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Notes: Penei Sewell becoming a more vocal leader thanks to Jared Goff

The third-year tackle explains the process of stepping into a more vocal role on the offense.

Detroit Lions vs Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At just 22 years old, Penei Sewell is already becoming a leader.

Drafted seventh overall in the 2021 NFL Draft came with a lot of pressure. But he’s fit right in on what is considered to be one of the best offensive lines in the league—and he himself has proven to be one of the best tackles in the league. Now entering his third season, he’s learning how to take on a new role as a leader. He says he started to feel drawn to it toward the end of last season.

“As the season went along I just kind of felt like my body was trying to say something and I didn’t know whether it was to myself, whether it was to a specific person or the whole team. Actually one of the teammates came up to me and was like ‘Man, you gotta talk,’” he said.

That teammate — none other than the man the line is protecting, Jared Goff.

“So I just kind of stepped into that role and just let my heart speak,” he said.

His heart was particularly loud and passionate in Week 13 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he said. Teammates seemed to be on board with it. But it’s not just on the field, becoming a vocal leader also happens in the locker room.

“It’s where we all spend the most time with each other, (to) kinda get away from football and actually learn about the human being across from you that really you’re going to war with,” he said.

This wasn’t a responsibility anyone put on him either, especially not by coaches.

“Dan Campbell just gives us the green light—it’s your team, it’s a player-led team so whoever wants to step up and wherever the team gravitates to the most, we just ride with them,” Sewell said.

Apparently his teammates are riding with him. Following a red-hot streak to end last season that nearly resulted in a trip to the playoffs, Sewell is well aware expectations are much higher in 2023, but he’s ready.

“Sky’s the limit, to be honest,” he said.

And onto the rest of your notes.

  • Coincidentally, Trapasso ranked another Lion seventh among Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates — linebacker Jack Campbell. “He’s going to be a three-down monster on the Lions defense — think 100-plus tackles, a few sacks, a handful of tackles for loss and the occasional splash play in coverage.”

  • Enjoy some photos from Day 5 of OTA practice.

  • Since you guys are so invested in the DeAndre Hopkins saga and the idea of him coming to Detroit — apparently the receiver is looking for a deal on the same level as the one-year contract Odell Beckham Jr. got from the Ravens.

  • Players weigh in on who’s got the NBA Finals in the bag.

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