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Big, Athletic OT Jonathan Scott is Ready to Contribute to the Lions Offensive Line

On the Offensive Front
By Chuck Klonke
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- It'll seem like old times the when Lions defensive lineman Cory Redding goes head-to-head with Jonathan Scott for the first time.

"It'll be like the good old days, getting back to the fistfights and everything," said Scott, an offensive tackle from Texas who was Detroit's fifth-round selection in the NFL Draft.

"I know the kind of man Cory is. He's definitely the a person who can uplift the next person to get better."

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Scott established himself as one of the top left tackles in college during his junior year with the Longhorns. Last season, he was a first-team All American selection by several organizations.

Although Scott played mostly left tackle in college, he's willing to play on the right side. He'll even move inside if the Lions decide that he's better suited to play one of the guard positions.

"Whatever they need me to play, I can play," Scott said. "I prefer left tackle because I've been playing it more consistently, but tackle is tackle."

Scott hasn't played anything but tackle since junior high when he was a center, but he isn't adverse to moving inside.

"I wouldn't mind trying," Scott said. "I just like to play offensive line. I don't care what position it is."

Scott feels equally adept at pass blocking and run blocking.

"I think I can do both," he said. "Our offense at Texas was pretty much 50-50."

Lions offensive line coach Larry Beightol was delighted to get a player with Scott's athletic ability in the fifth round.

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"He's a big, athletic guy," Beightol said. "If there's one thing that held him back from going earlier it would his overall body strength. But that's something he can improve on. All he has to do is get in the weight room with good strength coaches like we have here."


Beightol said that Scott would start his pro career as a tackle, although he hasn't decided which side.

"We'll start there because it's the easiest transition for him," Beightol said. "But we'll look at him inside as a guard. He's athletic enough to play any of those spots. He has the feet you look for in an offensive lineman. Although he hasn't done a great deal of pulling but with the athlete he is, he'll be able to adjust to that very quickly."

The focal point of the Longhorns' offense the last two years was quarterback Vince Young, who was drafted third overall by Tennessee.

"It was fun (blocking for Young)," Scott said. "You have to keep blocking until the whistle blows. He's so athletic he allows you to make great plays as well. It trickles throughout the whole team."

Lions quarterbacks Jon Kitna and Josh McCown are a different style quarterback from what Scott is used to but he knows what his main job is going to be.

"You don't want anybody to touch the quarterback," Scott said. "That why the Lions picked me. They don't want their quarterbacks getting dirty."

Scott has been on the winning team in the last two Rose Bowl games. In 2005, Texas defeated Michigan. Last January, the Longhorns beat USC in the national championship game.

"I'd have to say the Michigan game was tougher because it was all new," Scott said. "It was a new environment, somewhere you'd never been before."

Scott already has a degree in communications, and made the school's academic honor roll six times.

Like the Lions' No. 1 selection, linebacker Ernie Sims, Scott comes from a football background. His father, Ray, was selected by the New York Jets in the ninth round of the 1967 NFL Draft and played defensive line for the Jets