Brent Grimes: Calvin Johnson is toughest receiver to defend

AP Photo/Rick Osentoski

Who is the toughest receiver to defend and why?

Brent Grimes: I would say Calvin Johnson because of size. He’s huge. He’s like an NBA small forward playing NFL receiver, and he still has the ability to run routes. But there’s a few of them that’s really good. I like Julio [Jones] a lot. But Calvin Johnson is just huge, and that combined with his athletic ability presents a lot of problems.

You’ve had the fourth-most interceptions since 2013 but aren’t often mentioned as one of the NFL’s top shutdown corners. Why do you think that is?

Grimes: I don’t know. I try not to think about it. It’s probably because I’m not a first-round pick. I haven’t been on that radar a lot. So I’m not one of those guys they talk about a lot. I can’t control that. I just play ball. I’m just worried about what my team thinks. As long as your peers and the people you know respect your game and know that you’re a good player, that’s all you need. The other stuff will come. You can’t so much worry about it. You just play your game and try to get better and just ball.

This defense allowed the most points per game over the final six games of last season. What needs to change to prevent that from repeating?

Grimes: It was a combination of things. Not to make excuses, but we were dealing with a bunch of injuries. But when it came down to it, it was a lot of minor mental mistakes. Things like that add up if a bunch of people are taking turns messing up pretty much. That’s what was going on. So what we got to do towards the end of the season, even if some people are nicked up, we got to focus on the little things and it will handle the bigger things.