Jeremy Raisman, one of our friends and the Editor-in-Chief of SB Nation's Pride of Detroit on the Detroit Lions, was kind enough to answer a few questions about one of the new additions to the New Orleans Saints: Offensive Lineman Larry Warford.
Are you disappointed to lose Warford at the contract the Saints were able to sign him to? Is that a contract you would liked the Lions to try to offer?
The Lions have depth at guard, which made fixing their right tackle problem--where they had no depth-- a much higher priority. Detroit went out and reportedly spent upwards of $9.5 million/year on Rick Wagner to fill that void.
So, no, I'm not too upset that Detroit lost Larry Warford. Detroit has a 2016-third round pick (Graham Glasgow) and a 2015 first-round pick (Laken Tomlinson) both capable of playing the guard positions at a much cheaper rate.
What has been the cause of Warford's slight decline since his rookie year? Could it have anything to do with the Lions' continued emphasis on the passing game?
It's hard to pin exactly why Larry Warford never was able to regain the magic of his rookie year, but I think the best explanation may be his teammates. In his rookie year, he had long-time veteran center Dominic Raiola next to him, along with a few other seasoned players. Since then, Detroit has had a young, developing center alongside him and a seemingly new right tackle every week. I wouldn't view his decline as anything drastic, just as the result of an increasingly young offensive line.
Sean Payton is a known fan of the screen game. How is Warford breaking out and getting to the next level on RB screens?
Larry Warford is not exactly the most athletic guy. In fact, when Lions players were asked who they thought had the slowest rating in Madden 17, a handful of them picked Warford (which is true). That being said, over the past two years, the Lions have developed into a short-passing team, often asking their guards to pull on quick outs and bubble screens, so it's not something he's unfamiliar with, but I would say he's below-average in that aspect of his game.
The Saints just traded WR Brandin Cooks amid rumored locker room concerns and clashes with the Saints front office. Have there been any issues with Warford like this during his tenure in DET?
No, Warford is actually one of the most kind people in the locker room. He is always wearing a smile. You can see his bright personality shine in the video above, as he takes the Madden news well.
Overall, what can Saints fans expect of Warford in 2017 and moving forward?
Warford is a guy that won't blow you away, but should have a pretty quiet tenure at guard for years to come. Essentially that's what you want from a guy like him. He's remained quite healthy, he gets the job done, and, like any other linemen, he gets beat every now and then. He's a guy that doesn't have a "wow" factor, but should lock down the starting position.
Thank-you, Jeremy, for taking the time to talk with us! Saints fans, make sure you check out Jeremy’s work over at Pride of Detroit. You can follow them on Twitter at @PrideOfDetroit and you can follow Jeremy @DetroitOnLion. Of course, as always, you can follow me on Twitter @dunnellz.