Detroit Lions ‘Wanted To Build Around A Guy’ Like Penei Sewell

Jul 28, 2023, 6:55 PM


Penei Sewell #58 of the Detroit Lions in action against the New York Jets during the first half of the game at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell praised former Desert Hills standout Penei Sewell as a player his team “wanted to build around.”

Campbell spoke about his star offensive tackle during the final day of the opening week of training camp on Friday, July 28.

“I can’t say enough great things about Sewell. I mean, there’s a reason why he was the first pick we had two years ago because we wanted to build around a guy like him,” Campbell said of the former Oregon Duck. “He’s our foundation, man.”

Campbell continued by calling Sewell a “man on a mission” and someone who’s “wired right.”

“He’s one of those pillars that we talk about, but I mean, he’s something else. He’s a man on a mission,” the Lions coach added. “I feel like we’re a team on a mission, but he is a man on a mission. And you talk about being wired right, a guy that comes in every day, puts in the work, and he’s got so much ability, but he’s got the right attitude too and I think that’s what makes him dangerous.”

Later in the day, Sewell was interviewed by the media and was asked to address Campbell’s comments, specifically about him being a “man on a mission.”

“I mean, I think it’s exactly what he said, to be honest,” Sewell answered. “I set high goals for me and I have high expectations for myself and he knows that, the team knows that, and I just strive to work at that each and every day.”

Last season, the Lions fell short of the postseason with a 9-8 record in the regular season. Sewell and the Lions intend on taking another step in 2023.

That journey begins when Detroit opens its preseason schedule at home against the New York Giants on Friday, August 11 at 5 p.m. (MDT).

The Lions begin their regular season on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, September 7 at 6:20 p.m. (MDT) on KSL 5 TV.

About Penei Sewell

Before his time in college and the NFL, Sewell was a star player for the Desert Hills Thunder in St. George, Utah. As a senior in high school, Sewell participated in the All-American Bowl and Polynesian Bowl.

247Sports rated Sewell as the No. 1 prospect in the state of Utah for the 2018 class. Following his high school career, Sewell chose to play football for the Oregon Ducks.

As a freshman in 2018, Sewell was an immediate starter for the Ducks. He played in seven contests during his first season in Eugene, Oregon. In 2019, Sewell played in 14 games and helped Oregon win the Pac-12 Championship. He also helped the Ducks win the Rose Bowl Game against Wisconsin.

Sewell was honored with the Outland Trophy for his outstanding play as a sophomore. The Outland Trophy is presented annually to the best interior lineman in college football.

Rather than play in 2020, Sewell opted out of playing as a junior amid the coronavirus pandemic. During the year off, Sewell prepared for the 2021 NFL Draft. The Lions selected Sewell with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

RELATED: Detroit Lions Remember Exciting Moment Before Drafting Penei Sewell

Since then, the former Desert Hills standout has risen to be one of the top offensive tackles in the NFL.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl), and Threads (@kyleirelandksl).

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Detroit Lions ‘Wanted To Build Around A Guy’ Like Penei Sewell