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Reiff Ready for More Battles in 'Black and Blue Division'

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Riley Reiff has played in 77 career games, including 69 starts at left and right tackle.

More than a third of those games, 27 of them, have come against the gritty NFC North.

Reiff signed with the Vikings on Friday, meaning the former Lions tackle is ready for more battles in one of the nastiest divisions in the NFL.

"I love playing in the Black and Blue Division," Reiff said. "I think it fits me and I'm excited to still be in the division.

"I'm excited to come in here and work hard and be a positive impact on this team," Reiff added. "I can't wait to get to work and I'm excited about this opportunity."

While Reiff will add the Lions to the list of intra-division rivals along with the Packers and Bears, the 28-year-old will see the likes of Everson Griffen, Brian Robison and Danielle Hunter on the practice fields each day instead of twice a year.

"I remember that they're great players," Reiff said. "I'm excited to get to work and battle against each other every day and make each other better."

"The Vikings are a great team. When I was on the other sideline, I always had a lot of respect for them," he added. "It was always going to be a battle," he added. "(They're) tough, smart … it was going to be a fight. Right now I'm glad to be on their side."

The 23rd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Reiff was Detroit's starting left tackle from 2013-2015 before switching to the right side in 2016. He helped the Lions make the playoffs as a Wild Card team with a 9-7 record.

Reiff, a former standout at the University of Iowa, said he's open to playing on either end of the line.

"I'll come in here and do whatever the coaches ask," Reiff said. "I came from a good system at Iowa, and they taught us to be ready at any position.

"I'm willing to play any position they need me to play," Reiff later added.

Reiff's background mirrors that of former Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, who retired on Thursday. Both are from South Dakota and played for the Hawkeyes.

View images of Vikings new T Riley Reiff from his days with the Detroit Lions.

"I've looked up to Chad. He's a great example of hard work and just being a great teammate," said Reiff, who noted Greenway called Thursday to congratulate him about joining the Vikings. "I've got a lot of respect for him.

"I wish he could have played one more year so I could have played with him," Reiff added

Reiff, who has missed three games over the past four seasons since becoming a full-time starter, said he incorporates his rugged South Dakota roots into his game.

"Coming from South Dakota, there's a lot of tough, good people there," Reiff said. "It instilled a lot of values in me, and I think I can bring a lot to the table here in Minnesota."

Reiff will see plenty of the same familiar foes inside the NFC North. So will his family, who will likely make the trek from one state over to watch the Vikings on a regular basis.

Reiff said him mother, Jo, has always been a Vikings fan.

"It's been kind of a hectic last few days," Reiff said. "I'm excited to be up here, that's for sure.

"Being from South Dakota, this was close (to home), and I always watched the Vikings growing up," Reiff said. "They've got a great tradition."

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