Aidan Hutchinson had a nice rookie season, but he has attacked setting the bar higher for himself in his second season.
Aidan Hutchinson was what the Detroit Lions expected, and maybe more, as a rookie last year. He led all rookies with 9.5 sacks and 53 quarterback pressures, won Defensive Rookie of the Month twice, and he even intercepted three passes. Oh, and he also played the second-most snaps of any defensive lineman in the entire league (958) while being double-teamed like an elite edge rusher.
Hutchinson took his turn talking to the media at last Thursday's OTA practice. Via 97.1 The Ticket, he talked about working on his body, including changing his diet, hiring a personal chef and keeping meditation in his daily routine. He showed up for offseason work looking noticeably different physically.
Hutchinson noted the difference from year ago on a very base level. How he feels.
"The difference in how I feel over this year of time, I feel stronger than ever, I feel more mobile than ever," he said. "Having an offseason and just taking my time to focus on some of my body deficiencies, I think it's helped me a ton. I can't wait.""
Aidan Hutchinson is openly setting a high bar for himself in 2023
Via Lions. com, Hutchinson went on to note how he feels his game will improve in his second season.
"Me personally, I feel like I'm just on a completely different level," he said. "Instinctually. My explosiveness. Everywhere on the board I feel like I've taken myself to the next level.""
If there is any issue to note with Hutchinson's rookie season, it would be consistency getting after opposing passers--or finishing the job at least. After a three-sack game against Washington in Week 2, he went without a sack in five of the next six games. Over a 14-game stretch from Week 3-17, he had 4.5 sacks and averaged less than one quarterback hit per game (10).
It sure is something to say Hutchinson's rookie season could have been better than it was. But last year was also a learning and growth year, as he increasingly became a force for the Lions' defense. Now, heading into his second season, he took those lessons and applied them to his offseason regimen. Opposing quarterbacks, beware.