Detroit Lions special teams coordinator Dave Fipp interrupted a question about rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams’ ability in the second leg at a press conference last week, saying, “He’s our starting gunner. “
And everyone laughed, including Fipp.
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After the Lions invested the 12th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft in the wide receiver from Alabama, the odds seem nearly impossible that Williams will cover punts for Detroit this season.
NFL special teams coaches need to work around what offense and defense are doing when filling out their units, Fipp said.
“A lot of it is seeing the guy’s role in attack or defense first,” Fipp said, “and then how much can you get out of it.”
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But if it could happen, Fipp is confident Williams would do the shooting job because the coach saw him do it in Alabama.
“The one thing I would say for him just individually: What he filmed on special teams says a lot,” Fipp said. “We all know he’s a great receiver. But when you cover kicks like he does, play those special teams like he does, that tells me the guy loves football and he’s not there to catch the ball and stats and all that . He has a love for gaming, and he plays those games that way. …
“He is definitely special. I know he was one of my favorite guys in the draft because of what he did on the teams, so I’m glad to have him.
Fipp praised Alabama and coach Nick Saban for consistently playing against top Crimson Tide players on special teams.
“I would also say I credit the University of Alabama,” Fipp said. “Nick Saban, he plays these guys on special teams, and these guys come into the National Football League more prepared because of it.”
Fipp said Lions talent evaluators sought his advice before the draft about Williams, who returned 10 kickoffs for an average of 35.2 yards and two touchdowns in 2021.
“They had asked me about him months before, and I was like, ‘Oh my God,'” Fipp said. “And then we get together with him, and I’m like, ‘Damn, okay, let’s talk about it. “”
Last question during Fipp’s press conference: “No way he’s playing shooter, is there?”
“We’ll see where it leads,” Fipp said before walking away.
And there were more laughs.
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