Lions receivers coach praises Calvin Johnson’s blocking


Everyone knows what Lions receiver Calvin Johnson can do with the ball in his hands, but Johnson’s position coach says that what really sets Johnson apart is what he does when the ball is going to someone else.

Lions receivers coach Shawn Jefferson is participating in a series of videos on the Lions’ website breaking down film of Johnson’s 10 best plays of 2011, and Jefferson’s choice for Johnson’s ninth-best play was one on which Johnson didn’t touch the ball. Instead, Johnson had the key block that sprung teammate Nate Burleson, turning a pass behind the line of scrimmage into a 16-yard touchdown.

“Calvin is just a monster, perfect technique,” Jefferson said while running through film of Johnson’s block. “What we teach here is you want Calvin, when he’s about to make contact with the defender, we want him to bend his knees and explode through the defender.”

Jefferson, who played wide receiver for 13 seasons in the NFL, said he stresses in the receivers’ meetings the importance of helping out on blocking.

“This is where Calvin defines what a receiver truly is,” Jefferson said. “We always have the adage in our room, if you want the ball you better be ready to block for your teammates. . . . Here you have the best receiver in the league sacrificing his body for his teammate to get in the end zone.”

In a 2011 season full of highlights for Megatron, that block would have been an easy one to miss. But that block says as much about what kind of player Johnson is as any touchdown catch.

19 responses to “Lions receivers coach praises Calvin Johnson’s blocking

  1. I wonder what a 5’10” CB thinks when he sees Calvin Johnson coming to knock him over and he knows he isn’t even fast enough to get out of the way.

  2. Funny story about how I hear a lot of fans that say Matt Millen ruined the Lions but made up for it by selecting Calvin, the true story is Rod Marinelli was quoted as saying Mike Martz through a fit and demanded they select Calvin in the war room, so it was really Martz and not Millen, so Millen yes, you are the worst GM in sports history and thank you Mike Martz you’re a terrible OC but you deserve a pat on the back.

  3. I guess it helps that he’s got 3′ and a hundred pounds on the CB he’s facing. 🙂

  4. I appreciate any and all news NFL that I can possibly read. However, a receivers’ coach’s assessment of his receiver’s blocking tells me training camp can’t come soon enough.

  5. nice to finally see a WR that plays an all around game and isn’t making a complete spectacle of himself every week.

  6. Why not just say, “Megatron’s obviously elite, but because we’ve ran out of ways to pat him on the back, we had to come up with something else.”

    Good blocking son!

    (seriously, Megatron can pretty much do it all. That’s why he gets the nickname. Goes w/o saying imo.)

  7. I’ve been saying since 2008, the year after he was drafted, that he is the best WR in the league, just has yet to show everyone. No one agreed with me.

  8. Calvin Johnson is the most astonishing athlete on earth, yet the ESPYs didn’t nominate him for their “best male athlete award”. Whoever wins that trophy, will still be second to Megatron.

  9. I could have sworn he was a receiver. I was impressed with the Lions having suffered with them for lets say over 40 years and leave it at that.
    No excuses this year. Play-offs or bust for these guys.

  10. This article makes me think back to Herman Moore telling me at one of his football camps that Lion WR’s took as much pride blocking for Barry Sanders downfield as catching passes…

  11. 4evrnyt says:
    Jul 11, 2012 1:17 PM
    The dude is 6’5″ and nearly 240lbs, how sad would it be if he wasn’t a good blocker?

    most receivers dont touch a blocking assignment though, which is why it is significant.

  12. Gotta love a complete Super Star player. CJ ain’t some slacker like guys who give up on routes, are afraid of catching over the middle, can’t run block to save their lives.

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