Calvin Johnson wants to make receiving record stick
BY JOHN KREGER Associated Press
Friday, December 28, 2012
12/28/12 at 6:15 AM
ALLEN PARK, Mich. - The smile has rarely left Calvin Johnson's face since he broke Jerry Rice's NFL record for receiving yards in a single season against Atlanta on Dec. 22.
Don't let Johnson's smile fool you. Underneath that cheery expression, there's a fierce competitor who wants to make Rice's accomplishments a distant second to his own effort this year.
Johnson's record-setting night against the Falcons put him at 1,892 yards for the season, just 108 yards shy of the 2,000 receiving yard plateau. The Lions wide receiver doesn't normally focus on his own achievements, but he admitted Thursday that he wanted to reach the milestone to ensure that no one challenged his record for a very long time.
It "would be big - kind of almost put that (record) away for a while," he said. "All records are meant to be broken, but it would take a long time for somebody to come and get that. You never know. It could happen next year, but it would be a tough (record to break)."
Getting the yards he needs to break the 2,000-yard mark won't be easy for Johnson against a Bears team that held him to a season-low three catches for 34 yards on 11 targets when Chicago beat Detroit 13-7 on Oct. 22.
Asked why Chicago was able to limit his effectiveness, Johnson credited Bears defensive coordinator - and Johnson's former head coach in Detroit - Rod Marinelli for designing pass coverage schemes that aren't easy for him to anticipate.
"(Chicago does) a great job with their safeties and bringing them down really late (to challenge receivers)," he said. "From film, we've seen games they haven't done it as much, but for some reason when we see them, they do a lot of disguising (coverages), which makes it harder (to get open)."
It's also worth noting that Chicago will be able to devote more attention to stopping Johnson than they did in the teams' first meeting of the season because of season-ending injuries to receivers Nate Burleson, Titus Young and former Oklahoma Sooner Ryan Broyles.
Original Print Headline: Calvin Johnson looks past record