After the first week of the preseason, it didn’t look like Aidan Hutchinson needed many pointers for the Detroit Lions, but the youngster is taking all the hints he can get as he transitions to the NFL.
Luckily for Hutchinson, he has a former teammate from Michigan he’s been able to connect with in Kwity Paye. Paye joined the NFL in 2021 a year before Hutchinson, and as a result, has a valuable year of league experience on the rookie defensive lineman.
What did Paye teach Hutchinson as a result when the two got together for joint practice this week? As the Indianapolis Colts lineman revealed, there were a few pointers shared.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, August 18, the duo discussed their relationship and Paye explained that the first punch from the offensive lineman can be an important variable.
“It seems like he’s getting (along) pretty well, but just to acclimate as quickly as possible to this league,” Paye explained. “I was just asking him what type of moves he was going to work this year and what he’s looking for and then from there, just telling him what I learned from last year, my first year in the league. How these offensive linemen punch and then it’s really just all film studying.”
As Paye explained, Huthcinson can learn a lot from some of the subtle details he will see in the league from offensive linemen in terms of stance.
“Just seeing how they set up from their stance, you can really tell before the ball’s even snapped from their back foot vertical setters, jump setters and all that stuff,” he said. “Just the small tips I’ve learned (I) just try to tell him, but Aidan’s a dog. Aidan watches film himself, but (it’s) the the small knowledge I can give to him.”
Small knowledge adds up and becomes big knowledge, especially for a rookie player. To hear that Hutchinson and Paye connected over these details is huge. It could help Hutchinson be even more effective in an important rookie season.
Hutchinson Praised Paye for Leadership
It wasn’t a surprise to see the duo connecting, especially given they had done that at Michigan over the years. As Hutchinson said, he was blessed to be able to learn up close from Paye through the years.
“I think back at Michigan when we were together more, it was seeing him and he was a great leader. Also, you watch the tape. He’s so strong, so physical and so fast out there. Just picking up little things that he does technique-wise, maybe whether that was stance, whether that was get-off, something like that. I was always looking up to Kwity, because he’s really a great guy and then we really always got along,” Hutchinson said.
Now that both are in the NFL, it will be interesting to see if Paye’s tips end up paying dividends for Hutchinson. Having a teammate in the league could prove to be a huge advantage for the rookie.
Hutchinson ‘Antsy’ to Start 2022 Season
In terms of what’s next, it’s easy to see Hutchinson is simply ready to turn things loose on the field. It seems he has gotten Detroit’s defense down pat and simply wants to start his rookie year.
“I’m ready to go. I think I just want to get there. All the preseason, all the camp stuff, it’s good getting better, but man, you just want to get to that Week 1 and get into the season and get going. You’re just getting a little antsy, so yeah, that’s that’s how I feel.”
Obviously, that is how Lions fans feel as well, especially after watching Hutchinson’s big debut in the preseason. The defensive lineman impressed most everyone around the league, and it looks as if he is primed to have a big season as a result.
Just getting to that point is what might be the hardest for Hutchinson and everyone else right now. Naturally, he wants to apply these lessons as soon as possible.