Martz on Johnson: "The best I've ever seen."

During Saturday afternoon's press briefing, the Lions offensive coordinator joined team president Matt Millen and head coach Rod Marinelli to proclaim their excitement over the No. 2 pick in the draft. Mike Martz, however, was in another stratosphere.

You couldn't wipe the smile from Mike Martz's face with sandpaper.

It was there to stay. And, for the record, so is new Lions' receiver Calvin Johnson.

During Saturday afternoon's press briefing, the Lions offensive coordinator joined team president Matt Millen and head coach Rod Marinelli to proclaim their excitement over the No. 2 pick in the draft. Martz, however, was in another stratosphere.

"Wow, what a dream come true," began Martz, who followed introductory comments from Millen and Marinelli.

"I think Calvin was over at Rod's (Marinelli) house last night. He raked the leaves in the backyard and emptied the trash and left a note that said, 'Please draft me,'" he continued, with his tongue placed firmly within his cheek. "Ironically, it was in my handwriting. I had nothing to do with it."

Smart Money says he did. But while the note was one of many left for Marinelli and Millen, the literature probably wasn't necessary. While they entertained a handful of deals, and listened to analysts and local experts lob errant predictions, the Lions knew all along that Calvin Johnson -- the Georgia Tech phenom receiver -- would don honolulu blue and silver.

"This is just not a feel-good story for us," added Martz, "He's a guy that fits for us; he's just a dynamic player and explosive with unlimited ability in terms of what he can do for us on the field, with the character we're looking for. Competitively, he (can) help this team win."

Martz later said that Johnson was "the best I've ever seen" come out of the NFL draft.

Johnson was considered by most analysts the best player in the draft. According to several draft gurus, in fact, he was the most talented receiver to enter the draft in the last decade. Considering Detroit's past with the position, however, some questioned whether or not Millen would risk (another) potential PR disaster.

In the second round, the team traded receiver Mike Williams to Oakland in a package that included quarterback Josh McCown. Williams was the last receiver the Lions selected, a former first-round pick just two years ago.

Rather than dwell on any potential looming disasters, Detroit threw caution to the wind, plucking Johnson quickly. That brought a grin to quarterback Jon Kitna, among others.

"It's just really hard to imagine what's going to happen for us on the football field," Kitna said during an interview with a local Detroit radio station. "All this stuff looks good on paper but we don't get to pick up where we left off and the good feeling that we had in Dallas and the way we played the week before against Chicago, we don't get to start right there. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us. Calvin is going to have to come in and pick up a very intricate system in a hurry to be able to make an impact early in the football season.

"For us, the hard thing is going to be to temper the excitement that we have. I've already heard from a number of the guys on the team today and the excitement that they have with this pick."

Martz, whom Marinelli said is "scribbling" potential offensive strategies involving Johnson, will initially line-up Johnson opposite starter Roy Williams. In three receiver packages, the two would be on opposite ends of the field, while Mike Furrey is in the slot. With the addition of former Ram Shaun McDonald, Martz was excited about the potential.

"That's a pretty good crew of four. Hopefully it will equal the best I've ever had, or maybe it will be a bit better, who knows."

During a rather brief press conference, Johnson told reporters he was excited to work within Martz's system.

"I would say that I was put in a great situation (already), let alone with the other great receivers they have up there," he said.


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