Detroit Lions OC Ben Johnson is not worried about not having Jameson Williams
The Detroit Lions are gearing up to face the new season without one of their most formidable offensive weapons as wide receiver Jameson Williams will serve a six-game suspension to start the 2023 season. This has inevitably raised questions about the depth and firepower of the team's offense, particularly with the need for a formidable figure opposite their star receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown. However, the Lions' offensive coordinator, Ben Johnson, isn't showing a shred of concern.
What Did Ben Johnson Say?
Despite Williams being sidelined for six games, Johnson remains bullish about the team's prospects. The confidence stems from the Lions' offensive versatility, a comprehensive understanding of the scheme, and the past season's performance metrics that indicate their explosiveness even in the absence of Williams.
“I think that can come from a number of different positions,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be the receiver spot, but I feel comfortable with what we’ve done here in training camp that we’ve got plenty of guys that can stretch the field vertically, so I’m not really concerned about that early in the season here.
In 2022, the Lions were a force to reckon with in the vertical passing department, with statistics solidifying their position among the best in the league. Johnson’s stance is clear: while the wide receiver spot is vital, the Lions have enough talent in their ranks to stretch the field vertically.
“I think we’re going to be just fine in being selective in when we do target the deep area.”
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- The Detroit Lions are entering the new season missing two crucial offensive players: DJ Chark, who has moved to free agency, and Jameson Williams due to a six-game gambling suspension. This has raised concerns about the team's offensive depth and potential.
- Despite these significant absences, Offensive Coordinator Ben Johnson remains undeterred. He derives confidence from the team's impressive past performances, showcasing their explosive offense even when key players were sidelined.
- Johnson's approach suggests a broader vision for the Lions, emphasizing team strategy and adaptive tactics rather than relying heavily on individual star power. The coming games will reveal if this confidence can translate to on-field success for the Lions.
Bottom Line: There is no “I” in Team
There is no question about it that Jameson Williams has the athletic ability to be one of the best deep threats in the NFL. With that being said, the best ability is availability, and that is not something he has been able to provide since being drafted. Though Ben Johnson would rather have Williams start the season in the starting lineup he knows that he has other ways to stretch the field in 2023.