Lions OTAs Check-In: Jameson Williams Speaks, Monty Leaves Early, More
The Detroit Lions stock is at an all-time high (at least, in my lifetime). After winning eight of their final 10 games and narrowly missing the postseason last year, Detroit is riding a strong offseason into some high expectations for 2023 and beyond.
In fact, many have the Lions as the favorites in the NFC North. And even if Detroit doesn’t leapfrog the Vikings, they’ve got a solid chance to snap their postseason drought. But first, Lions head coach Dan Campbell is focused on building his team up this spring. The foundation is in place, but Campbell has to shape this team into winners on the field, and according to Campbell, that starts with getting the chemistry right in practice.
“Right now, everything is about the work, and it will be when we get into training camp,” Campbell said. “We’ve got a brand-new team that we’ve got to build from the ground up again. Yeah, we’ve got a foundation, but yeah, man, we’ve got to get the chemistry right, we’ve got a lot of new faces. And all of that other stuff won’t matter if we don’t put the work back in. So that, to me, is the focus.”
Unfortunately, one of the Lions’ most intriguing talents has been in trouble this offseason. So naturally, it’s been a hot topic during the team’s offseason program.
Jameson Williams Speaks
In an offseason filled with good, Lions’ second-year wide receiver Jameson Williams was among four Lions to get suspended for violating the league’s gambling policy this offseason. Williams will miss the first six games of the 2023 season for placing bets on non-NFL games inside of the Lions facility last season.
“I was sick,” Williams said of his reaction to the news. “I was hurt.”
Williams spoke to reporters for nearly 10 minutes on Thursday and answered every question. Here are some important takeaways:
- Williams said that he wasn’t aware of the NFL’s rule against placing bets inside of a team facility. To be honest, neither did I. So, it’s easy to believe that Williams honestly did not know that he was breaking a rule until it was too late.
- Williams said the he wasn’t aware of the suspension until right before the NFL made the decision public earlier this month.
- Williams said that he isn’t sure where he was at when he placed the bet that resulted in the suspension.
It’s easy to poke fun at the young wide receiver’s mistake, but it seems like he genuinely didn’t know that he was doing something wrong. Similarly to Calvin Ridley, Williams owned his actions. He said he is focused on getting better before his suspension starts in September.
Jameson Williams was taken by the Lions with the No. 12 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Williams was limited to just six games last season due to injury and caught only one pass. However, he’s a player that the Lions are really excited about.
Honestly, in my opinion, the NFL partnering with gambling companies and then using those partners to actively seek out rule violations by players is a cringey look. At a minimum, the NFL and NFLPA need to better educate their payers on what is and isn’t acceptable on the front.
Other Lions OTA Notes
- Lions running back David Montgomery and linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez both left Thursday’s practice with injuries. Montgomery injured his left leg after making a cut in individual drills. He walked off gingerly back to the locker room with a trainer.
- From Lions.com writer Mike O’Har: “Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs run drills made it apparent why the Lions drafted him 12th overall. He can cut back at full speed without slowing down, and he caught passes out of the backfield without breaking stride.”
- Lions DC Aaron Glenn said that the Lions additions to the secondary this offseason are strong fits. “Man, the pieces they brought in really fit us.” According to Glenn, the Lions will use C.J. Gardner in both the nickel and safety.
- Riley Patterson is heading back to Detroit: