By his own admission, Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams has to be better after a zero-catch, six-target outing against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7. It can only really get better, theoretically, and it's worth noting he has only played 155 snaps over nine NFL games.
Still, the signs of progress for Williams (Week 6's touchdown catch against the Buccaneers) often seem to be followed by signs he has a long way to go. Head coach Dan Campbell has used the word trust, and full trust in Williams doesn't seem to be there just yet. Ideally, as opportunity further knocks with Marvin Jones stepping away from football this week, Williams will start to put things together more consistently.
On Friday, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson fairly bluntly assessed how the rapport and connection between Williams and Jared Goff is not where it needs to be.
"Time on task still. I know it's beating a dead horse by saying that. But, you know, some guys take longer than others to develop a rapport with," Johnson said of Williams. "And we just, we frankly aren't there yet. So, we'll continue to work on it. And, it's going to come. And, when it does come, I think we're all going to be pleased."
Johnson added, however obviously, how Williams' speed makes connecting with him on deep passes unique, while also hinting at other ways to get the ball in his hands.
"Throwing the ball down the field to him is completely different than anybody else that we have on this roster......the more we can get him involved, the better off I think we're going to be."
Lions continue to preach patience with Jameson Williams
This week, Goff said "it's just so early in his career" to describe how he and Williams are working to build their connection. And no doubt, as Williams gets set to play his 10th NFL game Monday night against the Raiders and he may not get to 200 career snaps in that game, it is undeniably early in his career.
But at some point, "it's early" will dissipate as a crutch to describe Williams' struggles. And as the Lions try to win games this season, how much leeway will he be given under the umbrella of patience? It's a legitimate question, and one that has only been answered with ongoing preaches of patience.
No one-Johnson, Goff, Campbell, wide receivers coach Antwaan Randle El-is going to publicly say they're frustrated with Williams. But behind the scenes there has to be some clamoring to see better from him, and the work being put in has to start to yield something more consistently.