ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Calvin Johnson has spent his entire career making cornerbacks shake their heads and sometimes throw their hands up in frustration.
Johnson, the prototype at wide receiver, can be exceedingly difficult to cover by one guy most of the time. One man, though, has had very good success on him in the past: Darrelle Revis.
When the two were healthy in 2010 and Revis was with the Jets, the two faced off. Revis helped hold Johnson to one catch for 13 yards despite 39 routes run. Last season, with Revis still recovering from injury and missing the second half of the game when he was with Tampa Bay, Johnson caught four passes in the first half, when Revis played.
The Lions are all too familiar with New England’s No. 1 cornerback and break down what makes him special here.
Coach Jim Caldwell: He’s been outstanding from the first day he walked out on the field in this league. Size, speed, intangibles, works extremely hard, gifted. He’s got great, great passion for the game. He doesn’t like anybody to catch one ball on him. He’s pretty intense. Through the years he’s always been the same and he’s the same now. Very, very hard to deal with.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford: He’s got great balance. He never gets knocked off. He doesn’t seem to lose his feet. Ever. He’s got good upper body strength and stays with guys. He’s physical up top, holding and pushing and stuff you need to be to be a good press corner. And he’s a really intelligent football player. He’s not getting beat on double moves. He’s all over a bunch of routes that teams like to run. He studies his tape and he sees it. He’s a smart player.
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson: Really good with his transition. He’s a big guy, a bigger corner. Has good ball skills.
Wide receiver Corey Fuller: The production that he’s had. Kyle, my brother (who plays for the Bears), he used to try to mimic him when he was out on the field. He’s just a dominant player. He has a knack for being around the ball and he’s got ball skills, so he’s got it all.
Safety Glover Quin: He seems to be patient at the line. Heavy hands. Gets his hands on guys. Smart, so he understands route concepts and things of that nature. I’ve heard he’s a big-time competitor so when you’re smart, you’re competitive, you’re patient at the line, you’re athletic enough to stay in front of guys and jam them and you know the route concepts, that gives you a pretty good advantage.
Cornerback Rashean Mathis: Just like every other good corner, he does what he does well. So everyone has their stretches and he’s had a good stretch.