Detroit Lions: Five things you should know about Manny Ramirez
- This is his second stint with the Lions after he was drafted in the fourth round by the Lions in 2007 and played in Detroit through the 2010 season.
- At age 32, Ramirez will be the veteran in the offensive line room to provide leadership. “It is important anytime that you can get a guy that’s been around and played in this league and has some pelts on the wall,’’ coach Jim Caldwell said. “He can help you. Without question (Ramirez) brings that presence with him. We have a good group of leaders on our team, although some of them maybe a little young, but they are emerging. I think Manny will help add to that.”
- One of his top qualities is his versatility. “He has played in a very challenging offensive operation. From an intellectual standpoint, he will be able operate very quickly in a short period of time,’’ Caldwell said. “The other thing that you can learn from is that he is very versatile. He played center extremely well, played guard extremely well for (Denver). We found a veteran offensive lineman that can play those spots and be able to slide in and do the job. We have heard nothing but great things about him in terms of his locker room demeanor and leadership.”
- Caldwell and GM Martin Mayhew did their due diligence. Caldwell coached Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for years but wouldn’t say if he had talked to him about Ramirez. “Let’s just say we cover pretty much all our bases. It doesn’t mean we talk to each and everybody, but we talk to enough people where we know who we’re dealing with,’’ Caldwell said.
- It’s unclear exactly what role Ramirez will play. He plays guard and center so could be in competition to start at either position. There’s an opening at left guard and Travis Swanson is expected to compete for the center spot. “I don’t have any expectations either way. Everybody competes for every job. It’s a meritocracy, so everybody comes in and competes. We’ll see what happens,’’ Mayhew said.