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Detroit Lions’ Taylor Decker lets off some steam

Detroit Lions tackle Taylor Decker, left, and guard Jonah Jackson walk to the field before drills at the Lions practice facility on July 28 in Allen Park. (AP file photo)

By DAVE HOGG

Associated Press

DETROIT — Detroit Lions tackle Taylor Decker was glad to have gotten back into an NFL game on Sunday.

That didn’t mean he was in a great mood on Monday, a day after the Lions finally didn’t lose. They moved to 0-8-1 with a 16-16 tie against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Decker missed the first half of the season with a broken hand and was angered by discussions on talk radio and social media that he should be traded or moved away from left tackle.

“Frankly, I feel like the narrative of negativity surrounding my name — all year pretty much — has been (crap), and I don’t think it has been deserved,” he said. “I feel like the people in this building and a lot of the fans appreciate me and what I can do for the team, but the media has been pretty negative to me.”

On Sunday, Decker showed why the Lions intend to keep him and rookie Penei Sewell, who moved from the left side back to right tackle. After struggling all season to move the ball, the Lions rushed for a season-high 229 yards and two touchdowns on a wet, sloppy field in Pittsburgh.

“Our run-game efficiency was outstanding,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said Monday. “I thought Penei looked comfortable on the right side, played fast and played physical. And it is always great to have Taylor Decker back. He stepped in and played pretty well — he was a little rusty, but you could see his presence out there.”

The offensive line didn’t have a perfect day — Jared Goff was sacked four times while only passing for 114 yards — but Decker was happy with his first game playing alongside Sewell.

“I love that kid,” he said of Detroit’s first-round draft pick. “He’s been awesome. There have been games where he’s taken his lumps, but even then, you see flashes of how good he’s going to be. He’s going to be a hell of a player for a long time.”

Detroit Lions tackle Taylor Decker, left, and guard Jonah Jackson walk to the field before drills at the Lions practice facility on July 28 in Allen Park. (AP file photo)