LIONS INSIDER

COORDINATOR CUT-UP: Lombardi to move Calvin Johnson around in offense

Posted Aug 20, 2014

Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi plans to keep opposing defenses guessing by moving WR Calvin Johnson around on the field.

Every time Calvin Johnson steps on the field he becomes the focal point of opposing defenses.

The job of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi is to find creative ways to get Johnson open so quarterback Matthew Stafford can deliver him the football, even though Johnson doesn’t necessarily have to be open to make a play.

Calvin JohnsonWR Calvin Johnson (Photo: Detroit Lions)

One of the ways Lombardi plans to keep defenses on their heels when it comes to defending Johnson is to move him around all over the field. It is more difficult to target a moving object than a stationary one.

The Lions plan to use Johnson out wide, in the slot and will motion him all over the field to help decipher defensive coverages and search for the best matchups.

“I think he’s going to move around a lot,” Lombardi said. “If they want to roll coverage to him or double him, it’s harder if he’s in multiple spots.

"And then I think every play you look at, you might want a guy with his skill set, I mean you’d like four of his skill sets, but, the point being you may want Golden Tate inside for a certain play, and you may want Golden outside and the same thing would apply for all of the receivers that you might have active.”

The goal is to make it harder for teams to use some of the double and triple coverages we’ve gotten accustomed to seeing vs. Johnson.

If a defense is successful in taking Johnson out of a particular play, Lombardi says he feels really good about Tate and his other receiving weapons and their ability to make plays.

“I think one of the good things of maybe him not playing in the preseason is I think you have seen some distribution with the football,” Lomabardi said. “That I think is going to help a player like him, that you can’t just say ‘he’s not catching the ball what else are you going to do?’

“I think, hopefully, the players have gained some confidence that the ball can be distributed and it doesn’t have to be just a one man show.”