Sunday will mark the official start of the Chicago Bears season and rookie linebacker Noah Sewell’s professional career. But the rookie fifth-round pick is not new to professional football, not when brother Penei Sewell has bookended the Detroit Lions offensive line for the last two seasons.
And eldest brother, Nephi Sewell, an undrafted free agent last season, made his way onto the field for the New Orleans Saints, seeing action in four games.
It’s a football family, to say the least.
“I was the youngest so, I kind of just sat in the front passenger seat while my brothers took the wheel basically, and just showed me the ropes,” Noah said after practice on Thursday. “Kind of just learning from each one and every one of them. Just taking a little bit of parts from their game and just turning it into my own.”
Bears Rookie Noah Sewell Talks His NFL Family
Noah Sewell ‘Hoping’ to Line Up Across From Brother
Of course, Noah has not gone against Penei very often since they play different positions. Penei is also listed as two inches taller and has about 80 pounds on him. Nephi faced both of his brothers while in college, first in 2019 when Penei and Oregon beat Utah 37-15. He then went against Noah in 2021 when Nephi’s Aggies exacted revenge on the Ducks, winning the Pac-12 title game 38-10.
“I never even think about a time when we lined up across from each other,” Noah said about Penei. “I mean, it was probably in high school. But it wasn’t that serious, I guess. We weren’t going full-speed, it was more of a walkthrough.”
The next time though?
“I’m hoping, when that time comes, I can line up across from him, and show him what I got,” Sewell said with a smile.
The Bears and Lions won’t meet this season until Week 11, one week later than their first meeting in 2022. But the brothers could get plenty of chances to line up across from each other with their two teams meeting twice in four weeks, with the second matchup slated for Week 14.
Noah is a backup for now, listed on the depth chart behind Jack Sanborn at strongside linebacker who also impressed as a rookie. But Sewell has impressed since he arrived in the spring and could be hard to keep off the field beyond the rotation snaps he will already receive.
The war of attrition also ravaged the Bears’ defense – including Sanborn – last season.
More Than Football for Sewell Brothers
Sewell said they didn’t do bragging rights in the house – football was something they did, not all they did.
“Yeah, we play football. But we don’t bring it into the house,” he said. “We just leave it out there. When we’re out on the field? Oh, yeah. We’re gonna talk all the talk.”
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Asked what they do to bring them together, Sewell again answered with a smile.
“We’re huge gamers,” he said twice before adding that they also like to get outdoors.
That answer drew a laugh from teammate T.J. Edwards, with Sewell quipping, “You ain’t no gamer, bro”.
The Sewell’s are a football family, to be sure. They just aren’t defined by it, even if three of them are currently in the NFL, one of whom is helping to kick off the 2023 NFL season with Detroit visiting the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.