As Jameson Williams starts his NFL career, Calvin Johnson wants to serve as a mentor to the Lions rookie.
Jameson Williams will wear No. 18 for the Detroit Lions, as an ode to the No. 81 Calvin Johnson wore for the team. During rookie minicamp in May, the No. 12 pick in April’s draft also said he hoped to meet the Hall of Famer someday.
Johnson’s relationship with the Lions is best classified as “tense, but improving”. He was forced to repay $1.6 million of his signing bonus when he retired. That his number is not retired by the organization is sure to be corrected, ideally the sooner the better.
Johnson is in the Detroit area this week, having taken part in Tuesday’s Celebrity Scramble ahead of the Rocket Mortgage Classic PGA Tour event this weekend.
Johnson told Eric Woodyard of ESPN he’s willing to work with young pass catchers who want his guidance. That would of course include Williams. The two have yet to connect, but Johnson has apparently extended an offer to mentor Williams privately.
Calvin Johnson wants to mentor Jameson Williams
As a high draft pick himself (No. 2 overall in 2007), Johnson knows what it’s like to carry high expectations from the start of his career. The he didn’t crumble under that weight, and thrived on the field all the way to being a Hall of Famer, is a meaningful perspective he can still offer to young players now.
"There’s a lot of things that as a young receiver and just as a young NFL player period that you’ve got to learn. You’ve got to learn your way through,” Johnson told ESPN. “I don’t mind being that person to help guys alleviate that learning curve, especially with him being drafted highly. So, it’s a lot of high expectations on him. I know what comes with that.”"
The Lions would do well to embrace Johnson’s desire to mentor Williams, and help connect the two if they can. It’s safe to say Williams would embrace Johnson’s guidance.