill Nagy – a rookie seventh round draft choice - and the line’s lone veteran, Kyle Kosier.
The interior of the line will have to deal with Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams and Co. and could be faced with a long day’s work.
“They are a little bit young on the offensive line and that’s something that we can take advantage of,” said Suh.
Lions will target Romo, not his ribs
Last week Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall made headlines when he suggested that he would target Romo’s injured ribs.
The Lions defensive front isn’t concerned with Romo’s ribs but they will target Romo.
“That’s not my style,” said Suh. “If I hit him, I hit him… if I accidently hit (his ribs) so be it. It’s not my problem, it’s not my issue to deal with. I’m not going to plan on putting my helmet on his ribs.”
“If I land on Tony Romo with all my weight I’m sure he’s going to feel it in some way, shape or form.”
Suh wasn’t alone.
“I’m not in the business of getting hits to purposely go after a rib or something like that,” said Cliff Avril. “My objective is to get to the quarterback no matter what his issue. For me, it’s all about trying to get sacks.
If I happen to hit him in the ribs, then I hit him in the ribs.”
Some would contest that Hall – like Suh and Avril – wasn’t interested in reinjuring Romo either. Rather, his comments could be viewed as gamesmanship, a mechanism to get in his opponent’s head.
What do you think of that, Suh?
“My play speaks for me,” explained Suh. “I know a lot of people use that tactic, they’ve tried to use it against me. I’m a guy that doesn’t really care about what you say. Prove it on the football field. Stop me.”
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