Detroit Lions assistant special teams coach Jett Modkins is itching to put first-round pick Jameson Williams’ special teams skills to the test.
On this week’s episode of “Twentyman in the Huddle”, Modkins told Tim Twentyman he would love to see how Williams can contribute to his unit. Once the wide receiver is deemed healthy enough to play after an ACL injury in January, Modkins plans to nudge coach Dan Campbell into letting Williams get in some special teams reps.
“Once he gets back out there, we’ll probably throw little hints out there, try to get the keys to the car,” Modkins said, jokingly.
The latest update on Williams’ health came from Campbell a few weeks ago, who said the receiver isn’t expected to be ready in time for training camp. But he’s been around the building for rookie and mandatory minicamps watching from the sideline, getting in his mental reps. Hungry to get on the field, Williams himself will be the one pushing to get out there in Honolulu blue as soon as possible, Modkins elaborated.
“(Williams) lights up when he’s in this building. Whenever I see him, he’s great to be around,” Modkins said. “Even out there on the field, everybody talks about when he steps between the white lines, he definitely glows then. But when he’s in this building, he’s locked in. He’s in every one of our special teams meetings, locked in.”
They show clips of Williams’ best college plays in those meetings. In his lone season at Alabama, Williams averaged 35.2 yards per kick return and scored two touchdowns, earning himself SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year.
“My favorite one is the gunner clip. I mean he goes and he sends this dude into another realm,” Modkins said.
Wide Receiver “Jameson Williams” playing gunner on special teams is a beautiful thing to watch. My guy can do it all— Alabama Rydeouts (@MarvinBama16) December 8, 2021
Jameson Williams definitely should’ve been a Heisman Finalist!!! #RollTide pic.twitter.com/AGDnQZvVvd
Twentyman points out that you don’t often see that from star wide receivers.
“Most receivers probably wouldn’t want to run down on a punt after playing a full possession on offense but to run down, be the first one down, and then blow someone’s face off — that shows who you are,” Modkins said.
The interview features a lot of other good stuff as well. The two discuss what it’s like having to coach across so many position groups on a roster, and how Modkins’ first year as the assistant special teams coach went. Modkins offers his thoughts on how Campbell impacts the Lions’ special teams, and as you’d imagine, they talk about how some of those infamous trick plays of 2021 came about.
You can watch the full podcast below.
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