Halapoulivaati Vaitai played a key role for a team that won a Super Bowl, and now, plays a key role for the Detroit Lions up front.
The offensive lineman is seeing things come into focus ahead of the 2022 season, and he likes where his team is trending. That’s been proven so much so that Vaitai feels confident setting some major goals for his group.
Talking to the media after practice on Thursday, August 4, Vaitai pulled no punches when talking about what he hopes for his position group. As he said, the goal is to be the best line in the NFL, and help the Lions have the best ground attack.
“Obviously our goal is to be (the) top offensive line. I feel like our goal is to be the top rushing (team) in the league. That’s our goal, and then be the best offensive line protecting. That’s our goal. The rest will take care of itself if we protect or run,” Vaitai revealed.
The reason for such a goal? As Vaitai explained, the lineman all have high standards for themselves and are pulling in the right direction.
“Our standard is really high as a unit. We want to be perfect so we can give Jared (Goff) some time to make his read, some checks,” he said. “Frank (Ragnow) does a really good job of of identifying the defense for us and helping us get in the right positions. So it’s really good. I feel like we’re working a lot, communicating with each other. It’s really good.”
To be the best, a team has to think like the best. Already, Vaitai and his line mates seem to have the right approach as it relates to chasing greatness.
Vaitai: Lions Defense Helping Offense Improve
A big way the Lions will get ready for the season is to iron out some of their issues on offense by going against the defense in practice.
So far, Vaitai likes what he has seen from the group as a whole when competing against the defense. As he said, it’s been quality work for the team as they round their new offense into form.
“I mean, it’s really good. A lot of guys are starting to get comfortable with (Ben Johnson’s) offense. We got a great defense to go against and they give us a lot of work so we appreciate that a lot,” he said. “(It) keeps us going, keeps us thinking a lot which is good. That’s what we need as an offense, just a communication with everyone and then putting it all together versus our defense is really good.”
As Vaitai said, he thinks both sides of the ball are working well together so far.
“The defense feeding off of us and we’re feeding off of them. It’s really good chemistry,” he said.
Getting good work with the team’s defense is a big way the Lions can improve toward a new season. An improved unit on that side of the ball should
Lions’ Line Could Have Big Season
Some might find predictions for an elite Detroit line laughable, but it shows the confidence in the team’s front to start the year with good reason.
Detroit has solid tackles in Taylor Decker and Sewell, an elite center in Ragnow, a Pro Bowl guard in Jonah Jackson and a strong bounce-back player in Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Along with depth the team has found in the likes of Evan Brown, Ryan McCollum, Matt Nelson and Tommy Kraemer, there is no reason the team can’t dominate.
Detroit is looking like a line that deep and tough. Not only can they push people around in the run game, but they might be able to give their quarterback an elite pocket in 2022.
It’s likely a major reason Vaitai has such confidence in the team pushing toward 2022.
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