Lions' steady Graham Glasgow ready for Rams' talented duo

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Graham Glasgow

Allen Park -- Graham Glasgow barely had a minute to spare on Friday. He needed to hit the weight room and get in a lift. Unfortunately, no workout can prepare him for what lies ahead this Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams roll into town. 

Glasgow is no stranger to challenging matchups. The NFC North is loaded with talented interior defensive linemen tandems, from Green Bay's Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark to Chicago's Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman. But nothing quite stacks up to the Rams' duo of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. And in the rare moments one of those two leave the game for a breather, they're replaced by another former first-round pick in Michael Brockers. 

As the man snapping the ball, Glasgow figures to have his hands full all day. Donald is the front-runner for the NFL's defensive MVP award, while Suh, well, Lions fans know him quite well. 

"I think it just comes down to you can’t scheme it up as much," Glasgow said. "Everybody is good (in the NFL), but these guys are also really good. It just kind of comes down to you can’t scheme everything up, you can’t always scheme up double-teams and sometimes it will come down to one-on-one blocks and making sure we come out on the better end of them."

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Not that double-teams have stopped Donald. He's being doubled more than anyone in football, nearly twice as much as the next guy, yet still leads the league with 14.5 sacks. And he's getting pressure on more than seven pass-rush snaps per game.

Why is Donald so effective, even when he faces two blockers? Glasgow quips, "It seems like he gets a lot of practice. If you practice something enough, you can get pretty good at it."

The Lions will look to Glasgow to be a steadying force up front on Sunday. On either shoulder, he'll be compensating for a potential weakness. To his left will be first-round pick Frank Ragnow, a talented player who still falls prey to his inexperience at times. On Glasgow's right is supposed to be veteran T.J. Lang, but he's done for the year due to injury, so the spot will be manned by backup Kenny Wiggins. He's has had his fair share of struggles this season. 

More: View from the other side: Lions vs. Rams

Lions coach Matt Patricia was asked on Friday about the job Glasgow has done this season.

"Graham’s a tough guy, he’s a smart guy, he’s a grind-it-out guy," Patricia said. "Every single week he battles away in there. It’s tough inside, and he pulls himself back together and goes out and does it again. So, a lot of respect for that position and him battling all the way through that. It’s not easy.”

Glasgow has certainly been reliable for the Lions. A third-round pick in 2016, he's rarely left the field since being inserted into the starting lineup in the middle of his rookie year. He's currently enjoying a 38-game start streak, the fifth-longest for his position.

He had another impressive streak snapped last week when he left the game for a single play after getting banged up. It was the first offensive snap he'd missed since Week 13 of the 2016 season, a stretch of more than 2,000 plays.

"The best ability is availability," he said. "So it's something I took a lot of pride in, and working on getting another one going."