When the Detroit Lions drafted Logan Stenberg in 2020, many felt as if he would take a huge step towards starting on the team’s offensive line immediately like fellow rookie Jonah Jackson did.
That didn’t happen, and 2020 essentially became a redshirt year for Stenberg while his classmate Jackson excelled and was an immediate starter. Most weeks, Stenberg sat on the sidelines as a healthy scratch, not able to play in games, but forced to continue trying to learn on the job and improve even as he was not seeing any game reps.
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Speaking with the media after practice on Monday, August 16 in an interview posted to DetroitLions.com, Stenberg admitted that the start to his career wasn’t anything that he expected, and that was something that happened which he had to learn from quickly.
“I came in, strapped my boots up and was ready to go. It worked out the way I did. Obiouvsly, I didn’t play much at all, so it was just how it worked out,” Stenberg told the media.
Even though this would prove to be a good lesson for Stenberg, it didn’t sit well with him in the meantime, and served as some motivation for him to improve for the future and make a better case to play.
“Honestly, it pissed me off. I think I’m a good player, I like to play. I don’t play football for the money or anything, I enjoy being out here. Not being able to do that for an entire year was hard, but it taught me to work harder,” Stenberg said.
Now, he’s been applying those lessons in trying to become a more well-rounded player for his team. As for his focus now, it’s been about finding s way to improve his technique in meaningful ways so that he cannot be left off the field.
“It’s all just pass protection I feel like. Keeping your head out of it, playing with your hands and not your body. I’m used to going and getting on people right now and at this level with all the games they play on the defensive line you do that, you’re going to get picked and someone is getting carted off the field. So it’s all about playing with your hands and keeping your head back. I had to learn that early on, and I’m coming around to it,” Stenberg said.
Using the past as a motivator, Stenberg sounds like the kind of man who wants to make sure he leaves nothing on the field as it relates to his quest to improve and play a bigger role for the Lions.
Dan Campbell ‘Encouraged’ With Logan Stenberg’s Improvement
One person who seems to be pleased with what he’s seeing out of Stenberg is head coach Dan Campbell. Speaking during his media session on Monday, August 16, Campbell admitted that he is finally beginning to see the improvement translate on the field for the young guard.
“I would say over the last three practices and continuing into the game, it feels like he’s starting to kind of turn the corner a little bit,” Campbell told the media “He’s done some good things. He had a couple of fundamental issues in the game but overall, you feel like this last week, he’s began to grow a little bit. So it’s encouraging. That’s what we need from him. He’s young and learning, but man, to feel like you’re starting to see the improvement is encouraging.”
Even though that might be the case, Stenberg himself didn’t seem like he is satisfied at all, and wants to continue to try and push himself to improve in meaningful ways.
“I feel more confident, but like I said, nowhere near where I need to be. I want to be a great offensive lineman, not somebody who is a backup their entire career. Still working through things like that, and I want to do everything I can to help this team win first and foremost, so that is what I plan on doing this year,” he said.
Stenberg’s College Stats and Highlights
Coming in with the nickname “Mr. Nasty” out of Kentucky, many expected immediate results for Stenberg. Indeed, he was a fourth-round pick of the team, and a player who was a first-team All-ACC selection for his work in 2019 as well as a second-team All-American at guard. In the NFL, Stenberg has only played in 2 games with no starts, and he is looking forward to trying to change that moving forward starting this year.
A look at some of the highlights shows a player that has the type of physical traits that the Lions will like to see.
After a solid preseason debut, the Lions are looking for more good play out of Stenberg, and the lineman is looking to never be in a position to be left on the sidelines for an extended period again if he can help it.