While I absolutely loved every second of “Hard Knocks” this season, I felt one of a few missed opportunities from the NFL Films crew was covering the Detroit Lions’ offensive line. Not only is that offensive line—which features three first-round picks—a microcosm of the team’s entire identity, but it also features some of the most interesting, charismatic players on the entire team.
Yet, outside of an extremely brief fishing trip with Frank Ragnow and a clip about him loving Applebee’s that never made it onto the show, the group barely got featured at all. Where was Penei Sewell, who regularly screams his head off in practice? Where was veteran Taylor Decker, who has gone through a lot here in Detroit and still gives it his all every day?
While we may have not gotten an inside look at this group and their unified identity, someone did. Tyler Dunne, the founder of GoLongTD.com, spent some time in Allen Park over the past month and sat down with each of the members of the Lions starting offensive line (minus Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who was fresh off of back surgery).
This week, he dropped a fantastic two-part feature on the group entitled “The Detroit Lions Must Break You.” It features the origin stories of each player, their overall philosophy, and awesome quotes from the players themselves like this one from Sewell:
“And whatever level up to what your violent intentions are? Mine is 100 percent. I’m going to actually put violence against you,” Sewell says. “It’s just in me. Because when I’m in-between the lines, and I see him lining up against me, I take it personal. I make problems that don’t even exist. He’s lining up against me and I’m like, ‘You should not be out here with me.’ Simple things like that. Taking it to a personal level.”
This week, I (virtually) sat down with Dunne to discuss his piece and his own view of these players and the Detroit Lions team-building philosophy. We dig deep into each player—and offensive line coach Hank Fraley—to get to know how this team’s overall identity was formed.
Dunne also tossed an offer just for Lions fans. Subscribe to his site and get a free t-shirt (just reach out to him with proof!).
Listen to the entire episode of our podcast below:
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