Calvin Johnson Expects Eagles To ‘Box’ Him In

Will it be Nnamdi Asomugha or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Calvin Johnson Sunday?

That might not be entirely the right question, because it won’t be a solo mission.

“There’s only been like, not even 10 to 15 snaps this year where I’ve had one-on-one [coverage] or something like it,” said Johnson.

The 6-5, 236-pound freak they call Megatron is always the defense’s primary concern. Despite the attention, Johnson has 29 catches for 423 yards with one touchdown through four games. To try and get him loose, the Lions have been lining Johnson up in the slot a good bit this year, though that does not rid him of the heavy coverage.

“We do a lot of it. And a lot of times there is, call  it a box coverage, where they will play four over two or three in the box,” said Johnson. “The deepest take the deepness, the shallow guy takes the flat, one guy takes the inside and one guy takes the deeper out. I think they’ll probably box us up. That’s what they’ve been doing on film so far.”

Though it will be a joint effort, the Eagles still have an interesting decision to make as to who will primarily line up over Johnson.  Asomugha was initially going to shadow Larry Fitzgerald against Arizona but that plan was ultimately aborted. Rodgers-Cromartie has followed receivers across the field on a couple occasions this season, including Mike Wallace of the Steelers last week. Wallace finished with two catches for 17 yards.

Johnson was asked what type of corner he will typically draw: a press guy like Asomugha or more of a speed defender like DRC.

“From the past I saw a lot of the press guys, they just try to slow you down off the ball a little bit,” said Johnson.

“[Asomugha] likes to press. Rodgers more so likes to play off but he’s good from press as well. It depends a lot on situation in the game and the call their defensive coordinator makes. But for the most part, Nnamdi is up close.”

When the Eagles and Lions played in Detroit back in 2010, Johnson had four catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. Overall, he has six grabs for 108 yards against the Eagles.

“When they give you the nickname Megatron, that means you’re pretty good,” said Andy Reid. “He’s a good player. A real good player.”