ESPN lead analyst and Monday Night Football play-by-play man Mike Tirico regards
Tirico thinks the Lions got the ideal player to not only complement Johnson but to help the offense on his own merits when they signed free-agent
In a conversation with detroitlions.com in his recent visit to Lions training camp, Tirico talked about Johnson’s stature and what he hopes for his future, along with what he expects Tate to add to the offense.
On what he hopes to see out of Megatron as he begins his eighth season with the Lions:
Tirico: “I hope he is, and can stay, healthy the next few years, so we can appreciate a guy who really has revolutionized and changed the position.
“Obviously, you have a limited shelf life in the NFL, so I hope that in these years of his prime he can be healthy and at his best.”
On what makes Johnson different from other wide receivers:
Tirico: “There aren’t people his size (at wide receiver). When you go to games and see him in person, you are reminded – ‘My God, that guy is different than everybody else playing that position.’ And he is that special.
“The other players who might be close to his size – you look at an Alshon Jeffery maybe. Brandon Marshall has that thickness. But he (Johnson) has both. He’s got the size, the ability to catch in traffic, the thickness and the ability to get deep.
“Not many people have all of those. He has all of them.”
On what Golden Tate can add to the offense that has been missing in previous seasons:
Tirico: “He has emerged as more than a dependable player. He’s emerged as a real, legitimate threat that will give them the best option opposite Calvin, I think, that they can have, because he is young and provides some underneath stuff and some intermediate stuff as well. He can really be a threat.
“It’s not just as a speed guy. He has a lot of elements to his game.”
On what coming from the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks adds to Tate’s impact on his new team:
Tirico: “The place where he is, coming off a championship season, that adds a lot to your credibility in the locker room. When you’ve got one of those big things (a Super Bowl ring) that weighs down your hand, and that’s what these guys need to be around.
“He’s a perfect addition to this team.”