Penei Sewell doesn’t know Detroit slang yet. Proof of that is from his Lions introductory press conference Saturday morning. Sewell stepped up to the podium, repeatedly greeting the media by saying “What up” and not following it with “doe.” Despite not knowing Motor City lingo yet, one thing was evident as he spoke.
He is happy to be with the Lions.
In addition to showcasing his excitement, Sewell also displayed humbleness.
During a Friday appearance on The Morning Woodward Show, ex-Lions player TJ Lang heaped a ton of praise on the young rookie. “I think it’s pretty unanimous around the city of Detroit today. “It’s a home run anytime you get a generational talent like that that falls to you at No.7,” said Lang.
“Look, if there were, you know, a couple of these quarterbacks decided to go back for their senior years, I mean, Penei Sewell probably would’ve been the No.1 pick.”
That type of praise from Lang is nothing to take lightly. Lang is a Super Bowl champion and two-time Pro Bowler as an offensive lineman. So it’s safe to surmise he knows a thing or two about playing the position at a high level.
After hearing such praise from a former player, one could expect a young player’s face to be beaming with excitement. Sewell’s case is different. He appreciated the praise, but made one thing clear. It’s not only about what former players think.
He has to do it on the field.
“Man, it’s good [to hear], but at the end of the day, I haven’t played a snap, and I have a lot to prove in this league,” said Sewell.
“There’s a lot of work to be done. And talk like that is appreciated, but it has to go in one ear and out the other. I’m ready to work. I’m ready to prove everything that I need to prove to everyone, and I’m just excited to get on that field with the players.”
Sewell finds himself in rare company after this year’s draft. He is the highest-drafted lineman by the Lions since Lomas Brown. In 1985, the Lions selected Brown with the 6th overall pick. Hopefully for the Lions, like Brown, Penei Sewell will become as special.
And if there’s anybody who believes he will, it’s Dan Campbell.
Before Sewell took the podium, Campbell spoke on his first draft pick as head coach of the Lions.
“This is a dude that is a tough guy, can play nasty, and protect the quarterback,” said Campbell. We knew this guy was the fit.