ALLEN PARK, Mich. — He stood off to the side all spring and watched. Hampered by rehabilitation from hip surgery and recovering from a broken left foot, the only thing T.J. Lang could do was try to learn what he could in meeting rooms, from observing on the sidelines and then asking questions after.
And those questions, well, they came daily.
“Every OTA practice,” center Travis Swanson said. “He’s a pretty curious guy. He wants to figure out all the details.”
Lang, the Detroit Lions‘ new starting right guard after signing with the franchise from Green Bay in March, had been through transitions before. He had to learn how to play next to new guys reasonably often with the Packers. So, he understood the best way to learn was not by waiting until he got on the field but by trying to pick up everything he could beforehand.
That way, when he was able to practice for the first time as Lions training camp opened Sunday, it would be less of a transition and more of an understanding and implementing of things he already knew. So throughout the spring, he kept asking Swanson and new right guard Rick Wagner what they liked, what they didn’t like, how they preferred to block on a certain play and what the variations in terminology were.
“The biggest thing you’ve got to find out is what the guy next to you likes to do and you’ve got to tell him how you like fitting in on a block or whatever it is,” Lang said. “You kind of adjust to each other and you make it work, which is what we’re doing out here. I’ve been a part of guys [saying],…
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