Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford celebrated his new $53 million contract extension with an appearance on NFL Network’s NFL AM. They asked him if his favorite receiver, Calvin Johnson, could improve and maybe pass his NFL Record 1,964 yards receiving last year.
“I mean, he thinks he can, which is all that matters,” Stafford said. “That guy works harder than anybody I know, and he thinks he can get better, so I wouldn’t put anything past him. He’s a guy that can obviously run all the routes, inside, outside, make all the catches, and is a smart football player and a really good teammate.”
Calvin Johnson reportedly played parts of the 2012 season with multiple broken fingers. Which makes his near 2,000 yard performance even more spectacular. If that report is true and he is fully healthy for the 2013 season, he could very well improve.
But the Lions were very one dimensional and threw the ball 727 times. They added running back Reggie Bush to their roster to balance things out and that could limit how many passes come Calvin Johnson’s way and hurt his chances of reaching 2,000 yards.
“We’ve got to find a way to be more explosive in the run game and more balanced as well,” Stafford said.
While Calvin Jonson caught 122 passes last year, his 16.1 yards per catch was actually a drop off from the 2011 season. He’ll have to push that number closer to 20 yards if he wants to challenge his record in 2013.