I am mad at the Detroit Lions.
Upon arriving at the practice facility on Thursday, I expected a repeat experience from the previous week. I prepared for other media members and me to get another WWE-style entrance during our walk to the practice field. I expected to hear Mark Brunell loud as hell during quarterback drills. And, of course, most importantly, I expected to see another reporter rapping 21 Savage. Well, none of that happened.
The Lions closed “Club Allen Park” this week.
OTAs were a bit more serious this time. I was wondering why there was a sudden change in the vibe. Like, did the Lions brass get ahold of my last article? I know I made their organized team activities (OTAs) sound like a “turn-up” fest. As I began to wonder if last week was just for show, something dawned on me.
See, last week was like freshman orientation at college. Freshman orientation is always fun. It’s a feel-good moment. You hear music blasting, mingling with people you’ve never met, making new friends, and so forth. And when the fun is complete, you start to prepare for the first week of classes.
Last week of OTAs was the true first week of classes.
And the star pupil was Jamaal Williams.
By now, diehard Lions fans should be familiar with Williams. It’s hard not to know him. Through various interviews, he has showcased an infectious personality Detroit hasn’t seen from an athlete in quite some time, if ever. Williams is like a real-life cartoon character.
I mean, haven’t you seen the way his eyes can bug out when he’s joking?
On Thursday, Williams showcased something much needed in Detroit. I spotted it after hearing Lions’ running backs coach Duce Staley talk about it before OTAs.
“We talk about juice,” said Staley. “It’s natural for (Williams).”
For those who is wondering what Staley means by “juice”, open up another tab on your device and go to the Urban Dictionary.
Granted, this is only OTAs. And these guys aren’t in pad yet. However, anyone watching Williams that day walked away impressed. He looked quick, agile, and showcased respectable catching ability for a running back. While Williams’ athleticism was on full display, I don’t think that’s what Staley was getting at when referring to his juice.
While Williams may be a character as an interviewee, that’s where the buck stops. On Thursday, I observed no silly behavior on the practice field. There wasn’t any goofing around. While I can’t speak for others in attendance, I saw no dancing out of him that day.
Williams was all business.
He walked around like a locked-in badass. He didn’t shy from showing up teammates on the opposite side of the ball either. Williams caught of few of them slipping during drills. And he let them know too, waving his finger in their direction like Dikembe Mutombo.
After OTAs, Williams let the media know that his fans, coaches, and teammates have yet to see the best from him. And he plans to showcase the entire repertoire of his skills in the Motor City.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter @KoryEWoods