DETROIT – When you have a big event like the Detroit Lions did on Sunday Night Football, you need someone who can put a perfect bow on it.
Yes, they may have missed the playoffs, but you would never know it inside the practice facility Monday (Jan. 9). The mood was cheerful and light. There was a lot of pride as they packed up their stuff to head home and there’s one thing everyone agreed on as good a season as they had this year, they expect next season to be an even better one.
Offensive lineman Penei Sewell says the Lions’ future looks bright.
“It’s as bright as the sun,” said Sewell. “I believe that with all my heart.”
Head coach Dan Campbell shared the same sentiment.
“You have to meet a certain type of criteria to be here, and we don’t just strictly look at talent, you know, and our guys have created that culture, you know, they’ve embraced it, and it’s part of who we are, and that’s why we’ll always compete,” said Campbell.
Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown embodied a decidedly new Lions attitude.
“I think for us, just continue to work because that’s kind of the guys we are in this building, this locker room,” said St. Brown. “We’re hard workers. We never shy away.”
Rookie defensive end James Houston came out of nowhere for a spectacular season.
“The team, I know we’re going to continue to do better,” said Houston. “We’re going to continue to strive to do better. I feel like we set a standard for ourselves, and we can’t let ourselves go below that.”
Quarterback Jared Goff told Local 4 that the sky is the limit.
“The sky is the limit for this group, and I think Dan (Campbell) said it best recently when he said the core of this team, the culture we built, is something that can stand the test of time and won’t change, but expectations will.”
“I just can’t wait for next season,” Sewell said. “This season was cut too short, and I feel like there is way more on the table we can get. We’re going to come next year without a doubt.”
Local 4 spoke with running back Jamaal Williams, who broke Barry Sanders’ touchdown record, ran for 1,000 yards, and got the game ball Sunday night. He was equally excited about the team’s future and the newly built culture.
Walliams said he didn’t want to talk about business because, let’s face it, as he wrapped up his two-year contract, he was about to make a lot of money. He says he’d like it to be with the Lions, but we’ll have to wait and see.