The Detroit Lions are desperate for a winner. They haven’t finished above .500 since 2017. They haven’t been to the playoffs since 2016, and they haven’t won a playoff game in a staggering 31 years. A new regime brings some hope, as do draft picks like #2 overall selection Adian Hutchinson.
Pressure is nothing new for Hutchinson. He was the leader of Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines defense, and has been a consensus top pick since the draft process began months ago. When he spoke with SB Nation last week, Hutchinson shared a lesson he learned about dealing with high expectations.
“I think social media can be a very toxic thing. It’s something that I had to realize this past year. My senior year, being, ‘The Guy’ on a football team. You slip up one time…No matter how good you are, you’re going to get exposed. That’s something that I really had to get away from. I think I started to realize I was validating myself based on other people’s opinions. I had to realize that I could only have myself in this process. Only my beliefs about my own ability are the things that will drive me to success – not what other people think about me.”
Hutchinson spoke with SB Nation while promoting his partnership with Courtyard by Marriott. They hosted an event the night before the draft also featuring Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford – no stranger to high expectations in Detroit himself after being the top overall draft pick there in 2009. The two swapped some football stories and gave away VIP tickets to the draft.
As far as what’s to come this season? Hutchinson told the Lions’ press corps Thursday night that he isn’t focused on the outcome as much as he is the process. “I am going to be focused on the every day grind and just getting better as a player to help the team…I have these beliefs about myself and I don’t really give a crap about what you say about me.”