Packers will look to stop megatronThe temptation when playing a receiver as big, strong and scary good as Calvin Johnson is to get aggressive, try to outmuscle him and hope it throws him off his game.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The temptation when playing a receiver as big, strong and scary good as Calvin Johnson is to get aggressive, try to outmuscle him and hope it throws him off his game.
Do that, and you may as well ask the Screen Actors Guild for membership because the highlights of Megatron’s mega-day will be all over TV for the rest of the week. Maybe the rest of the season.
“The guy’s just too strong,” Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said Thursday. “He just kind of throws you here and there and gets you out of position, and you don’t want that. So you can’t play him that way.”
Williams ought to know. He’s seen Johnson twice a year for the last four seasons now, and it will be his responsibility to make sure the NFL’s leading receiver (in yardage) doesn’t have a record-setting day Sunday like he did the last time the Packers (6-3) and Detroit (4-5) played. After managing just 49 yards and four catches in Detroit’s first game against Green Bay last year, Johnson torched Williams and the Packers in the rematch for 244 yards on 11 catches, both career highs.
The 244 yards receiving were the most ever given up by the Packers, and also was tops in the NFL last year.
“Some games you may come in and you may slow him down. Some games you may come in and you may not,” Williams said. “You’ve just got to go in and have that mindset that you will go out and get your job done.”
To be fair, Williams was barely hanging on by that game, the regular-season finale. He’d bruised a nerve in his right shoulder in the season opener, and never really recovered. After a team-high nine interceptions in 2010, he had just four last year, none after Nov. 20.
Though Williams didn’t talk much about the injury, he admits now it affected both his play and his preparation.
“It’s hard enough by itself to come out and just play these guys. Now you have the mental burden of an injury that’s nagging you throughout the year, you can’t quite focus like you’re used to,” he said.