Penei Sewell had a learning experience with the Detroit Lions on Friday night, as he was welcomed into the NFL in a big way with some major pressure right off the bat.
Sewell was under pressure from the start, and while he lost a few reps, he also won some, pointing to a decent opening statement by the rookie in spite of what some internet trolls were trying to proclaim in the aftermath of Detroit’s 16-15 defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills.
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According to Sewell, however, he was able to put any of the potential struggles he had in the rear-view mirror quickly thanks to his training. Speaking to the media after practice on Monday, August 16, Sewell was asked about how he is able to move on quickly.
“It kind of goes to the mentality I’ve kind of picked up over the years, which is the next play. Because at the end of the day, I can’t really change what just happened, what happened in the past. Just have to focus on what’s next and go from there,” he explained.
As for what does come next, Sewell believes he will be ready for the speed of the game after being introduced to it during last week’s contest.
“Now that I got that first game under my belt already, all the nerves are kind of settled down a little bit more. I can go out there, know what to expect somewhat, and just go out there, have fun and play fast.”
Perhaps as much as anything else technical, nerves may have played a big role for the Detroit tackle early in his first game. Even in spite of that, Sewell is mature enough to know that he can only move on and keep working, no matter the results on the field.
Penei Sewell Already Focused on Improvement for Lions
Sewell has wasted no time turning the page, and already has a good answer as it relates to what he thinks he must change to improve on the field. After being asked about that on Monday, Sewell provided a very honest and insightful answer which shows he is well aware of what must come next on the field for his own development in the league.
“Going into game two, I got to get my hands right. Right now, they are way too wide, especially going against the people in the league now. So I just got to lock in on that. Fine tune on my pad-level too, get my knee bend back and just those two things I think will separate myself,” Sewell explained.
After a rocky early start, Sewell seemed to steady himself in real-time during the game, so for him to be doing homework on what must change is certainly interesting. It shows the professionalism the young lineman brings to the table. Teammates have lauded Sewell for being very pro ready, and this shows why that is.
Dan Campbell Lauded Sewell’s Development
While Sewell struggled early and rebounded for what most consider to be a so-so debut leading some to unjustly panic, Campbell had a lot to say about his rookie offensive tackle before practice on Monday, August 16, and everything was positive as it relates to where he is trending early in his career.
Speaking with the media before the Monday practice, Campbell was asked what he likes about Sewell thus far early in his career. As he told everyone, he sees Sewell as the kind of player who can adapt and overcome quickly, as he’s seen him do that during practice already.
“I think just his ability to adjust, it really shows up. The way he’s grown. There’s things he gets beat on the day before and man, it’s not happening the next day or the next rep,” Campbell said. “Just to be able to go out there and face a new opponent like the other day. He didn’t throw his hand like he had been and you see him the next rep and he does it. I just think he’s a really good athlete, he’s got the right mindset. He’s all business. He’s aggressive, but he’s also able to adapt quickly, especially for a rookie. Because he has the talent and the want to and the knowledge to work at it and everything, he is able to adjust quickly, which is a good thing.”
Obviously, it isn’t reasonable to think the coach would throw his player under the bus, but in spite of that, this quote shows that Campbell has seen some major resilience out of Sewell already in his young career. As he continues to see things, remain dedicated to his craft and work hard, improvement will most likely come. That seems to be what Campbell believes at this point in time.
When he spoke, some of that same maturity showed out of Sewell himself. That could be a positive development for his future.