Detroit Lions offensive lineman Penei Sewell has had a few inconsistent weeks on the field after a solid early start to the season, but the player seems to have a good handle on why that is happening.
Sewell has seemed to grasp that he can’t force things and will be going through the usual peaks and valleys as a rookie in the league. As he talks about what has played out so far, it’s becoming clear Sewell has a good head on his shoulders.
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Speaking to the media on Friday, October 15 in an interview posted to DetroitLions.com, Sewell was asked where he thinks he needs to improve. As he said, he simply thinks he has to stay patient and know when to perhaps dial things back a bit on the field.
“The number one thing for me is patience. I gotta stay patient,” Sewell explained. “Right now I guess I am trying to be aggressive as much as possible and that gets me in trouble at times. I just gotta let the game come to me.
“Again, it’s a different game in this league. In college, I try to take it over, I try to do everything possible and be as aggressive as possible. I just got to sit back, relax, stay patient on everything and let the game come to me.”
Patience is important for any rookie player, but it seems extra vital for Sewell given he is making this admission already.
Dan Campbell Explains Sewell’s Rough Stretch for Lions
Without Taylor Decker, the Lions have had to rely on Sewell on the left side. The rookie has been solid, but in the last few weeks, he’s struggled.
Against Minnesota, Sewell gave up a pair of important sacks to Everson Griffen to help in stalling a couple of Lions drives, and as a whole, the sample size suddenly has not looked great for the young tackle, especially after a tough Week 4 in Chicago.
Campbell explained that Sewell has still been learning on the job and dealing with different rushers, but he could still use a bit of help from the coaching staff to get over this rough patch. During a press conference on with the media on Monday, October 11, Campbell admitted that he was optimistic that the team will get Decker back on the field, and there was hope to see him on the practice field Wednesday coming off injury.
“I think, when he got in that game early he was getting out of his stance so fast that he was oversetting. Look Griffin, he’s still got plenty of curve balls left,” Campbell said. “He may not be able to play 60 plays a game, but for the 20 he goes in there, he’s got some rush ability and he’s a different type of rusher and he’s low to the ground. He’s totally different than what (Robert) Quinn was last week.
“So I go back to, every one of these looks he gets he’s going to be better for. Now, he’s got to be able to adjust a lot faster that he did in that game. It took him a while and then he thought he had him and then he got beat. I do think we got to do some things to help him just a little bit to get him going again. I do think he’ll learn and be good for it.”
As Campbell said, Sewell has a winning mindset which proves to him that he will continue to be on the right track as a pro.
“I could tell last week I knew he wanted to play because he wanted redemption. That’s the way he’s built and I love him for it,” Campbell said. “He was mad. And I know he’ll be mad about this, and if you talk about giving him help he will be pissed about that, ‘I don’t need help.’ But I do think we need to settle him back in. We’ll get him going here but I love the way he’s built and he will, he’ll be better for it.”
Sewell’s learning process will undoubtedly help him adjust on the field in the long run as it continues to play out.
Sewell Feeling Humbled With NFL Experience
So far, what has Sewell found out when playing in the NFL? As he said, it’s been a challenge and a major humbling experience for him to endure considering the ups and downs. Overall, though, he has a plan to keep his head above water, and it revolves around learning and trying to apply lessons from others.
“I think it’s humbling to be honest,” Sewell said. “When you’re young and I guess faced with so much success and everybody keeps telling you this and that and you get hit by a wall, it’s humbling. There’s no other way I waned to take it. I am learning each and every way possible trying to get advice from (Taylor Decker) or anybody else in the league too, like tackles from other teams. Just trying to get better at that, and just again, focus on the goal.”
As Sewell said, he praises Halapoulivaati Vaitai for helping keep him grounded on his own roster as well. Between leaning on some veterans and learning from experience, the Detroit rookie has a chance to continue to apply lessons moving forward. Credit him for understanding what he has to improve already.
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