2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Eagles not discussing plans for Lions WR Johnson

By ROB MAADDI - AP Pro Football Writer
    2012-10-12 14:50

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Calvin Johnson's nickname is enough to scare opponents, even if he's not finding the end zone with regularity.

The All-Pro wide receiver will try to catch his first touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford this season when the Detroit Lions (1-3) visit the Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) on Sunday.

``When they give you the nickname `Megatron,' that means you're pretty good,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said of Johnson. ``He's a really good player.''

Johnson has a tough challenge going against a secondary that features a pair of accomplished cornerbacks: two-time All-Pro Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a 2009 Pro Bowl pick. Rookie Brandon Boykin may even line up against Johnson at times.

``These guys have corners that can play,'' Stafford said. ``You look at them on tape, they're shutting guys down.''

Whatever the Eagles plan to do to cover Johnson, they're not letting on.

``I don't want to give away what we're going to do,'' defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said. ``Hopefully we can talk about it after the game, and you can say, `Juan, that was a good game plan that you all had.'''

The Lions use Johnson in various formations, lining him up inside, outside and wherever they think they can draw a mismatch. He has 29 catches for 423 yards, but his only TD catch was thrown by Shaun Hill.

When Johnson is in the slot, Asomugha probably will move over to cover him instead of Boykin, who usually plays there. Rodgers-Cromartie had a tough time adjusting to playing nickel cornerback last year, making Asomugha more likely to get the assignment. Rodgers-Cromartie has outplayed Asomugha in man-to-man coverage, so he should be on Johnson when he's outside.

Like other teams, the Eagles may also use a safety to double-cover Johnson.

``Normally people are looking to cover him with a couple of people,'' coach Andy Reid said. ``He has earned that respect and that's what teams have done. That doesn't mean that is what you have to do, but that is what teams have tried to do against him. That has been going on not just this year but the last few. They still try to find ways to get him open and get him the football.''

Rodgers-Cromartie indicated the Eagles will put two guys on Johnson.

``You just have to keep a couple of people on him,'' he said. ``You have to keep him out of the game and don't even allow him to get started. Frustrate him early.''

The Lions have an idea of what the Eagles might try to do. Even though Johnson has only scored once, Detroit is moving the ball. The Lions are third in the NFL in yards and second in first downs.

``They've got great corners. I think they're a matchup kind of a defense,'' offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. ``They're not just going to go out and play straight man-on-man. They're going to have guys accounting for the receivers in close coverage. I would expect more of that than any of the games we've had so far.''

Stafford connected with Johnson for two TDs in each of the first four games last year and nine times in five games to lift the Lions to a 5-0 start en route to their first playoff appearance since 1999. Johnson finished with 96 catches for 1,681 yards and 16 TDs.

But with Stafford off to a slow start - he has fewer TD passes (three) than interceptions (four) - and Johnson not making big plays, it's no wonder the Lions are struggling. Johnson, though, is due for a breakout performance.

``He can run, he can jump, and he has great hands,'' Castillo said. ``He does a great job running routes and catching the football in traffic and over the middle. The quarterback trusts him.

``Stafford will throw to him even if he is double covered.''

---

NOTES: The Eagles have no injuries and everyone should be ready to play vs. the Lions. ... Eagles QB Michael Vick carried a football around with him all week, even taking it to breakfast. Teammates tried to strip it away whenever they saw him holding it around the practice facility. Vick has fumbled eight times, losing five of those. ``There was a bounty on the ball,'' he joked.

---

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 17 08:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks [ More ]

Zach HockerMay 17 04:42p

The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Dolphins).

Joseph RandleMay 16 07:32p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the skills to lead the team's backfield in 2015 but he'll need to work on his off-field issues, according to Jon Machota of [ More ]

Matt CasselMay 15 07:52p

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel is likely to enter Week 1 of the season as the team's backup quarterback, in the opinion of The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci. He [ More ]

Santana MossMay 15 07:12p

Free-agent WR Santana Moss (Redskins) is not ready to hang up his cleats and retire this offseason. 'I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do [ More ]

Robert TurbinMay 14 05:32p

Seattle Seahawks RB Robert Turbin (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason, according to sources. No timetable was disclosed for his recovery.

Tom BradyMay 14 03:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has officially appealed his four-game suspension.

Greg SalasMay 13 02:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Salas (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, May 13. Financial terms were not disclosed.

John ConnerMay 13 12:03p

Free-agent FB John Conner (Jets) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, May 13. FB Corey Knox was waived to make room for him.

Tom BradyMay 13 10:03a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension could be reduced significantly, and possibly overturned, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brady has put together a renowned legal team to appeal his suspension.

D.J. SwearingerMay 12 05:22p

Free-agent SS D.J. Swearinger was officially claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, May 12.

Fred JacksonMay 12 03:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson may not make the final roster if the Bills end up keeping only three running backs, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. RB LeSean [ More ]

Lance MooreMay 12 01:23p

Free-agent WR Lance Moore (Steelers) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Justin BlackmonMay 12 11:02a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was denied reinstatement by the NFL this offseason, according to The Associated Press' Mark Long. It's unclear whether Blackmon failed a drug test or [ More ]

Joseph RandleMay 12 10:42a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could see the bulk of the carries as the season weighs on, in the opinion of beat writer Todd Archer. Archer pegged Randle for [ More ]

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 11 09:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start while QB Tom Brady serves his suspension for 'DeflateGate'. Brady was suspended four games by the National Football League [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 11 07:12p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will appeal his four-game suspension, according to his agent.

Tom BradyMay 11 05:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended four games for his involvement in the deflated-football incident in the AFC Championship. In addition, the Patriots will lose their [ More ]

D.J. SwearingerMay 11 04:12p

Houston Texans SS D.J. Swearinger was officially released Monday, May 11.

Carey SpearMay 11 01:22p

Cleveland Browns PKs Travis Coons and Carey Spear will compete for the kicker job this offseason, and the competition is wide open at this point, according to special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.

Garrett HartleyMay 11 01:12p

Cleveland Browns PK Garrett Hartley was released Monday, May 11.

Kyle ArringtonMay 11 10:32a

New England Patriots CB Kyle Arrington was released Monday, May 11, according to a source. The team left the door open for him to return.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group