At Georgia Tech, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas were teammates. On Sunday, they’ll be opponents. And Thomas says whether he’s playing with Johnson or against him, he’s always watching closely.
“I’m just trying to get where he’s at,” Thomas said of Johnson, via the Denver Post. “He is elite.”
Obviously, Thomas has a long way to go. Johnson is perhaps the best receiver in the NFL, while Thomas has struggled with injuries and caught just 25 passes in the year and a half since the Broncos took him in the first round of the NFL draft.
But Thomas, who arrived at Georgia Tech as a freshman after Johnson was already an established star, says he has internalized a lot of the lessons he heard from Johnson.
“He taught me how to get off press, how to read defenses,” Thomas said. “Coming from high school, I hadn’t played receiver much, so I got with him and I learned a lot from him.”
Johnson is obviously a good role model for a young receiver. But some of the things Johnson does on the field are things that just can’t be taught.