Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The day the earth stood still

Calvin drops a pass in practice

-- At one point during Monday’s practice, rookie wide receiver Calvin Johnson took off down the right sideline. He pulled well ahead of the defensive backs chasing him. The ball fell right into his hands …

And Johnson dropped it.

The Lions’ facility echoed with gasps and groans. Johnson had made so many remarkable plays since the Lions drafted him second overall, it was as if no one could believe he could actually drop a ball. Alas, the kid is human.

Here is another version of the same thing:

For those of you that like to rip and say Kitna isn’t an accurate long-range passer I wish you had been in practice today. He threw one bomb and it was a perfect strike (sixty yards in fact) that he dropped in a spot that only CJ could get it while in double coverage. CJ dropped it and not only was I shocked since it was a perfect pass and he has made some much more difficult catches, but the entire staff and team all yelled out in shock. It was as loud as the team got today and it was a wonderful camaraderie moment as it was more of a come on rook moment.

In other news, reports of a white horse flying in the clouds over Detroit..................

In addition there were these nuggets:

The WR’s in this system are trained to go to a spot. I know that some people struggle with that concept but it is the way things happen with Martz. Early in practice the players had to make an eight-yard sprint and cut between the eight and ten yard marks. There were two cones that they had to cut between. CJ ran past the cone and the coaches’ tore him up. I can’t tell you exactly what was said but after practice someone close to the drill essentially told me “he was just instructed that out here people don’t care where you were picked, just make the cut and catch the ******* ball! The players really like CJ and his work ethic and he loves that he isn’t getting any special treatment. He gets ripped like any rookie trying for a spot.

Another sign of respect and what the Lions think of CJ. He was double teamed all day in team sessions. That was probably part of the reason he struggled but the dude is a rook and that happens?! (yes I realize I used to punctuation marks and that is how I felt) The point that stuck out however was that they did it all day.

Another CJ note. Travis Fisher wanted to make a point when covering him today and CJ just literally ran by him. He had Fisher twisted and turned and was just another flash of potential greatness. You will see less of the miraculous catches for now as CJ is learning his routes but his speed is spectacular and he knows what to do with it.

..................and the AJC laments the Falcons lame attempt (or lack there of) at getting CJ.

Lastly, CJ's WR mate - Roy Williams had this to say:

"We're a good group," Williams said of the Lions receivers. "We just got to get Calvin (Johnson) to where he needs to be. Once he gets there, it's over."

The Lions' No. 1 pick out of Georgia Tech, Johnson has been running first team since mini-camp because of Williams' injury. Williams said the two are perfect compliments for one another.

"This system is based on that," he said. "Nobody gave Mike Furrey the time of day last year but when you catch 103 balls Û me and him just fed off each other 1-2 and hopefully me and Calvin can do the same things. But he's going to have to beat out Mike Furrey for that position."

Williams paused for two seconds, then finished his remarks with a laugh, "Ha, ha."