SPOTLIGHT: Wide receiver Calvin Johnson

Posted Aug 23, 2015

Tim Twentyman tracks the performance of wide receiver Calvin Johnson during practice.


Position: Wide receiver

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 236

College: Georgia Tech

Experience: Ninth season

Outlook: For the first time in a couple years Johnson didn’t require any kind of offseason surgery or extensive rehab.

Calvin JohnsonWR Calvin Johnson (Photo: Detroit Lions)

He’s the healthiest and strongest he’s felt in years and his comfort level in the offense in year two is extremely high. He and quarterback Matthew Stafford have always had a good rapport, but Johnson told that it’s been even stronger this offseason and in camp.

Johnson is healthy and motivated to prove to some of the doubters that he’s still the most difficult receiver in this game to defend. He missed three games last season and still caught 71 passes for 1,077 yards and eight touchdowns.

He missed five games due to injury the last two seasons combines and has been less than 100 percent in several other games. Still, he’s produced great numbers. For Johnson, 2015 is all about staying healthy.

Practice report: Johnson has looked as good as he ever has in camp. It’s obvious by the way he practices, jumps in extra drills and just his overall demeanor, that he’s in a good place right now.

He’s been a handful for the defense all through camp. He and Stafford have been good for at least one big play on a daily basis.

Stafford has talked about being more aggressive and taking more opportunities down the field when they present themselves this season. Well, Johnson is the best deep weapon in football. It’s no coincidence that Stafford’s more aggressive attitude coincides with Johnson’s health and the way he’s played all through camp.

Sunday was a short and light practice, but they did some team periods and Stafford found Johnson on a crossing route for a touchdown in a red zone 7-on-7 drill.

The pair just missed connecting on a deep ball down the left sideline in another team period. Stafford overthrew Johnson by a couple feet with Rashean Mathis in tight coverage.


“I got banged up last year,” Johnson said when asked about looking and feeling great in camp so far. “From then to now, yeah, it’s totally different because I’m not banged up right now.”