Darrell Bevell likes Detroit Lions’ new offensive linemen who ‘like to hurt the opponent’

Tribune Content Agency

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell hasn’t been able to see his new additions to the offensive line on the field yet, but from what he has seen from their game film and what he’s learned about them in the offseason, he’s encouraged that the unit’s attitude will be different this season.

The Lions signed free-agent tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai to a five-year, $50-million deal in March. In April, they drafted Ohio State guard Jonah Jackson in the third round and Kentucky guard Logan Stenberg in the fourth round.

All three players are regarded as very good run-blockers, and Bevell thinks they will bring a tougher attitude to the offensive line that could help improve the NFL’s 21st-ranked rushing offense.

“When you look at those guys, with Jonah and with Logan, those guys, I think they bring that mentality,” he said Wednesday during a Zoom chat with reporters. “It’s a lunch-pail, so to speak, type of group. Guys that they kind of like to hurt. They like to hurt the opponent as well.

“It’s really a mentality. All you’ve got to do is turn Logan’s tape on and you can see that in him. And Jonah as well.”

Earlier this month, center Frank Ragnow told reporters there’s one key element to run-blocking.

“Running the ball is all about the toughness,” he said. “It’s the hard work. It’s the dirty work.”

Luckily for the Lions, it sounds like some of their new players don’t mind that kind of dirty work — especially when it comes to Stenberg.

Shortly after he was drafted, one scout called Stenberg the “meanest prick in the draft.” He validated that opinion when he told reporters, “I want to end the guy across from me every play.”

Bevell loves that enthusiasm. But he wants to make sure Stenberg and the rest of his linemen are playing tough but smart.

“I’ve talked to Logan about (how) he kind of goes over the top sometimes,” Bevell said. “I think he had like 14 penalties, so we’ve got to cut that back. But you like that mentality.

“I think that’s kind of what I’m trying to get across, is you really want those tough, nasty grinders because that’s what it is in the run game. It’s a grown-man’s type of game. I’ve always talked about that’s something that we really want to hang our hat on. We weren’t able to do it as well as we wanted to last year. So hopefully some of these additions will be able to help us do that.”


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