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Larry Warford’s laid-back style keeps Lions’ OL loose

Grizzled veteran Manny Ramirez recently was lauding the attributes of his fellow Detroit Lions offensive linemen and he had no trouble listing their virtues. Riley Reiff? Very mature, very strong, very passionate about his skill set. Travis Swanson? Very determined to get better. Laken Tomlinson? Smart. Really smart. Then it came to Larry Warford.

"Larry?" Ramirez said as a slow smile crawled across his face. "Larry's a different guy. I've enjoyed it. These past few weeks, he makes me laugh just about every day. The way he sees things and all that stuff and the way he reacts to certain things."

For all the talk about the revamped and rejuvenated, new-look, smarty-pants offensive line, it may be Warford, the young-at-heart, quirky, jovial, guitar-playing, video-game-loving, supremely talented Pro-Bowl-caliber wunderkind of a right guard who keeps the line loose and fresh and humming this season.

For a glimpse of Warford's easygoing personality, you need look no further than his attitude toward the vexing sport of golf. Warford couldn't remember if he needed a left-hand or right-hand golf glove at a recent charity event. And he likes to practice at a place called Topgolf, because it has targets. And beer.

"It's like a bar/driving range," he said. "So it's pretty sweet, man. It's fun. Have a few beers and head out to the range."

Warford's affability and lack of artifice or pretense make him one of the most popular players on the team, and a returning veteran who has played in a Super Bowl can see the value in Warford's presence.

"But you know, that's part of it, just having a good time because this isn't work," Ramirez said. "This is something that we love. We don't view it as work. It's something we have a lot of passion for and just are happy to play with each other."



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Neil S. Schwartz

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