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Notes: Penei Sewell disappointed in his own performance at left tackle

Already a leader in just his third year, Sewell says there’s a lot to clean up—starting with himself.

Seattle Seahawks v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It’s never a good thing when a player is out on injury, but as the saying goes, it’s next man up.

That next man up was Penei Sewell on Sunday, who stepped in at left tackle against the Seattle Seahawks while veteran Taylor Decker was sidelined with an ankle injury. It’s not uncommon for linemen to practice versatility, but this was the first time Sewell had flipped from right tackle to left since 2021. As the Lions still lick their wounds from a 37-31 loss at home in overtime, he reflected on his performance—saying it just didn’t measure up. Only in his third season, he’s already considered a leader in Detroit.

“I didn’t do a good job and I feel like it starts with an example so I gotta be better there, clean it up,” Sewell said during media availability on Monday.

He said it came down to technical things, blocks he should’ve made. When it comes to performing at the highest level, switching positions shouldn’t matter.

“For my mind, it doesn’t change. It’s not an excuse. Coach depends on me, this team depends on me, so there’s no difference,” Sewell said. “When it comes to what I need to work on—just attention to details. I’m like a yard away from making an important block, and I got to get off the ball faster, or stay on the block with Jonah (Jackson) more, or just communication.”

While he put in a little bit of work at the position in the offseason, he said there’s still a lot he needs to work on, including his hands, his feet, and pre-snap reads. As for the team as a whole, this loss may serve as a reminder to stay focused amid all the recent hype.

“(It) definitely humbles you. I hope the guys come in with that same mindset of where we were a year ago. It’s different now. There’s too many people riding the wave, there’s too many people talking,” Sewell said. “For myself, that never bothers me. No offense to y’all, but I really don’t give a damn what y’all say. So, I think the team’s got to humble back, go back to the drawing board and it’s just us, us against everybody.”

One thing is for certain — these Lions appreciated their fans on Sunday. Crowd noise reached epic levels in Ford Field. Sewell hopes this week’s disappointment won’t impact future support.

“We need that every time. Every time,” he said.

And onto the rest of your notes.

  • The loss was brutal, but not much of it—save for a devastating pick six—was on Jared Goff. A to Z Sports’ Mike Payton explains why the Lions need to pay the man.

  • Meanwhile, arguably a sizable portion of the loss was on the defense. Lions Wire’s Jeff Risdon explains Aaron Glenn and his defense may be on the hot seat.

  • In case you missed it, Barry Sanders’ statue was unveiled on Saturday. His posts about it were so sweet. Well deserved.

  • The Detroit Free Press’ Jeff Seidel explains how the Lions overtime loss revealed something concerning. ($)

  • Also for The Detroit Free Press, Mitch Albom says the Lions won a game they shouldn’t have, then lost a game they shouldn’t have. How will they respond? ($)

  • HBD, Billy Sims!!

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.