Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff and wide receiver Jameson Williams are still working to get on the same page at OTAs, leading to a tense exchange at practice this week.
As John Maakaron of SI.com’s All Lions reported on June 1, Goff grew “visibly frustrated” with Williams when he apparently ran a route incorrectly. The incident comes a little more than a week after Williams cleared the air about what many took as a dig at Goff, with the second-year wide receiver insisting there is no bad blood between the two.
Lions Working on Chemistry at OTAs
As Maakaron noted, Goff and Williams have been working on their timing at voluntary team practices and had some hiccups this week.
“Out on the practice field, the connection between Goff and Williams was not crisp and consistent, with the former first-round pick not exactly in the position Goff expected him on certain routes,” Maakaron wrote. “After one particular route, in which the pass was incomplete, Goff was observed being visibly frustrated and gesturing where he thought Williams should have been.”
The incident didn’t escalate at all from there, Maakaron noted, with coaches working with Williams to work on the angle he should have taken on the route to improve the timing with Goff. The teammates connected for a catch on the following play and later walked together to the next drill.
There had been rumors of tensions between the pair after Williams liked a tweet suggesting that the Lions could be a trade destination for Lamar Jackson. Williams later told reporters that he was not trying to take a dig at his quarterback.
“It wasn’t no shots at Jared Goff. I love Goff,” Williams told reporters on May 25. “You know, we got a perfect relationship. It’s just a liked tweet. Nothing has went down in our relationship.
“We still have a tight relationship. Nothing’s really happened between that. It’s social media. It’s Twitter.”
Goff and Williams will be a bit delayed in working out their chemistry on the field this season. The second-year receiver was hit with a six-game suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy.
Early Struggles for Lions
Though training camp is still months away, the Lions have encountered some early struggles through the start of OTAs. Maakaron noted in a separate story for SI.com’s All Lions that Goff was a “dud” at the May 25 practice as he struggled to connect with wide receivers and overthrew several passes.
“There were opportunities for deep plays to running back Jahmyr Gibbs and wideouts Jameson Williams and Josh Reynolds. But the passes were overthrown and did not have enough air underneath them to give the receiver an opportunity to pull down the reception,” he wrote.
Maakaron noted that backup Nate Sudfeld was sharp in contrast, though did throw an interception on his final pass of the practice.
“On Thursday, the veteran backup showcased deep ball accuracy and zip on the majority of his passes,” Maakaron wrote. “He led the team well during a simulated drive, connecting with multiple receivers.”