New Detroit Lions WR Tyrell Williams: 'I don't really see it as a rebuild'

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Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
·3 min read
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Tyrell Williams wasn't thinking about joining a rebuild in NFL free agency. He wants to win, and thinks he can do it next season with the Detroit Lions.

"I guess I don’t really see it as a rebuild," Williams said in his introductory video conference Monday. "I feel like any team can come out there, it’s the NFL, and no matter whether the media wants to make it a rebuild or whatever they want to say, I feel like we have a chance to go out there and make the playoffs, win the Super Bowl."

The Lions signed Williams to a one-year deal last week, after he was cut by the Las Vegas Raiders, and the veteran currently sits No. 1 on their soon-to-be-changing depth chart at wide receiver.

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Raiders receiver Tyrell Williams is defended by Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward in Dec. 22, 2019 in Carson, Calif.
Raiders receiver Tyrell Williams is defended by Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward in Dec. 22, 2019 in Carson, Calif.

Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are expected to sign elsewhere in free agency, and the Lions will be looking to add more pass catchers when the new league year opens at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The free agent negotiating period got off to a slow start Monday as the Lions agreed to a three-year deal to keep defensive end Romeo Okwara and a one-year contract with linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, but failed to make any splash additions after missing out on top safety John Johnson, who signed with the Cleveland Browns.

They also lost linebacker Jarrad Davis and return man/receiver Jamal Agnew to other teams.

Williams, who missed all of last season with a torn shoulder labrum, said he is 95% healed and feeling "great" five months after surgery.

"I’ve been catching passes, I've been running routes and doing all that stuff and getting back to my normal offseason routine," he said. "So I feel good, I feel strong, feel like if we had a game next week I’d be out there. I feel great."

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Williams played two seasons for new Lions offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn with the Los Angeles Chargers, and said that relationship was a big factor in his signing with Detroit.

"He's a great leader, he’s been a great coach," Williams said. "I think he did a great job of being a head coach and I think he’ll do a great job being a coordinator and I’m excited for it, the scheme and the offense that he’s going to bring."

How Williams fits in the offense remains to be seen, and will hinge somewhat on who else the Lions add at receiver.

Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams catches a touchdown pass over Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown on Nov. 23, 2017.
Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams catches a touchdown pass over Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown on Nov. 23, 2017.

Williams has not caught more than 43 passes in a season since 2016, but has been an effective deep threat throughout his career

He said the Lions see him as a complete receiver who can run a full route tree and will contribute as a blocker in the run game, and said he does not see the Lions as a team in transition despite last season's 5-11 record.

"I’m just excited to get going and being around those guys, and a whole coaching staff that’s former players is a big reason why I wanted to come here and be around those guys and go to the playoffs, make a run," Williams said. "I don’t think any of us are going to have the mindset it’s a rebuild and be OK losing games. We’re coming out there to win, so I never really thought about it being in that type of mindset."

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions WR Tyrell Williams: 'I don't really see it as a rebuild'