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Entering third season, Penei Sewell embraces leadership role

Jared Goff is coming off his best season in the NFL, which leads Chris Simms to tell Ahmed Fareed why he has more talent than he gets credit for and deserves to be No. 17 on the Top 40 QB Countdown.

He’s still only 22, and he has played only two NFL seasons. But Lions tackle Penei Sewell is ready to become a leader.

He started to embrace the responsibility last season, specifically in a Week 13 win over the Jaguars. He became vocal, and his teammates responded.

Now, Sewell is focusing on providing leadership away from the playing field.

“I think it definitely starts in the locker room,” Sewell said, via Tim Twentyman of the team’s official website. “That’s where we spend the most of our time with each other and get away from football and actually learn about the human being across from you that you’re going to war with. I think it starts there.”

Sewell, as Twentyman notes, was on the field for 100 percent of the team’s offensive snaps last season. And the season nearly resulted in a playoff berth.

This year, the bar is higher. And Sewell understands it.

“Definitely off the bat expectations are way higher than last year,” Sewell said. “We’re coming out with different intent and different purpose than we were here last year. Attention to detail has to go up. Room for error shortens a lot.”

It’s odd for the Lions to carry such high hopes when this version of the team has not been to the postseason -- and when the team hasn’t won a playoff game since the 1991 season. But the Lions, thanks to a robust slate of high-profile games, are in the spotlight this year.

Whether they remain there depends on what they do while in it.