The Detroit Lions have signed offensive lineman Max Pircher through the NFL’s International Player Pathway (IPP) program for the 2023 season. This move comes as the Lions continue to seek versatile talent to bolster their acclaimed offensive line.
Max Pircher: From Italy to the NFL
Pircher, born in Italy, built an impressive resume before his entry into the NFL. Starting with Austria’s Swarco Raiders and later the Hildesheim Invaders in Germany, he also proudly represented the Italian National Team. Pircher’s transition to the NFL in 2021 came through the IPP, landing him a spot with the Los Angeles Rams.
Despite Pircher’s release from the Rams after two seasons, he leaves with high praise from NFL veterans like Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein, who commend Pircher’s hunger for growth and adaptability. Additionally, Brad Holmes connection to the Rams organization surely allowed for some additional insight before the Lions made the signing. Standing at 6-foot-7 and 300 pounds, Pircher’s presence coupled with his willingness to learn certainly fits the mold of the players head coach Dan Campbell wants on his team.
Resilience Amid Challenges
The Lions’ offensive line, although already highly regarded, faces potential challenges due to injury concerns surrounding their center, Frank Ragnow. By bringing in Pircher, the team is ensuring they have adequate depth to handle any adversity in the 2023 season. Pircher’s ability to fit seamlessly into various roles is a boon for the Lions, as players like Graham Glasgow may need to step in and cover the center role on short notice.
Pircher’s signing brings the count to 37 athletes who’ve been introduced to the NFL through the IPP since its inception in 2017. The signing of Pircher not only underscores the Lions’ adaptive strategy but also exemplifies the continuous success of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program in integrating global talent into the league.
For more from our Detroit Lions beat writer, Matt Broder, check him out on Twitter here: @mattbro21
Original Photo Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports