During my Day 1 observations piece from Detroit Lions vs. Indianapolis Colts joint practices, I noted how running back Jamaal Williams and Colts linebacker Zaire Franklin quickly caught my attention. The two had been lined up against each other during one-on-one drills, and were not only having competitive reps, but were the loudest players on the field.
Unsurprisingly, HBO cameras were all over it, and NFL Films’ Twitter dropped a quick “Hard Knocks” segment on it:
Nothing like a chippy joint practice #HardKnocks | @Lions pic.twitter.com/WRDl8HsZED— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) August 19, 2022
These are the high-intensity, highly-competitive plays that make joint practices so fun, entertaining, and helpful for the teams.
The joint practices may now be over, but the two players have not stopped trash talking. On Friday, Franklin saw the clip and blasted both Williams on Twitter:
“Only in the League can a bum lose 3 reps in a row and still yell like he won,” Franklin tweeted. “hope you ready to cry about another losing season champ“
This offseason, we’ve seen a very different version of Williams. Whereas he was the goofball last year, he’s cranked up the intensity this year, giving passionate speeches and hyping up his teammates on the field.
So it should come as no surprise that Williams was ready with a rebuttal.
Sir I literally made you look stupid in team period when you missed an open field tackle and I ran you and the safety for a touchdown during team period pls go bout your business you not bout tht when it’s Go time— Jamaal Williams (@jswaggdaddy) August 19, 2022
While it would be nice to see these two face off one more time during Saturday’s preseason game, the truth is we’re unlikely to see either player suit up. Both Colts coach Frank Reich and Lions coach Dan Campbell notified media this week that most starters will not play in the game, as the week of practice provided enough valuable reps for those players.
I suppose we’ll just have to wait for Tuesday’s episode of “Hard Knocks” to see how much of this battle was caught on tape, and who really emerged victorious at the end of the day. In the meantime, I’m sure these two haven’t finished talking trash on Twitter.