Dominic Raiola may be 35 but the Detroit Lions center plays like he’s much younger. He made have had his best season in 2013 which earned him a two-year contract.
Here are three reasons Raiola is key to the offense.
1. He can snap the ball. Sounds easy? Not really. Early in OTAs, Matthew Stafford had a less experienced guy at center and had several mis-snaps in a row. Raiola and Stafford have a good relationship with mutual respect and it shows on the field.
2. Raiola embraced Travis Swanson, the offensive lineman drafted in May who can play guard or center. He’ll teach him all he can, but don’t expect Swanson to be a serious contender for the starting center spot this year.
3. Raiola is one of the best leaders on offense and possibly on the team. He’s been to the depths, he’s fighting so hard to reap the rewards of winning. While several of the players scattered to vacation spots and hometowns after the last day of minicamp, Raiola hosted an offensive line party at his house that night. The young guys can count on his help and they can learn about being a professional just from watching him go about his business.