New Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams’ energy level is infectious and when he eventually steps into the locker room, he’s hoping to help elevate the team beyond what he does on the field.
“I feel like I'm just coming in,” Williams said, “and I can help out the room, so we can really get loose and put each other in positions so we all make plays. I'm the type of person who believes in positive competitiveness. We can all be competitive, we can all make each other better, but we can all do it in a positive way. (We) can get all our stuff and build on ourselves and help the team at the same time.
“So when you have that type of energy, that positive—everybody wants to be the dog, everybody wants to work—energy, but it’s still positive for the team, it makes everybody else want to join in and get with the program. It's all about people buying in as a team and just enjoying what we're doing.”
The Lions have a quality trio of running backs now that Williams is in the fold. D’Andre Swift is the presumed starter, while Williams is joined by Kerryon Johnson—who running backs/assistant head coach Duce Staley called a “complete back”—in competing for touches off the bench.
Williams has been a model of consistency through the first four years of his career and while he brings an eclectic set of skills and a “workhorse” mentality to the backfield, he’s not satisfied resting on his accomplishments.
“I just want to do more than I’m already doing,” Williams continued. “I don’t want to feel like—people feel like they know who I am already—they don’t know how far I can really go. I don’t know how far I can really go because my potential is unlimited. Because my mind is. I just want to keep growing and finding things that I need to work on. You can never stop working. That’s my mentality.”
With all three Lions’ backs under 26 years old, Williams is absolutely right that there is plenty of room for growth. And with former NFL running backs Staley and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn leading the way—along with Williams’ pushing the energy level—the sky is the limit for how successful the Lions’ run game can be.