Raiola likes direction of new offense

Dominic Raiola - Getty Images

As the Detroit Lions prepare for life without Mike Martz (and without the "Greatest Show on Turf" label), center Dominic Raiola doesn't feel the team will be any less explosive under new coordinator Jim Colletto.

As the Detroit Lions prepare for life without Mike Martz (and without the "Greatest Show on Turf" label), center Dominic Raiola doesn't feel the team will be any less explosive under new coordinator Jim Colletto.

"It's just a different style," Raiola said. "It's run-first. One of our goals is to have no negative plays, especially running the ball. I think we're still going to take shots.

"I think Martz, he wanted to go for the heart all the time throughout the whole game. I don't see it as taking a step backwards. I don't think in any offense you want to take a step back, so to speak. You always want to have that big play capability."

Raiola and his fellow linemen are looking forward to doing more run-blocking.

"It's going to give everybody a chance to do what offensive linemen like to do -- run the football," Raiola said Monday. "You know you're going to get that.

"Years past with coach Martz, there was a pass-first mentality. ... I consider him as one of the great offensive minds in this game, from what he did and what he brought here. But this is what Coach Colletto is bringing. It's just a different mindset of running first - run first, then pass."

The Lions have adopted Denver's running game. The Broncos have used a zone running scheme and been able to plug in several backs -- including current Lion Tatum Bell -- to great success.

"We just need backs back there with good vision," Raiola said. "I don't think it matters. If you look at the Denver system, it doesn't matter who's back there. Any running back who comes in this league is going to have that. It's going to give him a good chance in this offense."

Colletto will have fewer plays -- with fewer shifts and motions -- but there will be audibles.

"I think there's going to be a lot of check-with-me's, which is, get up to the line, if you see a safety coming down this way, we'll go this way," center Dominic Raiola said.

"Everybody's got to know before the quarterback changes it what's going to happen during the play.

"If the safety comes down here, you know we're going to run it away from the safety, and you've kind of have to know it your head and kind of operate faster in your head before he changes the play."

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