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Jamaal Williams dishes on the first episode of ‘Hard Knocks’

The Detroit Lions running back appeared on “Good Morning Football” to talk about the HBO series

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Detroit Lions running backs D’Andre Swift (32) and Jamaal Williams (30) talk with assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley.

Detroit Lions running backs D’Andre Swift (32) and Jamaal Williams (30) talk with assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley during an NFL football practice in Allen Park, Mich., Thursday, June 9, 2022.

Paul Sancya, Associated Press

The affable Jamaal Williams has been deemed a “national treasure” by many around the NFL, thanks to his fun-loving and welcoming personality.

That made the Detroit Lions running back the perfect guest for the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football’’ on Wednesday morning, as BYU’s all-time leading rusher came on the show to talk about “Hard Knocks.”

Williams shared his thoughts on key moments from the first episode of the HBO show, which debuted Tuesday night, and on the behind-the-scenes show in general during his eight-minute appearance.

As usual, Williams delivered an entertaining interview. Here’s five moments that stood out:

On his impassioned speech

One of the promotions for “Hard Knocks” showed Williams leading a team huddle and expressing to his teammates why the Lions’ struggles of the past need to be left behind.

“Honestly, I was just trying to make sure why teammates understand that I want to be great, and I want them to be great. I’ve never settled for mediocrity, and I just want us to be at the standard of greatness I know we can be at,” Williams told the show.

“It’s all mental. We all have the talent to be great, most of the time it’s just that mental strength, that mental push you need from your teammates and yourself.”

On the Lions’ coaching staff

Williams joked about a Lions coaching staff that’s flush with NFL playing and coaching experience, “There’s a lot of Icy Hot in that room, just a lot of Bengay.”

Specifically, Williams was asked about the relationship between defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn and assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley, who were shown barking at each other and dishing out some trash talk on the practice field during the first episode.

“On the field, it’s war. But off the field, it’s all love and they’re like brothers,” Williams said. 

“I just love how they are, too. … They’ll be at each other’s heads all the time, and I just love it because it shows just how much heart, how much they love this game.”

On that memorable singing performance by Aiden Hutchinson

One of the most viral moments from that first “Hard Knocks” episode has been the scene of Lions rookie defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson belting out Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” in a team setting.

Rookie singing moments are a staple of “Hard Knocks,” wrote Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina, but this performance was on another level. 

“I learned a good lesson, that most of the people in the room are going to be older than you, so you might as well do an old song just so that they can get into it,” Williams said.

“Aidan, he did good. I was very proud of him. One rookie, he did horrible. He started singing the iCarly theme song, it was not poppin’.”

On his song of choice

When asked what song he sang when he was a rookie with the Green Bay Packers, Williams said it was “My Girl” by The Temptations. 

“The crazy part about it is, I’m not good with lyrics. I need karaoke style to read. I’m more with beats, like if it’s got a good beat to it, I’ll listen to it. But most of the time, I don’t listen to the lyrics. I just can’t remember them,” Williams said.

On head coach Dan Campbell

When GMF co-host Peter Schrager asked if Lions head coach Dan Campbell could be one of the greatest characters in “Hard Knocks” history, Williams backed up his coach.

“He’s authentic. He’s not trying to look like a certain thing on camera, it’s just him. That’s the best part about it, it’s just authentic, original and it’s just him,” Williams said.

“... He’s just an original person, a great person, and he’s just trying to get the best out of us and the best out of him, too.”