Jamaal Williams looks to be the main tailback in the new Lions offense

Divisional Round - Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers
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The Lions may have gotten an excellent dollar-for-dollar value in all of free agency.

Running back Jamaal Williams joined Detroit on a two-year, $6 million deal, only $3.25 million of which was guaranteed at signing. New Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn seems to think that Williams will become the primary tailback in the team’s new attack.

In a film-study interview with TheAthletic.com, Lynn made it clear that Williams will be the team’s top tailback, with 2020 second-rounder De’Andre Swift serving in a complementary role.

“Jamaal is what I’d call a classic ‘A’ back,” Lynn said. “I like to break the backs down into A and B. My ‘A’ backs are normally my bigger backs. They can run between the tackles, block probably a little better than a ‘B’ back, they can also run the perimeter. I can leave those guys in there for all three downs.

“My ‘B’ back comes in, he’s a guy that sometimes I want to use in space more. He’s my speed-in-space guy. I feel like Jamaal would be an outstanding ‘A’ back. I like his energy, I like his pad level and the way he runs the football between the tackles.”

Williams has other attributes that Lynn finds attractive.

“He brings something to the table that some backs don’t in this category,” Lynn said regarding Williams. “This man has soft hands, really good ball skills, you can use him in the passing game. . . .  I didn’t realize until I studied him a little bit more in free agency that he was that good of a receiver. This young man has excellent hands and he has some really good route savvy.”

And while it remains to be seen whether Williams will be biting kneecaps, he has some intangible qualities that Lynn likes.

“I love his personality,” Lynn said. “A lot of energy, a lot of passion. He just walks down the hallway and loves [talking to people]. I can’t wait to get him around the teammates, just so they can feel his energy. When we were watching him in free agency, everybody just kind of responded to this young man every time he touched the football. . . .

“I’ve been impressed with some of his work, like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know you could run that route, young man.’ He’s been telling me. All you have to do is ask Jamaal — there’s nothing that he can’t do better than anyone else. I love his confidence, but it showed up on tape. It really did.”

The Lions will be hoping it shows on the field this season, as the Lions try yet again to reboot the franchise in a way that results in the first playoff win in 30 years.

18 responses to “Jamaal Williams looks to be the main tailback in the new Lions offense

  1. Love Jamaal Williams.
    I’m going to miss his smile and overall enthusiasm at Lambeau.
    He works hard, gets the tough yards and he’s a beast in the pass game.
    He’ll do well in Detroit and the fans will love him.
    Maybe not as the lead tailback, but he’s more than just a role player.

  2. No idea why we let this guy go. Jones, Williams and Dillion wouldn’t break the bank and would probably be the best trio in the league. Gotta have 3 rb’s on the roster anyway, and with Dillion on a rookie deal and Williams only costing $3 mil I don’t have a clue why did that.

  3. Im sorry but there is no way Swift is not the leading RB in Detroit unless he gets hurt. I love the Williams pick up but it just isn’t gonna happen.

  4. Seems like D’Andre Swift would have something to say about a career backup coming in and expecting to supplant him, no?

  5. I would have drafted a slow fullback in the 2nd round draft like the packers. See how good it worked out last year?

  6. if this is the report in May, fully expect swift to be the lead back in september. these reports never pan out

  7. Sure wish our Vikes could have landed Williams. We could use the upgrade to our running backs.

  8. Jamaal Williams has always been the very definition of an ordinary running back. Now he’s the top guy for the Lions instead of their second-round pick who did well last year? They’re angling for that number one overall pick pretty early.

  9. I would have drafted a slow fullback in the 2nd round draft like the packers. See how good it worked out last year?
    —-
    Was last year bad and I missed it? Did we finish with single digit wins and third in the division or something?

  10. In Williams’s first two seasons he had no vision – he was just running up linemen’s backs.
    Last year he was really picking holes, using his blockers. And he’s definitely a weapon as a receiver. He was the choice on passing downs for blocking also.
    Teammates loved him. I was surprised they’d give up on Kerryon, but good luck to Jamal. He’ll more than earn his contract.

  11. Rakeem “the dream” Boyd from Last Chance U going to complete the miracle and be the starter !!! ok, maybe not but if he did would make a great story

  12. I’m super happy about the addition of Williams. He should help give a good one-two punch. But you’re on glue if you think there’s any chance, barring injury, for him to be the top RB. Swift already does everything he does better, aside from blocking, and he didn’t even have an offseason to learn the play book or get in football shape. He still had great stats and he only played 35% of the offensive snaps. He might quietly be a breakout player of the year this year with the focus on the running game.

  13. I would’ve preferred to keep this guy and Dillon than re-sign a guy that fumbled twice in the NFCCG…..in the same exact manner each time…….one of which gave Lucky Tom a walk-in TD.

  14. I like the way the Lions have built up their offensive line, but they haven’t had a legit running game since Barry. I don’t expect the Swift-Williams duet to change that.

  15. pkrlvr says:
    May 20, 2021 at 2:34 pm
    I would have drafted a slow fullback in the 2nd round draft like the packers. See how good it worked out last year?
    —-
    Was last year bad and I missed it? Did we finish with single digit wins and third in the division or something?
    ——
    “We”? What position did you play?

  16. Packers drafted a slow fullback ? At 250 Dillon ran a 4.53 forty ran for over a 100 yards in his first full game and averaged 5.3 yards per carry, picked up the blitz and caught the ball like a wide receiver. Someone needs to do some homework before posting.

  17. Loved Williams while he was with the Packers. Despite what several posters have tried to get the rest of us to believe, Williams was a great complement to Jones, a fine blocker and receiver, and never fumbled. I hope he succeeds with the Lions; he’s earned it.

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