ALLEN PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) - Riley Reiff is admittedly nervous. This is a whole new world for him -- in more ways than one.
The newest Detroit Lion, drafted with the 23rd overall pick in the first round of Thursday's NFL Draft, met with the media Friday. The trip to Detroit was the first visit to the Motor City. His first game with the Lions will be his first experience at an NFL game in his 23-year old life.
And donning an NFL cap, that was a new experience too.
"You have no idea what I'm feeling right now," Reiff said Friday.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz made no hesitation, walking into the press conference after the selection to describe how the rookie will fit into the team's plans.
"Riley is a left tackle."
As far as playing time, Schwartz said that will be earned in the offseason and in practice. He'll likely battle Jeff Backus for time on the offensive line.
"Everything you do, you've got to earn it. If I do, if I don't, it really doesn't matter. You got to put in the work," Riley said of his chances to begin the year on the field.
"We'll see what happens."
One thing is certain: Reiff has changed his allegiance from the Raiders to the Lions. The South Dakota native had no natural choice for rooting purposes growing up, so he explained his fanhood Friday.
“The mailman was a Raiders fan and he liked to talk and he talked me into being a Raiders fan too.”
“He’s a character. He likes to talk. Some days, I would come home and he would be hitting golf balls while he was on (his route) – because we lived right next to the golf course – he would be hitting golf balls on the par 3 there."
Riley was generally soft-spoken, but from everything scouts say about him, his play is anything but. Sounds like his mailman inspired him after all.
“He kept on telling me about all of the old players and stuff. He’s a character.”
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