“I Don’t Have To Motivate Him When It Comes To Ball” | Former Super Bowl Champion Antwaan Randle-El Tasked With Mentoring Lions Speedster Jameson Williams 

In 2022, the Detroit Lions surprised many, finishing with a 9-8 record, and a head-to-head tiebreak loss to the Seattle Seahawks out of the NFC playoffs.

Few predicted the Lions would have success, and especially not to that level. Behind head coach Dan Campbell — who was unmercifully ridiculed early in his tenure, a reborn quarterback in 2016 No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff and a running game that pounded teams into submission — Detroit football appeared on the cusp of a revival.

The only thing missing was the speed of 2022 first-round pick Jameson Williams, who in his one season at Alabama wowed with his game-changing and game-breaking ability. Williams spent the bulk of the season recovering from a torn ACL suffered in Alabama’s 33-18 loss to Georgia in the national championship game.

When he did return to limited action, he only had one catch for 41 yards and one touchdown. But that just shows the big play ability he possesses, and it’s a dimension the Lions can’t wait to add to their offense. 

Jameson’s Development In Hands Of Antwaan Randle-El

But in order to do that Williams must mature off the field, and that’s where current Lions WR coach and former NFL receiver Antwaan Randle-El comes into play.

Williams, who will miss the first six games of the 2023 season for violating the league’s gambling policy, has to make better choices.

Randle-El, a well-respected former player and now coach will aim to get the most out of Williams, but he’ll have to wait until Week 7 of the season to see him in action. The on-field play doesn’t worry Randle-El though, he’s got faith in Williams learning and maturing, and he discussed that in an interview with Nolan Bianchi of Detroit News.

“I don’t have to motivate him much when it comes to ball. He loves the game and wants to be better and work at it. But the encouragement part with all that’s going on … It’s just, ‘Hey, keep doing what you’re doing, stay at it, in terms of working hard. This is just another stumbling block that, again, you’ll come out stronger on the other side.’

“Those type of things, just encouraging him from that standpoint, he gets it; he understands it; and it will be good for him once we do get back and get going, as it relates into the season and preseason,” Randle-El added.

Lions Counting On Williams To Bring New Dimension To Offense 

With the aforementioned Goff at the helm, the offense also boasts reliable wide receivers in Amon-Ra St. Brown (2022 Pro Bowl pick) and savvy vet Marvin Jones in his second stint in Motown. Williams and another former Alabama star, 2023 first-round pick running back Jahmyr Gibbs, are supposed to bring the speed element to the team’s attack. 

If that happens, the sky is the limit for the Lions in 2023 and beyond. 

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