Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson just finished his rookie season and has plenty to be proud of. He may have come just short in winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, but he was named Pepsi Rookie of the Year, broke plenty of franchise records along the way, and helped orchestrate a big second-half turnaround for a Lions team whose future now seems incredibly bright.
That season was capped off by an emotional win over the Green Bay Packers. While the game meant little in standings for the Lions, they were able to prevent the Packers from heading into the playoffs. For fans, it very much felt like a statement game and a potentially pivotal win that could change the direction of the franchise.
On Friday afternoon ahead of the Super Bowl, Hutchinson was nice enough to grant us a 10-minute interview over zoom. So we asked him if the team felt that same “franchise-defining moment” after the win.
“It felt like it, man,” Hutchinson explained. “It’s an in-division rival, it’s ‘Sunday Night Football,’ it’s my last game of my rookie year, dude. I don’t care, I’m going all out, dude. That was my mentality, and I think that was everybody’s mentality.”
Hutchinson also mentioned that the team was helped out by a little motivation from the other side of the field.
“Aaron (Rodgers) helped us get a lot of sound bites this year from a lot of little jabs he was poking at us,” Hutchinson explained.
Check out the rest of our interview below. It’s just a 10-minute spot but we covered a lot. Here are the other topics we discussed:
- Winning Pepsi Rookie of the Year
- What’s next for Year 2?
- Aidan’s favorite play from his rookie season
- Toughest offensive lineman he faced in Year 1
- Which coach pushed him the hardest
- Jamaal Williams getting him into anime
- Did he get into a friendly sack competition with James Houston?
- Why he didn’t do any jersey swaps in his rookie season
You can listen to the entire interview below, or watch the discussion on our YouTube and Twitch pages.