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Detroit Lions fans mixed about Jameson Williams’ usage

Some Lions fans are willing to be patient and trust the coaching staff. Others believe it’s time to unleash rookie receiver Jameson Williams.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

This week during our midweek mailbag podcast, myself and Erik Schlitt debated whether the Detroit Lions were doing Jameson Williams right by limiting his playing time in his first month on the field.

On one side of the debate, we both acknowledged that Williams was always going to take time to acclimate. As a rookie who didn’t take part in minicamp, OTAs or training camp, a ramp up period of over a month for a rookie could be considered normal and healthy.

On the other hand, Williams is a special player with special skills, and the Lions are in the midst of a playoff race. When you invest so much in a player, you expect him to produce early and often. While the Lions passing offense has been fine without him on the field much, his speed adds another dimension to an impressive attack.

If you missed the debate between myself and Erik, you can check out this week’s mailbag podcast here. Our discussion starts around the 32:15 mark.

But let’s turn the microphone over to you guys. The comment section of the mailbag podcast article racked up a healthy 130 comments, which means you guys have a lot to say on the topic. Here are some of my favorite responses:

waitingsince57 believes it’s now time to unleash Jameson Williams:

Jamo is suppose to be a football player and a playmaker. That IS why Holmes moved up to draft him. 4 weeks time with Goff is ample time to create plays for them. This home game with so much at stake, one would think our talented OC could come up with some way to utilize Jamo. They can only use the lack of reps excuse for so long. It’s time to let this dude rip!!

shock-top preaches patience and also brings up a good point about earning playing time:

Playing time is earned in practice. At least that’s the way it was when I was a participant. There’s probably reasons why he’s being held back some. Patience everyone. When it’s his time to shine in our offense the coaches will know and he’ll have earned their confidence to perform as required, in every facet of his responsibilities.

Hunt Baker wants to see Williams’ usage increase, which may not require an increase in playing time if designed plays can get him involved more:

I think Williams needs more targets, not necessarily more snaps. I would like to see what happens if we get the ball in his hands; it doesn’t have to be a 20-40 yard slant. Just let him get the ball 2 or 3 times in a game and let’s see how his speed translates.

I also believe that the players that Goff has had success with deserve to continue to get the most playing time. I just want to see Goff develop Williams this year too, and not make the full year a wasted year or regression year for Williams.

Treef!try brings up an important point about taking away playing time from currently-productive players—and the amount of information that is unknown to us at home:

The trouble with rookies starting the season with zero training camp reps and then missing more than half the season is you have to take reps from players that have. Which isn’t a big problem if that player is a upgrade, but it’s a little harder if the player isn’t and the players in the locker room know that. It’s not only timing with Goff on the long ball that will get him more reps, it’s being able to run the correct route given the defensive formation against it. We as fans just don’t know how far along he is with that aspect, but you can bet the farm the coaches do. And if he was the better option, he’d be playing. I know we as fans want him out on the field given his draft status, but coaches shouldn’t be making decisions based on that. Merit not potential should be the deciding factor and as fans, we should expect nothing less.

Enor, like a lot of people in the comment section, is willing to give the coaching staff the benefit of the doubt:

I trust the coaching staff here. There are a lot of reads that JW will have to make in order to be on the same page as JG. If the coaches are confident in his ability to make the right reads in the right times, with his limited in-game experience with NFL level defenses, then sure. Give him more reps. If they feel like they need to develop him a little more until he can read the defenses more proficiently, then limit him.

If you want to be part of our daily discussion, be sure to create an account at Pride of Detroit and join the community! You can also check out the original comment section on this topic here.

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