Lions WR Johnson close to 2,000 yards receiving

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 27, 2012
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 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 Ryan Broyles. Lions coach Jim Schwartz admits that his current receiving corps has forced him to rely heavily on Johnson's production, and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan says he will have to find creative ways to create space for quarterback Matthew Stafford to get Johnson the ball. ''We're obviously going to have to put (Johnson) in different positions (on the field),'' Linehan said. ''There's going to be even more attention on him with our receiving depth the way it is. Guys have got to be good around him. But I think he'll still have a productive game the way he's locked in.'' Johnson isn't alone in his desire to break the 2,000-yard mark before the season ends. Several of his teammates say they want him to reach the milestone so that he receives the attention they say he has earned by choosing to support the team rather than focus on personal goals. ''He deserves (the recognition),'' WR Kris Durham said. ''He's a true professional, he's a team guy, and I can't say enough about him. When you've have an accomplishment like he had, it's very easy to congratulate him and make (the focus) about him.'' Johnson stopped short of predicting that he would reach the milestone Thursday, but that didn't stop teammate Rob Sims from echoing the sentiments of several people in the Lions' locker room who believe Johnson will reach the 2,000-yard mark. ''(Breaking the 2,000-yard mark) is going to be kind of easy for him,'' Sims said. ''As good as he is, I think it's almost a shoe-in.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vlade Divac indicates DeMarcus Cousins’ agents killed other deal

Report: Julius Thomas traded to Dolphins

Joe Mixon likely to go undrafted in April?

Belichick officially updates boat’s name to ‘VII Rings’

Canseco warns humanity about robot takeover in Twitter rant

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before pitching in 2000 NLDS

Kings throw shade at Cousins in press release announcing trade

Report: Jets tampered with Revis through private phones, secret meetings

Calipari shoots down talk of him leaving Kentucky for Pelicans

Report: Carmelo prefers trade to Clippers or Lakers

Report: Kings blowing up roster, putting Darren Collison, Ben McLemore on block

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher with 200 or more wins since 1961

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker