Lions OT Penei Sewell explained that it’s “not that easy” converting to right tackle after playing on the opposite end his entire college career.
“It is not that easy,” Sewell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “Man, it’s a whole different feel. Again, it’s like, let’s say I’m right-handed so I’ve been writing right-handed my whole life, and then one day you’re just asked to write your full name left-handed at full speed, the same speed that you write with your right hand. So yeah, it’s a little bit of an adjustment.”
Sewell pointed out that he was an All-American at right tackle back in high school.
“I love the challenge and it’s something that I’m looking forward to,” said Sewell. “It takes me back to my high school days and looking forward to grow in that position.”
Lions HC Dan Campbell believes Sewell spending time alongside the rest of Detroit’s offensive line will help him adjust to right tackle.
“To be able to hear Frank and his calls, where we’re mike-ing, where we’re going to. Is Frank [Ragnow] working my way? Is he not? Does the guard got me? I think those things are huge,” Campbell said. “I think more than any other group, I think the faster your offensive line can learn to mesh with each other and work together, I think you’re able to solve a lot more problems that much quicker. I think it’s big. To be able to work together and do fundamentals is huge for those guys up front.”
“That’s not a part of our friendship. We just leave that to the businessmen,” Tonyan said, via NFL.com. “Aaron’s been the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers for 16 years. I’ve been the tight end for four years. I think that’s above my pay grade. I don’t want to talk for him and all that stuff. That’s just a business thing. I’m just going to continue to get better and play tight end for the Green Bay Packers. If, when, or whatever happens and Aaron comes back, I’m ready, and there’s no gray area with me. I’m ready to hit the ground running and win a Super Bowl whenever he’s back.”
Tonyan notes that both he and Rodgers have shown professionalism and a desire to win that has been on display since the first day the pair met.
“With any teammate who’s important to you, whoever’s important to you, you want him there,” Tonyan said. “You’re not thinking about the whole situation and the whole process. I think we’re just missing our teammate. From Day 1, he saw how hungry I was. I just want to be great. I’ve always wanted to be great. I don’t want to be middle of the pack. I don’t ever want to be sugarcoated with coaching or a coaching point or change to my game. I just want to be told straight up what I can get better at, or if that was good enough. For him to know how coachable I am and how great I want to be, he’s just always been on me and never let me stoop below that mentality. He’s always been with me from day 1, and obviously, the friendship off the field keeps growing where you can see him getting after me on the field, but that’s just the competitive nature of both of us. He wants me to be there for him and I want to be there for him on the field.”
After sustaining an injury that limited him to only 94 defensive snaps, veteran LB Anthony Barr took a pay cut to remain with the team, citing his desire to end his time in Minnesota on a positive note, whenever that may be.
“I kind of didn’t want to go out like that,” Barr told reporters via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “I didn’t want my last game being the one in which I got hurt and then missing an entire year. I didn’t want that to be my last memory as a Minnesota Viking, so that played a big factor in returning and taking the pay cut to be back.”
- Barr restructured his contract, dropping his salary from $12.9 million to $10 million, while also voiding the final two years of his deal. Barr will now be a free agent in 2022.