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Jamaal Williams Discusses Leadership Role, Lions' Super Bowl Aspirations

Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams explains why he is optimistic about the 2022 NFL season.

A losing season in 2021 hasn’t dampened Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams’ expectations for the upcoming season.

Entering his second season with the Lions, Williams established his clear goals during a media session with local reporters Wednesday.

“It’s really just us coming with a new mindset,” Williams said. “Coming with it already, just knowing we want to go to the Super Bowl. We’ve got to have the mindset now before anything, so last year is last year. It’s a new year. At the same time, we all just need to come together.

With the Super Bowl aspirations, the running back realizes he must step into a bigger leadership role. His five years of NFL experience stack up among the most on the roster, as Detroit is in the process of rebuilding with youth.

Though Williams has an affable personality with the media, he said Wednesday he’d rather let his play do the talking. Though this is his goal, he understands that he must step up from a vocal standpoint if the team is to be successful.

“I’m a leader on the team,” Williams said. “I’m one of the vets on the team now, I gotta show by example. Sometimes I’m gonna have to talk. I don’t like talking, I really don’t. I’d rather just show it on the field and do it that way. But I’ve got to take steps to improve it. If you want to improve, you got to change things. And sometimes you get comfortable where you at if you don't want to improve, but I do. So one of my things I gotta improve on is talking a little bit more in the huddle.

“I just got to be more aware to my surroundings, my teammates, my coaches. I feel like I could give a lot more, and I am.”

During training camp, the Lions will be featured on the national stage. HBO is bringing its cameras to Allen Park for its hit show, ‘Hard Knocks,’ which provides fans with an in-depth look at a team during the preseason.

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Though he’s a hit with reporters and will likely be featured during ‘Hard Knocks,’ Williams made it clear he’s not worried about having the cameras around.

“I just want to play football,” the running back said. “All that means now is more cameras walking around staring at me. I don’t care, I just want to play football and I want to win a Super Bowl this year.”

Williams is part of a backfield pairing with D’Andre Swift, who is entering his third season as a pro. Together, the two give the Lions a potent attack on the ground. Last year, Williams ran for a career-high 601 yards in his 13 games, 11 of which were starts.

Detroit has upgraded at wide receiver, adding DJ Chark in free agency and Jameson Williams through the Draft.

With the additions, the offense is now ready to take the next step forward. After struggling early in the season, the Lions found a groove late and gave fans a reason for optimism with a season-ending win over Green Bay.

Williams hopes the new faces on offense will take the attention off the backfield, allowing he and Swift to run free.

“Hopefully the defense is looking at them and they’ll leave us alone, they’ll let us run the ball,” Williams said. “Don’t worry about me, that’s what I’m saying.”