Lions' Ragnow looking to learn from McCoy matchup

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Frank Ragnow

Tampa, Fla. — Frank Ragnow never allowed a sack in college. And through two preseason games, the rookie Detroit Lions rookie guard lived up to his reputation as a stellar pass protector, allowing zero pressure through to his quarterbacks.

That changed Friday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when Ragnow surrendered a second-quarter sack. Lined up across from Gerald McCoy, Ragnow had his punch slapped away and was left grasping at air as the the former first-round pick and premier pass-rushing interior lineman blew past him en route to dropping Matthew Stafford on the third-and-5 snap at the end of the first half.

“It’s not a good feeling, definitely not a good feeling,” Ragnow said. “Not a good feeling having (Stafford) hit like that.”

Ragnow, who started at right guard for the first time with the Lions, said the matchup against McCoy provided an important opportunity to learn and grow.

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“Huge,” Ragnow said. “Not just the sack, but going against somebody of that caliber, he’s a really good football player. I learned that tonight. What I need to do, I need to take it heavily, learn from it and hopefully I can take another step.”

Ragnow, who played center and right guard in college, has primarily lined up at left guard for the Lions. But with veteran T.J. Lang still out of action with a lower-leg injury, and the opportunity to test the rookie against McCoy, Lions coach Matt Patricia opted to switch it up against the Bucs.

“We’ve talked about that really since the spring, to be honest with you, about putting guys in different situations and getting evaluations of them in different spots,” Patricia said. “I think that’s always something that you try to take advantage of when you have that opportunity. Certainly, you want to find out all the information you can before we get to the regular season.”

Veteran Kenny Wiggins started at left guard and rotated with Joe Dahl at that spot throughout the first half.