Calvin Johnson presents unrivaled issue for Eagles secondary

Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson dives for a touchdown against the Packers on Thanksgiving.
Credit: Getty Images

The mere mention of the name Calvin Johnson evokes images of NFL cornerbacks picking up their jock straps, and looking dazed and confused after being outraced on a deep route, or simply overmatched on a jump ball.

Johnson is the best wide receiver in football, so good that he usually comes out on top even when facing double and sometimes triple coverage. To some, the man they call Megatron may have touched down from another planet.

“In this world? No,” Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said, when asked if anybody was similar to Johnson. “The combination of his size and his speed and explosiveness, I don’t think there’s anybody like that in this league. He can just go get the football.”

There are plenty of recent examples of Johnson’s greatness. The list reads like a Hall of Fame speech. Kelly, without prompting, singled out his 14-catch, 329-yard performance against Dallas on Oct. 27.

“You look at the Cowboys game, you would think when you have a guy triple covered, they’re not going to throw the ball to him. [Matthew Stafford] throws it to him and he goes up and catches it,” Kelly said. “They’re still going to throw it up and a lot of times he goes and gets it. That’s what makes it really difficult with him.”

Johnson has already racked up 1,299 receiving yards on 72 catches, with 12 touchdowns. His combination of size – 6-foot-5, 239 pounds – and speed – 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash – is what makes him the toughest cover in football right now, and maybe ever.

“As far as I’m concerned, he’s a different challenge and may be, if he isn’t, the best wide receiver in the game,” said cornerback Cary Williams, who called the Cardinals “crybabies” earlier this week. “He’s more of a physical presence. He’s a glorified basketball player playing football.”

Follow Mike Greger on Twitter @mike_greger.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…


Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.


African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.


Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.


Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.


Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.


Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.