Slowly but surely, the relationship between legendary wide receiver Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions seems as though it’s headed in the right direction. Or at least that’s the hope I felt when reading Eric Woodyard’s (ESPN) article on Johnson being open to mentoring rookie receiver Jameson Williams.
“I don’t mind being that person to help guys alleviate that (rookie) learning curve, especially with him being drafted highly,” Johnson said at a local golf event. “So, it’s a lot of high expectations on him. I know what comes with that.”
You know the story by now. When Johnson retired following the 2015 season, the Lions chose to recoup a portion of his signing bonus ($1.6 million), and the former star-receiver has been at odds with the organization ever since. I feel like we hash the entire series of events out a few times every single year, but that is besides the point.
What matters is that Johnson is willing to work with Williams, as he recovers from the ACL injury sustained in the College Football Playoff championship game against the University of Georgia. Williams, who wears the number 18 as a sign of respect towards Johnson, is eager to meet the Hall of Famer.
“Eventually it will [happen] but I’m looking forward to it a lot. Gold jacket, somebody I look up to a lot,” Williams said during minicamp back in May. “It’s just going to be a blessing seeing somebody like that and hopefully he can give me some of the game and how things went for him here and I can just do some of the same things basically so I’m looking forward to it if it happens.”
While there aren’t a lot of similarities between Johnson and Williams’ builds (Johnson was listed at 6-foot-5 and 236 pounds while Williams is only listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds), there are nuances to the receiver position that always translate, regardless of body type. Things like how players approach their preparation, or how they take care of their bodies — Johnson can certainly help any young receiver in those departments.
And now, onto the rest of today’s notes:
- Kyle Meinke of M-Live discusses Jeff Okudah being cleared for camp and the lingering injury Josh Paschal is dealing with.
Jeff Okudah cleared for Lions training camp; second-rounder Josh Paschal out with sports hernia https://t.co/3ADSI8iCfG— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) July 27, 2022
- Colton Pouncy of The Athletic made his presence known early on. A bold move — one Dan Campbell seemed to approve of.
- Ben Raven of M-Live discusses how new weapons and a new offensive coordinator should setup tight end T.J. Hockenson for success in 2022.
Lions TE T.J. Hockenson feels boost of new weapons, offensive coordinator ahead of Year 4 https://t.co/iZdtyuUX2O— Benjamin Raven (@BenjaminSRaven) July 27, 2022
- Despite losing 13 games in 2021, Dan Campbell is feeling optimistic about his team in 2022 — and much of that optimism stems from his coaching staff. Dave Birkett of the Free Press has that and more to kick off training camp.
- Dan Campbell keeping up with his yearly tradition.
Dan Campbell has the wrist tape on for up-downs this AM pic.twitter.com/DICDXMCahX— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) July 27, 2022
- Campbell expects big things from his 2021 rookie class. Jeff Risdon of the Lions Wire has more on what is going to be a big year for the young core of this team.
Dan Campbell: ‘We’ve got to have’ big jumps in play from 2nd-year players https://t.co/98M7KmGmfQ— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) July 27, 2022
- A really cool story on how a dream led to a unique piece of art.