Sports

Detroit Lions eager to shore up line, protect QB Matthew Stafford

  • Detroit Lions offensive tackle Riley Reiff (71) practices during NFL football organized training activities in Allen Park, Wednesday, May 29, 2013.  (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Detroit Lions offensive tackle Riley Reiff (71) practices during NFL football organized training activities in Allen Park, Wednesday, May 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)  (The Associated Press)

  • Detroit Lions tackle Jason Fox, right, practices with center Darren Keyton during NFL football organized training activities in Allen Park, Wednesday, May 29, 2013.  (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Detroit Lions tackle Jason Fox, right, practices with center Darren Keyton during NFL football organized training activities in Allen Park, Wednesday, May 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)  (The Associated Press)

  • Former Detroit Lions offensive tackle Jeff Backus, center, now a  part-time coaching intern, watches with tackles Austin Holtz (72) and Riley Reiff (71) during NFL football organized training activities in Allen Park, Wednesday, May 29, 2013.  (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Former Detroit Lions offensive tackle Jeff Backus, center, now a part-time coaching intern, watches with tackles Austin Holtz (72) and Riley Reiff (71) during NFL football organized training activities in Allen Park, Wednesday, May 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)  (The Associated Press)

The Detroit Lions have several holes to fill on their offensive line, including both tackles. They had a familiar face working with the unit Wednesday.

Former left tackle Jeff Backus, who retired during the offseason after a 12-year career here, spent the organized team activities period watching and working with the linemen, especially those who are playing his former position.

The Lions also lost right tackle Gosder Cherilus in free agency. Second-year tackle Riley Reiff, the Lions' first-round selection in the 2011 draft, made eight starts last year and could be Backus' successor on quarterback Matthew Stafford's blind side.