Detroit Lions legend and Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson was in Allen Park on Thursday for the final day of the team's mandatory minicamp. Johnson was reportedly doing some final preparations for a youth camp he is hosting at the Lions’ practice facility over the weekend.
After getting a look at the current Lions team, Johnson joined 97.1 The Ticket for a chat on Friday morning. During that conversation, Johnson noted that he is planning on spending more time in Allen Park this season and wants to be available however he can to help the young team—specifically pointing out Jameson Williams, the Lions' 2022 first-round pick.
“I connected with Jamo (Williams) yesterday really for the first time, and I look forward to being around and being a shoulder for him to lean on,” Johnson said to 97.1. “Extremely talented kid. We saw him when he touched the field last year for the first time. So I look forward to just helping him just build a level of consistency and being the pro that he wants to be. Anything I can do to help him, I’ll do that. I’ll be there.”
Williams has had an up-and-down spring camp, flashing highlight moments but also dropping far too many catchable balls. His chemistry—or lack thereof—with starting quarterback Jared Goff has been analyzed and scrutinized at naseaum, as in far too many instances the pair's timing is off.
After Tuesday’s practice, I noted the inconsistency in Williams’ routes may be the main catalyst:
“It’s hard to tell exactly what the issue is, but from what I saw on Tuesday, I believe it’s a combination of Williams having elite speed/athleticism—which makes everything happen faster—yet being too inconsistent in his route tree to allow for a timing route to work. Because his routes aren’t always identical in their patterns—and because he’s so athletic—Goff’s anticipation of where Williams will be is a bit off, resulting in incompletions.”
If Johnson—a model of consistency during his time as a professional—is able to help Williams “build a level of consistency,” as he mentioned, it could go a long way to helping Williams become an instant contributor once he is on the field in the fall.