Shortly after Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams was reinstated after serving a ridiculous four-game suspension for gambling on non-NFL football games, a buddy of mine made one request for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers at Ford Field.
“I hope they send Jamo deep on the first play of the game,” he said. “That would quiet everybody and send a strong message.”
That would send a strong message to the rest of the league. However, that is not how the Lions roll. They are not short-order cooks. From the way General Manager Brad Holmes assembles the team to the way Coach Dan Campbell coaches it, the Lions are slow cookers. They are patient because they don’t see the need to rush things.
That is how they should treat the Jamo situation, also. The Lions will call his number. We might even see them take the top off the defense we all want to see at some point. Despite all his speed and ability, the Lions also know that Jamo is a month behind his teammates. He has little to no chemistry with quarterback Jared Goff because he had limited pre-season time with Goff because of an injury and the suspension.
The goal for the Lions (3-1) against Carolina is not to see Williams excel, it is to win a ball game and remain on top of the NFC North Division. They’ve done that with a very solid defense. And they have done it with a punishing offensive line and mostly running back David Montgomery acting as battering ram and pushing the pile.
They’ve done it with Amon Ra St. Brown (26 receptions, 331 yards, and two touchdowns) catching everything in sight and rookie tight end Sam LaPorta (22 receptions, 242 yards, and a touchdown) making a case to be offensive rookie of the year.
Goff is spreading the wealth. Josh Reynolds (12-215 yards and two touchdowns) and Kalif Raymond (8-119-1) have been productive too.
Fans will watch his every move against the Panthers and hope to see him break loose for an 80-yard touchdown reception. Don’t count on it, however.
“It’s just a process,” Williams said. “Whatever (offensive coordinator) Ben (Johnson) has got going for me, we’re going to get in. We’re going to execute. We’re going to make it a good time. We’re just looking forward to keep winning. Hopefully we can just keep this season going, make it to the playoffs and go far.”
Campbell set the bar low for Williamson’s return. Saying he simply wants Williams to be reliable and know where to line up. Jameson was not allowed to be in contact with coaches and teammates during his suspension. He didn’t even get updates on the playbook.
“It’s just getting him reps,” Goff said. “Whenever you are off for that long, I don’t care who you are, you just need reps to get back into it and feel the speed of it and run some plays and be on the field with all of us.”
For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet
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Original Photo Credit: © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK