The Lions will be without receiver Calvin Johnson for tonight’s preseason game in Cleveland because the All Pro receiver is dealing with a knee contusion (bruise). Johnson also sat out of Tuesday’s practice.
The injury is not believed to be serious, and since this is the preseason, it’s a good chance to sit Megatron and give some receivers a chance to step up and earn a roster spot.
Most notably, Patrick Edwards, who will start in place of Johnson.
The team will also be without safety Louis Delmas, who will miss a second consecutive preseason game.
“Is it important for me to get out there? Yes. But is it wise? Right now I don’t think so,” Delmas said this week.
“I’m definitely on schedule for the regular season, it’s just trying to get into these preseason (games). I’m kind of doubtful about it, but I still want to get out there and participate with my team before the regular season.”
We’ll see if that happens next week vs. New England or in the preseason finale at Buffalo.
Don Carey will start in his place of Delmas.
Also sitting out tonight is safety John Wendling, cornerbacks Chris Greenwood and Jonte Green and tight end Matt Veldman, who injured an Achilles tendon catching a pass in practice this week.
Cornerback Ron Bartell, defensive end Israel Idonije and receiver Ryan Broyles were not on the list of inactive players released by the team before the game. We’ll see if they play tonight.
Tags: Calvin Johnson, Louis Delmas, Patrick Edwards
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 2 Comments »
“I always go against the starting two corners, Chris Houston and Ron Bartell, and they’re bigger backs. Both Chris and Bartell are real strong. You have to use all your techniques in order to get off the line with those guys.
“They also have experience, which makes a lot of difference — it is everything in the NFL. The more experience you have, the better your instincts are … and at cornerback, instincts are everything.
“Looking at our young guys, Chris Greenwood is finally getting to see the field. He doesn’t have as much experience with us on the field as he might want, but he’s being physical out there so that will play out better for him.
“Bentley, he’s got a little game experience. If he just stays healthy, he’s going to be all right — he’s going to be a playmaker for us. And with Jonte, we just need him to stay healthy and be a little more physical out there and he’ll be all right.
“The rookie, Slay, he’s got the tools. He’s got the speed, he can catch the ball, and he can make plays on the ball. He’s an all-around good corner but he’s still raw. For him, the biggest thing is getting experience from us in training camp and preseason.
“Having a veteran like Quin out there is also going to help out a lot. Its like when we had Delmas out there last year. When you got Delmas out there, everybody is comfortable, everybody knows what to do. I think we can get the same thing out of Quin.”
Tags: Calvin Johnson, Chris Houston, Darius Slay, Glover Quin, Jonte Green, Ron Bartell
Posted in Calvin Johnson Blog | 14 Comments »
@ConnorGraham39 asks, “Thoughts on Reggie Bush being a Detroit Lion?”
MEGATRON: “Going to be a big help. It’s going to take pressure off everybody on the offense making plays because he’s going to be out there making plays and moving us up and down the field as well.”
@JoeandEff asks, “what are the top three things the lions must do to win the division this year?”
MEGATRON:“Win. Make plays at the end of the game and start faster.”
@Mrsemipro asks, “what kind of car do you drive?”
MEGATRON:“Don’t worry about it. I don’t want people to know what I drive.”
@AKDW90 asks, “What are your personal goals for 2013?”
MEGATRON: “Personal goal is to do better than I did last year in every category.”
@go20lions asks, “What is your favorite stadium away from #FordField to play in and why?”
MEGATRON: “Green Bay just because of the history.”
@steven_welling asks, “what’s your favorite restaurant in Detroit?“
MEGATRON: “Morton’s. I did like that Joe Maur. I’ve only been there once, but it’s good.”
@Ed2cool901 asks, “pick a hall of fame DB to go against for one game #AskMegatron”
MEGATRON: “Hall of Fame to go against the best, it would have to be Deion (Sanders).”
@DetroitlionsNFL asks, “Who would win?”
MEGATRON: “Aw man, I’m gonna go up on him.”
@TheRealNate13 asks, “Who is the best DB in the #NFL at covering you 1 on 1 in man coverage?”
MEGATRON: “I don’t know, it’s tough because I don’t go against the same guy all the time. Guys, they play double coverage, so it’s hard to say. Chris (Houston) does a hell of a job. I see him every day and we go one-on-one, so that’s a battle in itself.”
@SquirmyWilliams asks, “How do you plan to repeat last years performance and do you think it is possible to do again?”
MEGATRON: “It’s definitely possible, but if guys are healthy, I shouldn’t have to do that.”
What does it mean to you to be called Megatron?
MEGATRON: “It’s cool. I just try to be big and strong and fast like he is (laughter)“
@sabree06 asks, “Do you think you would have a dominating player in baseball, like you are in football?”
Megatron: “I would hope so. I think so.”
@ChrisN408 asks, “how did you feel when you realized you broke Jerry Rice’s record for most yards in a season?”
Megatron: “It was humbling. I didn’t think it was possible, but it happened. It was just from hard work and, like I said, when guys went down I had to take on a lot of our offense.”
Tags: Calvin Johnson
Posted in Calvin Johnson Blog | 4 Comments »
New running back Reggie Bush is going to help both as a runner and receiver. So would tight end Brandon Pettigrew returning to his 2011 form.
The Lions are hopeful that getting receivers Ryan Broyles and Nate Burleson back healthy will make a difference, too.
Burleson is recovering from a broken leg and Broyles a second torn ACL.
Broyles, in particular, has a chance to really fill that void this season. A second-round pick last year, he has an opportunity to be a breakout performer from last year’s draft class. He was just coming into his own with a six-catch, 126-yard performance the prior week to tearing his ACL vs. the Colts.
He seems ahead of schedule in his rehab, already taking part in the team portion of practice in mini-camp.
“I’m not surprised because I see him on a daily basis,” Johnson said Tuesday of Broyles’ recovery. “We see his progression. He’s looking good and moving around good.”
The Lions thought Broyles, who finished his college career with 349 catches for 4,586 yards and 45 touchdowns, was a steal in the second round of the 2012 draft. If not for the ACL injury, he might have been a first-round pick.
When 100-percent healthy, the Lions are expecting him to make a first-round type of impact this season. And so is Johnson.
“He has a good feel for the slot,” Johnson said. “He has a good feeling on how things are moving in there and he does good in there. He did a lot of that in college and he learns fast. He’s a smart kid and I expect more of that from him when he’s out there.”
That’s good news for both the Lions and Johnson in 2013.
Tags: Calvin Johnson, Ryan Broyles
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 14 Comments »
News has been circulating that Calvin Johnson admitted to playing with broken fingers last season, but a source with the Lions is confirming that is inaccurate.
While Johnson did admit to suffering finger injuries, he did not specifically state that he did suffer a break.
“Had a couple things here and there,” he said regarding his fingers. “Pretty much just getting them back straight and trying to straighten those things out.”
Johnson was reluctant to say the injuries affected his play, stating that “it’s nothing that’s going to prohibit me from doing what I’ve got to do … I mean, the thing is with a lot of football players, you have injuries. Unless you know about it, you just think it’s something that’s hurting and you just keep on playing.”
When asked when the injuries occurred, Johnson said the season was such a blur, he couldn’t pinpoint an exact date and time.
“I don’t blame anything on it,” he said. “I don’t blame any drops or anything like that on it. It’s just part of the game. Had a heck of a season with it and I’m just fortunate to be in that position.”
Tags: Calvin Johnson
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 4 Comments »
I had a chance to sit down with new running backs coach/run game coordinator Curtis Modkins and new tight ends coach Bobby Johnson last week and both coaches said they were amazed at the looks they’ve been seeing from opposing defenses as they watched last season’s cut-ups.
“There are looks on film watching the cut-ups from last season that I haven’t seen in many years,” Johnson said of what he and Modkins are seeing on how defenses played the Lions this year.
“You’re seeing many looks, especially from a run-game standpoint; when you draw the diagram and install the play you draw the most basic, cleanest look (from the defense) and (the Lions) got that look quite a bit because people were worried about Calvin and Matthew and the pass game.
“As we say in the business, there’s some very juicy looks right there.”
ESPN NFC North writer Kevin Seifert did some terrific research with the help of the ESPN Stats and Information department that lends credence to what Johnson and Modkins are seeing in the cut-ups.
In 2012, the Lions ran more plays (855 of a possible 1,160) against defenses with six or fewer defenders in the box than any other team, according to Seifert. They also faced, by far, the fewest number of “stacked” boxes — eight or more defenders within two yards of the tackle and five yards deep. That happened on only 1.6 percent of their plays (19 of 1,160).
