Matthew Stafford: Lions will be ‘tougher for defenses’ without Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson is one of the most talented wide receivers to ever play in the NFL. Losing a guy who had six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons is bound to set the Detroit Lions’ offense back, but could it make them better in the long run?
While praising Johnson in a recent interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Matthew Stafford spoke about the new receivers the Lions have added and how it might make life on opponents more difficult since they will be spreading the ball around more.
“I think we’re going to do it a little bit differently than we have in the past,” Stafford said, as transcribed by Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “Obviously we used to feature Calvin and everybody kinda got there’s after that. It’s gonna, I think, be tougher for defenses in a certain way that they don’t know who we’re going to. There’s no guy to key in on. We’re probably just going to spread the ball around a bunch, a bunch of guys are gonna get a ton of catches and we’re gonna be alright.”
Stafford is just trying to be optimistic. What else can he really say? We all know he’d rather be throwing to Stafford than Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Jeremy Kerley (who seems pretty confident) and Andre Caldwell, but he can’t say before the season that he expects his offense to be worse off.
When Jim Bob Cooter was promoted to offensive coordinator last season, the Lions started showing flashes of life. They’re hoping to build on that this year by utilizing all of their targets, even if it means having lost one of the best in NFL history.