Lions Defender Not Content With Team’s Average Record, Hungry for More

Jeff Okudah

Getty Jeff Okudah on the field for the Lions vs. the Vikings in 2022.

As the 2022 season has pushed on, the Detroit Lions have built some momentum and caught fire. Many see them as having turned over a new leaf completely with how they have won games.

That’s not how cornerback Jeff Okudah sees things at all. Okudah might be happy with the progress of his team in the short-term, but the reality as it relates to him? The Lions aren’t satisfied to be where they’re at, and are searching for more greatness.

Speaking with ESPN’s Eric Woodyard, Okudah shared his assessment of the Lions right now. As he said, while it might be nice to change the narrative of the team being chokers, the work is far from done and the roster wants to be better than just average in the future.

“Lions CB Jeff Okudah to ESPN on changing ‘Same Old Lions’ narrative: “It feels good to change that narrative but at the end of the day, I don’t think anybody came out here to be .500. We want to see how far this thing can really go,” Woodward revealed in a tweet.

That’s a great mindset for a young player and a young team to have. Many in Detroit are thrilled to see the .500 mark given where the seasons have trended for the team in recent years. While the fans might be satisfied, it’s good to hear the team is not.

This year, the Lions are in position to finish off an impressive late-season run and end with a winning record. Considering where they were in 2021, that is major progress, but not the end of the line in terms of goals whatsoever.

It will certainly to be fun to see how far the Lions can push things, both down the stretch in 2022 and come the 2023 season.

Taylor Decker Thinks ‘SOL’ Dead

Okudah isn’t the only one who has a lot to say about the “same old Lions” mindset and where the team is going in the future. Taylor Decker has also been clear on his opinion on matters.

Recently, on the heels of Detroit’s close defeat on Thanksgiving Day, Decker took to the media following the game to make a pretty bold statement. As he said, the team’s “SOL” mantra is dead.

“This isn’t the f***** same old Lions anymore. We’re going to go out there and get our respect and we’re going to earn that respect,” Decker told the media as tweeted by CBS Sports.

It’s clear that Decker has a major passion to see a winning team in Detroit, and is working hard to get the Lions there. He has stuck around the city and wants to see things through, which is fantastic.

Certainly, given Detroit’s 4-0 record after that game, Decker could be right. Same old Lions might be dead and buried after all. The same old Lions would have found a way to stumble down the stretch after a tough loss. This team has not.

What Next Step Looks Like for Lions

In terms of where the team goes from this point in time, it’s clear that finding a way to make the playoffs consistently, win playoff games and challenge for the division title are next up for the Lions.

If the 2022 season proves that the team can kick some of their old habits which it certainly looks like it has, then perhaps the rest of the way the Lions can continue to earn their respect by clawing into the playoffs as well as seeing what happens if they do.

No matter how the season ends, the 2023 year should be a major one for the Lions. In 2021, the team laid the groundwork for the resurgence they have experienced this season with some late victories. This year, the groundwork might be getting put down as it relates to a plan for long-term contention and possible viability as a Super Bowl contender.

Starting in 2023, the Lions should be serious playoff contenders and in the division conversation as their roster gains more depth and experience. It’s not unheard of to think of that progression as the goal, especially after how 2022 has gone.

Okudah and his teammates would likely consider this the ideal progression for a team that seems primed for a major leap in short-order.

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