The Detroit Lions are getting a lot of preseason hype this year. Dan Campbell is raking in Coach of the Year bets and their 6.5 over/under is getting hammered for the over.
The roster isn’t even that much better on paper. The best way to describe it? There’s a vibe. And running back Jamaal Williams perfectly encapsulated that vibe in a preview posted by the Lions ahead of their appearance on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
“Today is the minimum of effort,” Willams said, clearly emotional after Campbell handed him the huddle. “Do not give up. Do not feel like you tired. When you tired, think of last year and think of that f—— record. Every time I get tired or I think I can’t go no more, I think of that f—— record! Last year wasn’t it. That ain’t us. We can make it. Have some heart. I get emotional about this. I’m about to cry ’cause I care about y’all! Do your best. Let’s go! Lions on three.”
Let ’em know, Jamaal!
🎥 @NFLFilms | #HardKnocks pic.twitter.com/wwS01EsmOf
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) August 8, 2022
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“Hard Knocks” will premiere Tuesday on HBO at 10 p.m., but don’t expect Williams to be tuning in. He had some strong words about the program a few months ago.
“I don’t give a f—,” he said in May when he was asked about the Lions being on, per Pro Football Talk. “All that is to me now is more cameras walking around staring at me,” Williams said. “I don’t care. I just want to play football. I want to win a Super Bowl — this year.”
The Lions remain a long-shot to win the Super Bowl, of course. They picked second overall this season after posting a 3-13-1 record last year, and according to Sports Interaction they’re at +8400 odds. Those are better odds than the Jaguars, Bears, Jets, Falcons, and Texans, but they’re still toward the bottom of the totem pole.
Still, the Lions are an intriguing team with a lot of upside. They come off a year in which they lost six straight games despite holding a double-digit lead in those games. Detroit played in eight games decided by one possession in 2022. With talent in RB rookies DL Aiden Hutchinson and WR Jameson Williams, second-year OT Penei Sewell Lions head coach Dan Campbell is getting preseason buzz as Coach of the Year.
Williams is entering his second season with the Lions after spending four seasons with the Packers, so he knows what a winning locker room looks like. He had 601 yards on 153 carries last year, and entered training camp second on the running back depth chart behind D’Andre Swift. Clearly, however, he’s bringing a veteran presence to the Lions locker room.