Calvin Johnson may be expecting plenty of single coverage this Sunday but Jets head coach Rex Ryan said even he isn’t that “crazy.”
Arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, Johnson consistently puts up numbers befitting his big frame. Very few cornerbacks in the league can cover Johnson, whose size, speed and strong vertical leap makes him a nightmare for defensive coordinators.
In a conference call with the New York media, Johnson said the Jets utilize a lot of single coverage and he would “definitely look forward to the opportunities to get single-high coverage out there.”
Ryan laughed at Johnson’s expectations.
“He’s right, but he’s not getting any of that,” Ryan said on Wednesday. “I’m crazy, but not that crazy.”
But the Lions are much more than Megatron, even though he leads the team with 19 receptions for 329 yards. The offseason addition of Golden Tate, who left a Super Bowl team in Seattle for bigger money to play opposite Johnson, has added another dimension to the Lions offense.
Tate is an excellent route runner, explosive after the catch and can stretch the field vertically for Johnson to be the home run threat down the field.
“Golden has been a great addition for us,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said. “I think you can see week-in and week-out that Calvin gets a lot of attention, therefore it’s probably going to leave opportunities for Golden on the other side to get a little wiggle room, or maybe he is one-on-one if Calvin is doubled.”
The end result is another tall task for a Jets secondary that has struggled over the last two weeks. The Jets have rolled out an inexperienced group at the position with Dee Milliner sidelined due to ankle and quadriceps injuries.
So while Johnson might draw some double coverage on Sunday, Tate could be the one who benefits the most.
If the Jets want to put two men on Johnson, the Lions wide receiver is more than willing to draw the attention.
“If they want to do that, then we have a plethora of other playmakers that can go out there and get the job done as well,” Johnson said. “So you kind of have to pick your poison.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.