For the past week, Detroit Lions players have been getting back to life without football. For some like Penei Sewell, it’s about adjusting to being a first-time dad. For others, it’s likely just a small break before getting back to work.
No matter what their situation is, there has been a common theme among their social media posts over the past week: I can’t wait for next year.
The Lions finished the season on an 8-2 run. Only the San Francisco 49ers (9-0), Kansas City Chiefs (9-1), and Buffalo Bills (8-0) had better records since Week 9, and only those same three teams had a higher DVOA than Detroit since Week 11.
So the optimism certainly seems warranted. The Lions may have just barely missed out on the postseason, but they were playing like a top-five team in the second half of the season, and given their youthful roster, there’s no reason to believe they can’t pick up where they left off in 2023.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best social media posts from Lions players reflecting on the season that was and looking ahead to the 2023 season.
Let’s start with the Lions’ rookie class, one of the best in the NFL this year:
So proud of us. My rookie season is one I’ll never forget. Grateful for this team, my family, and everyone who supported us this season. This is just the beginning of an epic journey. pic.twitter.com/zDOXLj3nWf— Aidan Hutchinson (@aidanhutch97) January 10, 2023
Im a star baby I shine brighter at night #primetimetv pic.twitter.com/shqKbUeLeI— Kerby B. Joseph (@JKERB25) January 10, 2023
Rookie year— Malcolm Rodriguez (@malcolmlrod) January 12, 2023
Detroit, what a ride.
Thank you for embracing a small town cowboy from Oklahoma with open arms and your support through it all. So much more in store for us!#onepride
Until next year…. pic.twitter.com/jD05v6zMha
Rookie Year…— JTH⁴✨ (@Jthouston_4) January 14, 2023
You’ve shown me the lowest and highest parts of this game. From Practice Squad, Depressed,and Thrown Out, To Starter, Overjoyed, and Amazed‼️Through it all I kept my head up and put the work in ! Taking everything they thought I couldn’t have Next Year pic.twitter.com/J95p36P4A5
Now let’s check in on the rest of the team. First, Jared Goff offers his thanks to his teammates and fans, while giving a nod to Jamaal Williams’ Week 18 post-game interview with the hashtag #itsalldog
Jerry Jacobs had a tumultuous year returning from a torn ACL and eventually earning a starting job.
Great Team Win!!! This Season Was Everything For Me ,From Coming Back From An Acl To Having A Winning Season Out I Appreciate Everyone who been in my corner this season Nothing But Love , But Yall Just Got A Lil Taste Of How I’m Coming!!! See You Guys Next Season #OnePride https://t.co/uymZPNVnvR— Jerry Jacobs (@_luhjerry) January 9, 2023
Taylor Decker, who has been very vulnerable and vocal about this year, kept it simple this time around:
Josh Woods has developed into a leader and special teams ace this season.
Helluva Season, Helluva group of guys! This was a special group. Love y’all boys! Love you Detroit! #OnePride— BlackLivesMatter (@allhail_JWoods) January 9, 2023
Tracy Walker sadly had to watch most of the season from the sidelines after tearing his Achilles, but he was still proud to see how the team finished and is excited about the future:
What a great way to end the season. Next year is our year!! #GoLions— Tracy Walker #21 (@TracyWalkerIII) January 9, 2023
Amon-Ra St. Brown’s post-season Instagram post will have you ready to run through a wall. Here’s the caption:
I don’t believe in moral victories… but I know this team is trending in the right direction. The culture is changing for the better in Detroit & I’m just grateful to be apart of it.
I had the time of my life playing for my teammates, my coaches, this city, and the best fans in this league. This is just the start. I promise
‘Till next year #313
Powered by @caneprotein
The pending free agents
Let’s look at some of the free-agents-to-be, and what they thought about their time in Detroit.
We already talked about Cominsky’s social media post, but in case you missed it:
Nothing but RESPECT for the LEGEND @BarrySanders and for everything he has done on and off the field!! Thank you to MY TEAMMATES, especially the protectors of the hidden village of the den for making this a reality. Grateful and forever hungry #1stswaggkazekage #onepride pic.twitter.com/HK7POK5uS5— Jamaal Williams (@jswaggdaddy) January 9, 2023
Man What A Season Year 4 ✅ In The Books. This Year I Had To Show The World That I Belong And I Did Just That I Gave Everything I Had This Season And More. God Definitely Worked His Way With Me This Season He Opened Doors That Was Closed Year 5 Loading……. #96BALLFOREVER pic.twitter.com/tmDaJRJEag— Isaiah D. Buggs (@BigPooh_91) January 10, 2023
Year 6— Best year yet. Not because of the results but because of the journey. Beyond thankful for all of the blessings and lessons this year. Thank you God! @ Detroit, Michigan https://t.co/xgCbp5eUnT— Alex Anzalone (@AlexAnzalone34) January 10, 2023
DeShon Elliott had a crazy year, too. He went from getting benched early in the season to being a critical part of the secondary. Coming from a winning organization like the Ravens, you may think he’d be disappointed with how things finished. Just the opposite:
Love my guys man, this game really gives you a chance to build relationships with people all over the league. Going from Bmore to Detroit, the love the same. A hell of a year maaaaaan !!!— DeShon Elliott (@OfficialShon_4) January 9, 2023
He also had something to say about the controversy in the Rams vs. Seahawks game that kicked the Lions out of the playoffs:
ahhhh somebody throwing them games huh lol https://t.co/HBkbtz93Vq— DeShon Elliott (@OfficialShon_4) January 14, 2023
Finally, there’s linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard:
What a way to finish out the year! I wouldn’t rather have battled this year with any other group. So much respect and admiration for every single player in that locker room! DETROIT the tone is set for the future appreciate you’ll and look forward to what’s ahead!! https://t.co/0Us6HkhTk9— Kelvin Sheppard (@KelvinSheppard) January 9, 2023