During his time at the University of Michigan, Detroit Lions rookie Aidan Hutchinson had a great deal of success as a stand-up pass rusher. In fact, he was so good that he ended up finishing in second place in the Heisman Trophy voting. Yet, for some reason, the Lions decided that they were going to have Hutchinson start out his NFL career with his hand in the dirt, and other than one solid half against the Washington Commanders, that strategy did not work so well. Now, the Lions have decided to let Hutchinson play how he feels more comfortable and the early returns have been good.
What did Aidan Hutchinson say about his new role with Detroit Lions?
This past Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, the Lions had Aidan Hutchinson in a stand-up position on passing downs and in a three-point stance in rushing down, and it worked.
During the game, Hutchinson had 1.5 sacks as he played his best all-around game of the season. In fact, he looked a lot like the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft should look like.
On Thursday, Hutchinson spoke to reporters and he said that he believes his new role really matches his style of game.
“I think it really matches my style of game and I feel like it really does open me up,” Hutchinson said. “And yeah, obviously having more of that freedom I feel like I can take advantage of it and make the most of it. Yeah, I was feeling really good out there.”
“All the film you watch all week, you’re staring at the wide view but once you get on the field and your hand’s in the dirt, you lose all that and you lose all the information that you were kind of obtaining all week,” Hutchinson said. “And with me I’m a very instinctual player and being able to use that gives me kind of another — it puts me on another level, I feel, just because I’m able to access one more thing in my toolbox.”Via Dave Birkett – Detroit Free Press
Hutchinson's next test will come on Sunday when the Detroit Lions host the Miami Dolphins at Ford Field.
Why it took the Lions nearly two months to figure out how to use Hutchinson the right way may be a bit concerning, but better late than never, right?