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Antwaan Randle El mentoring, encouraging Jameson Williams

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Lions receiver Jameson Williams played only six games last season as he worked his way back from a torn ACL. He will miss the first six games of this season while serving a suspension for violating the NFL's gambling policy.

The Lions aren't concerned about Williams' on-field play.

Lions receivers coach Antwaan Randle El, though, has become a mentor for Williams as the young receiver navigates adversity off the field.

"I don't have to motivate him much when it comes to ball. He loves the game and wants to be better and works at it," Randle El told Nolan Bianchi of the Detroit News. "But the encouragement part, with all that's going on, . . . it's just, 'Hey, keep doing what you're doing; stay at it, in terms of working hard. This is just another stumbling block that, again, you'll come out stronger on the other side.'

"Those types of things, just encouraging him from that standpoint. He gets it; he understands it; and it will be [good] for him once we do get back and get going, as it relates into the season and the preseason."

The Lions traded up to select the former Alabama star with the 12th overall pick in 2022. He finished his rookie season with only one catch for a 41-yard touchdown, playing 78 offensive snaps and one on special teams.

Williams' rookie season mainly entailed " a lot of mental reps." He will get to practice with the team in training camp and play in the preseason before his suspension begins in Week 1 of the regular season.

"It's just a matter of him being on the field over and over again," Randle El said. "Man, that's part of having that offseason, and that's why you always want a young guy to have the offseason to just be able to get ready for the season. . . . Training camp is coming up. Again, another opportunity on the field, being with the quarterbacks, hearing the calls, all those different things that need to take place over and over again. You can see he's getting it."

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