Wide receiver Jameson Williams spent time after practice Monday running routes and catching passes for newly signed veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as he tries to get acclimated to Ben Johnson's offense.
Bridgewater said Monday that one of the roles he has, besides being Jared Goff's backup, is to also be a mentor for some of Detroit's young players. He's already identified Williams as one of those players.
"He is a guy who has unbelievable talent," Bridgewater said Monday of Williams. "I want to just push him to those limits that he's never been pushed. He's a guy I really just want to see have a long future in this league. Because you all know he was a first rounder for a reason.
"I just want to challenge him to be the best player he can be. Be a true pro. I'm excited that I get to challenge him and really, I'm going to implement some things that's really going to make him hate me. But it's going to be great for JG (Goff) and it's going to be great for this offense and this organization. I'm excited about his future."
We haven't seen a lot of Williams since the Lions made him the No. 12 overall pick in last year's NFL Draft. He played in only six games last year after rehabbing a college knee injury. Because he missed so much time last season, and because of the fact that he'll miss the first six games due to a gambling suspension, the plan has been for him to get a lot of practice and preseason reps to build them up and get to a point where he's in a good place before having to be away from the team.
Williams' 51 reps in Friday's preseason opener were tied for the second most on the team as he played well into the third quarter. He caught two of the seven passes thrown his way, which doesn't include a one-handed two-point conversion. He also dropped a deep ball that might have been a touchdown and had one play where there was miscommunication between him and quarterback Nate Sudfeld on a route where Sudfeld thought Williams was going deep and Williams cut off.
"It was the first time I got back on the field and played that many reps in about a year and a half so it was good for me," Williams said Monday. "Get out there and get moving around. Go through the offense and get set up. It feels good."
Williams has been a polarizing figure since landing in Detroit. The young wide receiver knows a lot of eyes are focused on him, but that's also how he prefers it.
"I feel eyes on me, but it comes with being drafted high," he said. "I wouldn't say I want the eyes off of me because I want them on me. I don't feel no pressure."
One of the big things the Lions are working on with Williams is being a more consistent pass catcher.
"I feel like it's just catching the ball. Tucking it. Getting to the tuck all the way and not trying to make my move when I see the defender right there after you catch the ball or see the ball coming your way. Things like that," Williams said.
Williams' development will continue to be a storyline through camp as all eyes continue to be on the super-talented 2022 first-round pick. Williams said he'll continue to just try to get better every day and stack good days on top of each other, and he doesn't feel any pressure with that approach.
"No pressure," he said. "I was born for this."