Jun 10

Most Run Stops by a #Lions defender by season since 2017: 2020: DI John Penisini - 20 (T-4th among Rookies)


Jun 11

Most Defensive Snaps played by Rookie DI in 2020:

  1. CAR Derrick Brown (No. 7 pick) - 742
  2. DET John Penisini (No. 197 pick) - 576 (most of any interior Lions DL in 2020)
  3. SF Javon Kinlaw (No. 14 pick) - 547
  4. MIA Raekwon Davis (56 pick) - 538

The DI room is full of young, promising talent for 2021

My comment:

While it’s unlikely he gets that many snaps in 2021 with Ozzie and McNeill on board, Lions have an experienced backup (unlike past seasons where they’ve relied on the John Atkins or Frank Herron fringe of the roster/practice squad types).


I don’t get the talk among some Lions fans that he might not make the team. Showed a lot of promise as a rookie.

I think he probably makes the team but he’s in a battle for sure. Not a ton of positional flexibility which hurts his case IMO.

I LOVE that Holmes drafted Alim and I LOVE that we have Penisini still. Having two nose tackles is VERY important. We can even line them up together in short-yardage situations. Depth is critical there and we have two viable nose tackle guys now and then guys that can flex over when necessary. That is really smart to get a guy who can help Penisini play that role. It also means Alim has competition for that role. It will not be handed to him. Alim might end up the back up in 2021 and that is also fine.

I agree with Free that relying on unproven young undrafted guys is just not wise. Now we have Penisini who is in his 2nd season and now Alim who is a better athlete but still plays nose. That is smart.


Depth is super important. And I thought Penisini was a plus run defender for a 6th round pick. With both Alim and Penisini on board now, if one were to go down with a high ankle sprain let’s say, the run defense and short yardage won’t automatically implode.

Without that kind of depth you’d likely see a massive drop off over a 3-5 game span with the D getting gouged due to necessary scheme adjustments or playing guys out of position which might lead to 3-4 losses that otherwise may have been 3-4 wins with the right depth.

My point being is that this sort of roster building foresight is often underrated and can turn out to be the difference between a playoff run or another top 10 pick.


McNeil is the rare NT that can create pressure from the inside, however, predraft many believed a better position for him was as a 3T. He is quick twitch, has power, flexibility and a good motor. I don’t expect he and Penisini to play a ton of snaps together, but I do think we’ll see them on the same line situationally.


Onwu and McNeill are obviously going to get a lot of playing time, hopefully through earning it.

But I still expect Penisini to come up bigger, and get inserted in there often.

And I believe you’ll see some of these guys rotating to the edge of the line.


I remember thinking the same thing when I first got married.


Yep, me too!

Despite the temptation Penisini needs to be kept in one gap. When Penisini is responsible for multiple gaps it never works out. In football terms this is called gap infidelity.

Sometimes it’s not just filling the gap, it’s the effort put in to filling the gap that really makes the difference.

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Think this comes down to identifying the proper gap to fill at the appropriate time. Timing is essential. Additionally, when responsible for 2 gaps the importance of maintaining gap fluidity must not be underestimated.

So to summarize, the ability to fill, consistent effort, proper gap identification, timing of the fill and maintaining gap fluidity will all be key to a successful Penisini outcome.

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John Penisini

Penei Sewell

Beavis And Butthead 90S Tv GIF


But consistent playing time is crucial for his development.

If Penisini is constantly in and out, is it really gonna come?


I’m tired of the flaccid run stuffing

Oh it will come, it will come. I think the bigger question is stamina. For him to last, I think you have to pull Penisini out, rest for a few, then stuff him back in. The in and out is the way to play with Penisini.

Akeem Hicks will be a free agent after next year. He went to Regina. Seems like the perfect complement.

He should play with corrugated shoulder pads so he’s ribbed for the opposing offensive lines pleasure.

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I think that we keep 2 true NT’s. Those would be McNeill and Penisini. I know Onwuzurike played the 0 at Washington, and he “can” play it in a pinch if necessary, but we are going to need him rushing the passer. Brockers can do it, but again we’ll need him more at the 5t. If McNeill goes down Penisini is really the main guy who would be the most like him. I think we are going to be heavy on Dlineman anyway just because we are going to do lots of different looks and need those different guys to do it.

Williams is the guy IMO who’s really on the bubble. I know he restructured, and perhaps he can look better in this system (who wouldn’t compared to the MP garbage), but Onwuzurike just stole his cheese big time. I think they stick with Hand over Williams due to youth, upside and contract size.

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Well… we all know he will almost certainly be asked to pound the “A” gap… doing the dirty work.