The Detroit Lions offense has been quite good through two games, and offensive line coach Hank Fraley has drawn some internal praise for his critical piece of the equation.
After never having their projected five offensive line starters together for a single snap last season, the Detroit Lions haven’t had them together yet this year either with right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai (back) on IR.
In Week 2, center Frank Ragnow (foot/groin) and left guard Jonah Jackson (finger) were also out against the Washington Commanders. But the Lions’ offense still scored 34 points with over 400 yards of offense, including 191 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Jared Goff was also hardly touched, despite Dan Skipper, Evan Brown and Logan Stenberg starting at left guard, center and right guard respectively. Skipper played well in a spot he never played before, Brown looked good again after filling in nicely for Ragnow last year, and Stenberg has been better than could have reasonably been expected as the second option to replace Vaitai.
Lions offensive line coach Hank Fraley draws worthy praise
Offensive line coach Hank Fraley was one of few holdovers on the coaching staff from the previous regime when Dan Campbell came in as head coach (now-offensive coordinator Ben Johnson was notably another).
As a former player who’s “been there”, Fraley fits right in on a coaching staff filled with former NFL players.
During his Monday press conference, via Lions Wire, Campbell took time to praise Fraley’s work.
He’s been very important,” Campbell said of Fraley. “Hank’s got a good feel of it, having played the position, but also coached it. And he’s got a real good feel of those guys, what they do well, how to develop the talent, and he just – he’s got a real good feel of how to pull it out of them.”
During his own media availability Monday, Lions left tackle Taylor Decker said he openly campaigned for Fraley to be retained by Campbell.
I would say Hank (Fraley) is a phenomenal coach. There’s a reason why when Dan (Campbell) got hired I wanted to talk to Dan and be like ‘can you at least just interview him’ because he had been here as an assistant under Jeff Davidson and then took over and he’s just done a great job,” Decker explained. “He understands the guys’ personalities in the room. He does a really good job at putting us in positions to succeed knowing what we’re good at, scheming the run game and does a good job of making the hard things simple. Telling us what we need to know out there so we can play fast.”
It’s one thing for Campbell to openly give Fraley praise that, frankly, he deserves for what he’s done with the Lions offensive line. It’s another for Decker, a day-to-day pupil, to call him a phenomenal coach and reveal how he went right to Campbell with his desire for Fraley to get a chance to be kept around.
Yes, it’s easy to brush off the praise given to Fraley as “What else are they going to say?” But this feels genuine, backed up by results by the way. Campbell and Decker also generally don’t hide how they feel very well.