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'He's Very Fast': Jared Goff Reacts to Jameson Williams' First Practice

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff is excited to play with Jameson Williams.

Rookie Jameson Williams is nearing his NFL debut, after missing most of the season while rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship. He returned to practice last week, and could debut either this week or the next.

“He’s fast,” Jared Goff said of Williams on Wednesday. “He’s very fast. Very, very fast."

Goff is excited to throw to the young, speedy wideout. A seventh-year pro, the signal-caller has thrown to plenty of top-tier wideouts. Yet, he says Williams’ abilities are unique. He compared the rookie to Brandin Cooks, a fellow speedster whom Goff played with in Los Angeles.

“Brandin Cooks is probably the fastest guy that I’ve played with, and it’s a different type of speed,” Goff explained. “Again, I haven’t seen him play in a real game, but he’s longer, he’s a stride guy. He’s got length, he’s got wingspan. Brandin was more just kind of a burner.”

With that length and speed, Williams can make plays, using all of his 6-foot-2 frame, and get past defenders.

“Jameson, he can extend on guys,” Goff said. “He can really make catches away from his body, that type of stuff. You know, how much he’s gonna be able to help us in six games, we’ll see. But, certainly, as a quarterback, you want him on the field as soon as possible.”

With Williams having been out of practice for the season’s first 11 weeks, Goff is just now able to begin getting a rapport with the youngster. He admitted to the potential adjustment period that can be needed throwing to someone with Williams’ caliber of speed, but doesn’t anticipate it will hamper the offense once the rookie is cleared for takeoff.

“It depends on what routes he’s running and how much we’re using him,” Goff said. “But, yeah, we’ll see. It’s like that with any player, that has nothing to do with how fast he is. But, any guy, you want to get those reps, and we got some (Wednesday), which is always helpful. Try to start to get on the same page, and hopefully get him incorporated soon.”

Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams

Playoff hopes

Thanks to a three-game winning streak, the Lions righted their record to what is now a 4-7 mark, after a sluggish 1-6 start. Though the odds are stacked against Detroit being a playoff team, its December games carry meaning in the playoff chase.

In his first season in Detroit, Goff sputtered through the team’s 3-13-1 finish. Now, in year two, he’s getting a chance to play competitively through the season’s final full month.

“It changes everything,” Goff stated. “You think about this time last year, and you’re kind of out of it and just human nature, it’s hard to get going every day. It’s hard to get yourself ready to go on Sundays and even throughout the week, Wednesday through Friday. Now, we’re in the mix. Again, we certainly have to win and keep ourselves in the mix, but we’ve got a lot to play for and we know that over these next six weeks. But, it starts with right now, this one and hopefully get the first one and go.”

The Lions are most recently coming off a showdown with the Buffalo Bills, in which they went toe-to-toe with one of the league’s best teams. Detroit’s midseason performance has created plenty of optimism for the final stretch.

As Goff puts it, the team has turned a corner.

“Oh, it’s turned,” Goff said. “We’ve turned, and have won three of our last four. And, (we) felt like we had a good chance to win last week and feel like we can play with anybody. So, yeah, we’re there, and certainly a different team than we were earlier in the year. And, (we) can play with anybody and beat anybody.”