Lions’ Kalif Raymond Sounds Off on WR Jameson Williams

Jameson Williams

Getty Detroit Lions wide receiver Kalif Raymond raved about fellow wideout Jameson Williams.

There is certainly still heartbreak for the loss the Detroit Lions suffered in the NFC championship game. But there’s also been a lot of positives discussed around the organization the past couple days. One huge plus of the 2023 season from Kalif Raymond’s perspective was the strides fellow wideout Jameson Williams took.

Raymond spoke very highly of how much Williams improved through hard work during 2023.

“I am so proud of watching him and all the plays that he’s had over this postseason run and the latter half of the season,” Raymond said, via’s Tim Twentyman. “Everything he was doing it didn’t come as a surprise because he was putting in so much work. It was actually crazy to see how much work he put in.

“I was like, ‘Dude, your distance in practice and after practice and before practice has got to be up there. It’s got to be hitting some numbers.’ He put the work in when nobody was looking.”

Williams cultivated his hard work into a strong championship game performance. He rushed for a 42-yard touchdown on the game’s opening drive. Williams also had a 22-yard reception and a 3-yard touchdown catch against the San Francisco 49ers.

Lions’ Jameson Williams Takes Big Positive Step in 2023

It’s probably too much of an exaggeration to say Williams turned around his career in 2023. But the 22-year-old is in a much better spot now than he was last year.

After limited opportunities as a rookie because of an ACL injury from college, Williams caused multiple stirs on social media last offseason. Detroit sports radio host Mike Valenti of 97.1 The Ticket was highly critical of Williams lighting explosives on July 4 to celebrate American Independence Day.

The receiver also appeared to lack some self awareness with his social media accounts. On March 7, Williams liked a tweet that suggested the Lions replace quarterback Jared Goff with Baltimore Ravens signal caller Lamar Jackson.

Less than 24 hours after receiving his six-game suspension from the NFL for gambling violations in April, Williams posted a video of himself at a boxing match in Las Vegas on his Instagram Live.

The NFL reduced Williams’ suspension to four games. But when he returned on October 8, he had just 1 catch a season and four weeks into his career.

Williams finished the 2023 regular season with 24 catches, 354 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. He then had 2 receptions in each of the team’s three playoff games.

While those aren’t dazzling statistics, Williams’ coaches and teammates constantly stressed to the media that he was getting better every week.

Depending on what the Lions do in free agency, the team could turn to Williams as its top wide receiver opposite Amon-Ra St. Brown next season.

Like Lions, Williams Looking for Redemption?

The Lions obviously hope to return to the NFC championship game and hold onto their lead. The mistakes the team made in the loss to the 49ers could fuel them all offseason.

Williams may be no different.

Although Williams scored 2 touchdowns and caught 2 of his 3 targets, the only target he didn’t haul in could have made a significant difference.

On the target he failed to catch, Williams didn’t appear to expect the ball and slowed on his route. With his great speed, he still caught up to Goff’s pass, but the ball then slipped through Williams’ finger tips in the end zone.

At that time, the Lions trailed by 3 points midway through the fourth quarter. Had Williams made an incredible play, the entire complexion of the final 8 minutes would have been very different.

Three plays after the Goff-Williams misconnect, the Lions turned the ball over on downs.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Williams used his missed opportunity to work even harder in 2024.

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