For the Jeff Backus detractors: Be careful what you ask for (you just might get it)
I've always found it odd. This is not Titus Young Sr. we're talking about here. Backus has been the ultimate "lunch bucket" NFL player in a town where even the white collar workers consider themselves blue collar. He is there every day in practice, and had an extraordinarily long streak of consecutive starts at one of the most demanding positions in the league (186). He went to Michigan, and Backus has been a solid player on mostly bad teams, a part of a solution, really, rather than a problem.
Yet, despite facing such difficult opponents on a regular basis (Jared Allen, Julius Peppers, Clay Mathews Jr in recent years) and mostly holding his own, Backus isn't exactly a beloved figure. he has been more a source of consternation.
|Backus has been solid facing the best like Allen|
He has had some injuries in recent seasons and will turn 36 in September, but he performed reasonably well last season and the Lions might be wise to use Riley Reiff, their first-round draft choice from last year, at another spot on their re-tooled offensive line now that Stephen Peterman has been released. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus is a free agent and to be re-signed by the Lions would be costly given his play has been spotty and there will be a market for him. Ideally, the Lions plug the guard spot, have Backus back at left tackle and Reiff starting at right tackle.
If Backus decides to retire, which he is reportedly contemplating, it would complicate matters for the Lions.