Give the Lions credit for trying to run the football against such looks. In 231 attempts, they rushed for an average of 4.48 yards per carry and scored four touchdowns. But they managed a first down on only 18.6 percent of those runs, tied for No. 21 in the NFL, Seifert wrote.
“With Calvin (Johnson) and the receivers we have in place, the quarterback and what they’ve done in the passing game here, it does allow you to have some boxes that are conducive to having a good running game,” Modkins said. “I’m excited to see what we can do with that. It’s a little different than what I’ve seen the last three years.”
It just goes to show how incredible Calvin Johnson’s 2012 season was. With six or fewer defenders in the box, and five or more in coverage, Johnson caught 91 of his 122 passes for 1,428 of his 1,964 yards and all five of his touchdowns.
Seifert’s article was appropriately titled: “The Calvin Johnson effect”
Tags: Bobby Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Curtis Modkins
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »
Detroit Lions All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson (@bigplaycj) made the trip to ESPN’s set in Bristol, Conn., to shoot a ‘This is SportCenter’ commercial.
While we can’t give away the final product, Johnson did have some fun with ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak (@lindsayczarniak) as he transitioned from Megatron to EGGatron.
Take a look:
Tags: Calvin Johnson
Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 5 Comments »
Gil Brandt stirred up some controversy with Detroit Lions fans earlier this month when he said via Twitter and on Sirius NFL Radio that Falcons receiver Julio Jones was a better receiver than Calvin Johnson.
Brandt wasn’t backing off that claim down at New Orleans for the Super Bowl.
“I think Calvin Johnson is a great player but if I drafted right now I would take Julio Jones,” Brandt said. “I just think he’s a better football player. I think he has great hands.”
Jones had a nice season with 79 receptions for 1,193 yards this season and 10 touchdowns, helping lead the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game.
Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single-season record for receiving yards in a season with 1,964 yards on 122 catches. He had half as many touchdowns as Jones (5), but did get tackled inside the 2-yard line six times.
Jones’ second season in the league is very comparable to Johnson’s. In 2008, Johnson had 78 catches for 1,331 yards and 12 touchdowns.
“If you sit at this table and there’s 10 guys at this table and you ask the two names, Johnson would probably be about a 6-to-4 favorite. I just like Julio Jones a little better.”
It was Jones who replaced Johnson in the Pro Bowl earlier this month when Johnson decided not to play due to injury.
Tags: Calvin Johnson
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 25 Comments »
When it came time for Lions players to sit down and cast their votes for team awards, there may not have been an easier decision to make than choosing the Bobby Lane Offensive MVP.
Receiver Calvin Johnson was an absolute no brainer to be the recipient after the year he had in 2012.
Johnson produced one of the most historic seasons among receivers in NFL history, finishing with 122 receptions for an NFL record 1,964 yards and five touchdowns.
“Well, nothing that he does ceases to amaze me,” Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “He’s always taken it up another notch every year. He’s taken it up maybe a couple this year. He’s had to pick up the slack too for some guys missing, but gladly does it. It’s so impressive what he does, but it’s more impressive the way he goes about his business and that’s what kind of sets him apart from a lot of other guys.”
Johnson’s 122.8 yards per game average was the third-most in NFL history (minimum 12 games) and his 122 receptions made him the second player in team history and just the sixth player in NFL history (eight times) to register 120 receptions in a season.
He did all that while dealing with knee, foot, finger and neck injuries throughout the course of the season, the same injuries that will keep him out of the Pro Bowl later this month.
Johnson earned his second-straight All Pro selection and is widely considered the best receiver in the game today.
The Bobby Layne Award is given in memory of quarterback Bobby Layne who sparked the Lions to three NFL Championships and four Western Division titles during the 1950s, including back-to-back world championships in 1952 and ‘53. He established virtually every career passing record, including attempts (2,193), completions (1,074), yardage (15,710), and touchdown passes (118). Layne was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.
Tags: Calvin Johnson
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 11 Comments »
Johnson, who broke Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving yards record (1,964 yards), dealt with knee and finger injuries over the course of the 2012 season.
Said Johnson on being elected to the Pro Bowl for the third-straight year, “These guys – the guys you go up against every day, it’s means a lot when they vote for you because you have to see them on the field for 60 minutes and they know what you’re about because they see it on film. They watch film just as much as you do, so to be elected by your peers, it’s respect.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reported that wide receiver Vincent Jackson will take Johnson’s place.
Tags: Calvin Johnson
Posted in DetroitLions.com Blog | 4 Comments »