Offseason Move No. 5 - Lions Sign WR Nate Burleson

Posted Jul 12, 2010

The offseason move voted as No. 5 by the fans is the signing of wide receiver Nate Burleson.

Along with defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, Burleson was one of Head Coach Jim Schwartz’s most coveted free agents. In fact, while he flew to Nashville to meet with Vanden Bosch, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan flew to Seattle to meet with Burleson.

“I got a call a little after nine, just relaxing at the house,” said Burleson. “Scott was in Seattle. I was like, ‘What’s going on? Is this really happening right now? Is this how people do things?’”

Linehan had dinner with Burleson and his dad and was sold on coming to Detroit.

“It wasn’t that I walked away with a full stomach and I was convinced that I need to play for the Lions, it was more the effort of him coming to Seattle, showing that he really wanted to make a personal connection,” said Burleson.

“Even though I know Scott, him coming out and actually looking me in my eyes and being in Seattle spoke volumes and for that reason I was very appreciative.”

Burleson posted his best numbers when he played under Linehan and across from wide receiver Randy Moss in Minnesota.

The parallels are too obvious to miss.

With 6-5, 235-pound Calvin Johnson opposite him, Burleson is hoping to come away with the same kind of production he did as a Viking.

Said Burleson of his time in Minnesota, “Scott would preach to me, ‘You’ve got to get open. I know you’re young, I know you just got here, but you have to get open. Do you what you did in college and make plays.’ That’s what I plan to do here, just make plays.”

Burleson being thrown into the mix changes the dynamics of the Lions’ offense.

Along with receivers Bryant Johnson and Dennis Northcutt and tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, Burleson adds yet another weapon to make defenses pay if they choose to zero in on Calvin Johnson.

“Calvin – he’s probably everything you hear and more,” said Burleson. “The nickname ‘Megatron’ is very fitting because he’s extremely big and extremely talented. The last time I played with a guy of that stature, that speed and that strength is probably Randy Moss.”

Johnson holds Burleson in an equally favorable light.

“I think he can be a big factor,” he said. “Nate has some speed. He has great run after the catch. I look forward to seeing him get the ball in his hands so he can make some moves and get down the field.”