ALLEN PARK — The final roster cuts are due on Saturday and while several Lions are secure, many of them can sympathize with those on the bubble.
Fourteen years ago, center Dominic Raiola thought he was going to be cut as a rookie.
“I couldn’t play, I couldn’t pass block, I ran the option in college. I was terrified,’’ Raiola said. “I play and practice like that every year. I blew. That’s how I play.’’
He still thinks about it and plays like his job is on the line daily.
“I still do it I play like somebody’s standing over me, looking over me every breath I take. I take it to heart when I (screw) up,’’ Raiola said.
Obviously he didn’t get cut as a rookie. He became a starter in his second season and is a dozen games shy of 200 starts.
“I think somebody talked to me (and told me) ‘You’re not going to play this year, but you have a chance to learn how to play the game.’
“It was moving so fast, it sucked. I was stepping forward like I was run blocking every play. ...’’
Raiola, a second-round pick out of Nebraska, feels for the players who will get released this week.
“It is (tough) they did everything that was asked of them. They helped kind of mold this team in the preseason and then they’ve got to make a decision,’’ Raiola said. “You wish them luck and you want to see them succeed.’’
(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book, “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)