Megatron or ... Superman? More praise for CJ

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson's humble persona, on-field dominance might earn him new nickname.

Calvin Johnson’s alter ego

ALLEN PARK -- Superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson is always a conversation topic in the Lions training facility. 

Whether it’d be an outstanding catch in practice or demonstration of dedication in the weight room, Johnson ensures that compliments and awe-struck moments of gazing are never few and far between. 

Teammate Nate Burleson deviated from Johnson’s usual nickname “Megatron” earlier this week, instead comparing the receiver to another out-of-this-world fictional character: Superman.

According to Burleson, Johnson’s humble and unassuming personality reflects that of Clark Kent (Superman’s alter ego) but his on-the-field performance is much more comparable to the super-human superhero. 

“During the week, glasses and tie and we can see the cape hanging out the suit a little bit,” joked Burleson.  “Then on Sunday, he goes into that booth and he changes and he truly is Superman.  The thing I appreciate about Calvin is that he doesn’t just do it on Sunday.  Last week, Matt threw a post route and it was clear to everybody on the practice field that Calvin wasn’t going to get to it… He looked up and tracked the ball and hit another gear and got to the ball.  It was one of those things that kind of makes you take deep breath and appreciate who he is.  

"He’s not just a game day highlight guy.  He does things at practice that could make the SportsCenter top 10.”

Willie Young Ready To Step Up

When the Detroit Lions selected defensive end Willie Young with the 213th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, they knew they were getting a project.

Young was considered to be a somewhat talented but undeveloped prospect.

That was evident during his rookie season, where he appeared in only two games and registered no tackles.  However, he was able to progress and register three sacks in 2011.

After making a leap during his sophomore season in the NFL, Young is hungry for more but understands that to get on the field he must earn the coaching staff’s trust.

“I want to continue to show the coaches that I’m trustworthy,” said Young.  “They can trust and believe in me.  I’ve been averaging around 12-15 snaps.  Whatever I deserve, which will be determine in OTAs, minicamp, training camp and the preseason.  I’m going to go out and take it one day at a time and show the coaches.  Build up my trust.”

Young believe he has the talent to succeed and doesn’t view himself as a late-round surprise.

“I come in with the approach with that I was a seventh-round pick but I wasn’t really a seventh-round pick,” said Young of his personal view of his talents.  “I was a first-round pick.  The confidence that I have, you can’t play in this game and not have confidence in yourself.  I wasn’t hearing all the seventh-round stuff.  I know I’m going to go in and do what I do.  If you go back and watch my college film, high-school film, you’ll see this didn’t happen overnight.  It took time.”

Young has established high goals for himself and wants to reach double digit sacks in 2012.  


Lions Report Top Stories