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Calvin Johnson: This is Lions’ best chance to win a Super Bowl

Calvin-Johnson-Flying-Lions-Receivers-to-Pro-BowlThe Detroit Lions took a small step in the right direction last season, but they were ultimately a dissappointment once again. The Lions are just 11-21 since ending their 11-year playoff drought back in 2011. Just when Detroit fans thought their team might be turning a corner, the Lions reverted to their old ways. Calvin Johnson feels the 2014 season will be different.

After practice on Tuesday, Megatron said he believes this season represents Detroit’s “best chance” to win a championship.

“I honestly believe that,” Johnson said, via Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press. “And you’ve got to buy in. You’ve got to buy into the coaches’ philosophy, and we have. I believe that everybody is doing exactly what the coaches want us to do, and if we’re not, if something is not like he wants it, he’s going to tell us and we’re going to get better at it and he only has to tell us one time.”

There’s no question the Lions have enough talent to be a serious contender. Their offense is loaded with big names like Megatron, Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush and now Golden Tate. A front seven led by Ndamukong Suh should dominate, though it has not been that simple in past seasons.

While Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he also believes his team has the foundation needed to win a Lombardi Trophy, Stafford seemed a bit more reserved.

“I think we’re a talented football team, but there’s a long way to go,” Stafford said. “This is practice No. 2 for Week 1. Obviously, we’re a confident bunch. We’re confident in our abilities and our schemes, confident in each other. But at the same time we got to go out there and execute. We got to get better week to week, we got to get hot and go and see what happens. But on paper we’re as talented as anybody in the league, in my opinion.”

The NFC North, led by the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, should be a very difficult division this season. The key for the Lions will be getting off to a good start and proving they are not going to be the same disaster that they have been for the better part of two years.

Calvin Johnson’s girlfriend Brittney McNorton works for the Lions

Calvin Johnson Brittney McNorton girlfriend

Calvin Johnson found himself in the middle of some baby mama drama after his current girlfriend allegedly threatened the mother of his child, Shallyn Blanton.

Blanton said Johnson violated their shared custody agreement by bringing his current girlfriend, Brittney McNorton, around their child (specifically to a meeting to pick up their child). Given that their child is only six months old, the relationship between Calvin and Blanton could not have ended too long ago.

Anyway, you probably wanted some more info on Megatron’s girlfriend, so we have that for you. As Del pointed out in his previous post, McNorton works for the Lions and is the “Manager of Partnership Activation,” whatever that means. She began working as an intern with the Lions in 2008, which is shortly after she graduated from Michigan State. McNorton also is a former Fox Sports Detroit girl.

Below is a photo McNorton took with Johnson when the two were at the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game last fall along with Matt Stafford and the quarterback’s fiancee:

Calvin Johnson Brittney McNorton girlfriend

Here’s her Twitter and Instagram account. Both are protected/private.

Calvin Johnson’s girlfriend allegedly threatened to ‘molly wop’ his baby mama

Calvin JohnsonDetroit Lions wide received Calvin Johnson has found his name wrapped up in a cliche baby mama drama situation after his girlfriend allegedly threatened the mother of his child. According to TMZ, a woman named Shallyn Blanton — who claims Johnson is the mother of her six-month-old child — recently filed a police report claiming Megatron’s girlfriend said she was going to “molly wop” her.

In the report, Blanton said Johnson violated the terms of a custody agreement by bringing his girlfriend Brittney McNorton around their alleged child.

Blanton claims she and Calvin began to argue — and that’s when Brittney “began pointing her cell phone in Blanton’s face while [Blanton] attempted to remove her child from Johnson’s car.”

Blanton claims Brittney (who works for the Lions organization) got all up in her face with the cell phone, so she tried to move Brit’s hand — and that’s when Brit “leapt from the car screaming that she was going to ‘molly wop yo ass!”

If you have never heard the term “molly wop,” you can read the definition at Urban Dictionary. It basically means smacking someone in the head really, really hard.

Blanton admits that Johnson and McNorton left without anything turning violent, but she wants a restraining order placed against McNorton.

McNorton’s Linked In page says she is the Manager of Partnership Activation with the Detroit Lions.

Calvin Johnson still plans to dunk on goal posts

Calvin-Johnson-Flying-Lions-Receivers-to-Pro-BowlAs most of you know, the NFL put a rule into place this offseason that will ban dunking on the goal posts as a form of celebration next season. Any player who chooses to go Jimmy Graham on the big yellow posts will be assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson believes he has found a loophole in the rule.

“I’m still going to dunk,” Johnson told Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press over the weekend. “I just won’t touch the rim.”

Sorry, Megatron, but I don’t think that will work. NFL officials have enough to worry about during the game, so I doubt the league is going to ask them to determine whether or not players actually touched the goal posts while throwing the ball threw them. It’s going to be a penalty if you do that whether you make contact with the crossbar or not.

Johnson isn’t the only one who plans to boycott the rule. Graham said last month that he is expecting to be penalized plenty next season.

Chances are both guys are just messing around. If it was a matter of being fined, that would be one thing. But I doubt either player is going to jeopardize his team by taking a 15-yard penalty just to celebrate a certain way. The No Fun League has spoken. Unfortunately, it’s time to adjust.

H/T Eye on Football

Calvin Johnson played entire season with finger perpendicular to his body

Calvin Johnson finger

Calvin Johnson has undergone two procedures since the Detroit Lions’ season ended after Week 17. One of the surgeries was for the knee injury that bothered him all season (rumored to be a partially-torn PCL). The other was for a finger injury that bothered him all season. Johnson never mentioned the finger injury, but Lions GM Martin Mayhew brought it up during Wednesday’s press conference to introduce new head coach Jim Caldwell.

Mayhew described the finger as being so mangled it was perpendicular to Calvin’s body.

“He played the entire season where the finger was really pointing perpendicular from his body,” Mayhew told MLive.com. “He’s trying to catch the ball (awkwardly). He would never complain about that, but that was certainly a factor I think in the way he played.”

Perhaps this explains the shocking drops Megatron had in the Monday night game against the Baltimore Ravens. You may recall that Johnson dropped at least three passes that game to give him a career-high amount of drops for the season. Despite the perpendicular digit, Johnson still had 84 catches for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns. We should probably expect him to build on those numbers next season.

And after going through several photos of Johnson from the season, it appears that his right ring finger is the one that was screwed up. In most photos of Johnson holding the ball, the finger seemed to be bent awkwardly instead of curving to the pigskin like his other fingers. You can see what I mean in the image in this post.

Helmet smack to Shutdown Corner

Calvin Johnson drops three passes, sets career high for drops

Calvin Johnson dropsMaybe Matt Elam cracked the code on how to defeat the previously unconquerable Megatron.

Calvin Johnson had one of his worst games as a pro in the Detroit Lions’ 18-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night. Though he finished with 6 catches for 98 yards, the stats show he was targeted 14 times, meaning he converted just 43 percent of the passes thrown his way. What’s worse is he had two brutal drops on long passes to cost his team, not to mention a drop on a two-point conversion attempt that would have given Detroit an 18-15 lead on the Ravens.

Johnson was officially credited with two drops, giving him a career-high 9 for the season. I’m guessing they did not give him a drop on the conversion attempt, though they should have.

The first drop came on a 3rd-and-15 play in the first quarter and spoiled what should have been a scoring drive for Detroit.

Detroit looked like it was going to cruise to a 14-0 lead until that drop, which led to a punt from around midfield on the next play.

Johnson also had a drop on the Lions’ last drive before halftime. They had a 2nd-and-9 from their 41 and Megatron dropped a sure first down to kill their drive. They ended up punting on that drive too.

What’s really interesting is that Johnson’s terrible game came after Ravens rookie safety Matt Elam boldly stated before the game that Megatron was “pretty old.” Maybe Elam’s words got inside Calvin’s head.

As fate would have it, Elam led the Ravens with 10 tackles, including one for a loss, and he was credited with a pass defended. He also sealed the game by making an interception on Detroit’s last possession of the game.

Maybe every defensive back and coach who gave Calvin respect was going about it all wrong. Maybe the proper way to attack him is to criticize him, even if he truly is worth of our praise for being the best wide receiver in football.

GIFs via @_marcusd_, GIFD Sports

Ravens S Matt Elam: Calvin Johnson is ‘pretty old’

Calvin JohnsonMatt Elam and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens’ secondary will be facing a challenging test on Monday night. His name is Calvin Johnson, and he’s one of the most dominant wide receivers to ever play in the NFL. Johnson is averaging over 100 yards per game this season and has hauled in 12 touchdowns. Elam, a rookie defensive back out of Florida, started out by saying all the right things about Megatron on Wednesday.

“Big, fast, athletic, unstoppable, freak,” Elam said, via ESPN.com.

He should have stopped there. What came out of Elam’s mouth next was a little more bizarre. When asked how he will approach covering Johnson, Elam had the following to say.

“He’s pretty old, so I don’t know how physical he’ll be,” he said. “He’s a big guy, but he’s older. I guess when they get older they’re not going to be as physical, you know what I’m saying? We’re going to have to be physical, make him uncomfortable.”

Players probably are a bit less physical when they get older, but Johnson is 28. Is that considered “pretty old?” His 1,348 yards receiving this season and mind-boggling 1,964 yards last year would disagree. The 6-foot-5, 236-pound Johnson has missed just four games during his seven-year career and is virtually impossible to shut down. He has plenty of physicality left in his 28-year-old body.

“You’ve got to know when it’s time to double him, when it’s time to triple-team him,” Elam added. “You’ve got to keep your eye on him, because (Detroit quarterback (Matthew) Stafford wants to get the ball to him.”

That’s more like it. I’m sure Elam will look back on his “pretty old” comment and wonder why it came out the way it did. All he can do now is hope Megatron forgives him for it.