Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Ryan Clark makes some of the most interesting comments, so it’s always refreshing to hear his take on things. Whether he praises an opposing player or talks about how Tom Brady sees “ghosts”, Clark is always sure to bring something else to the table; I think he has a career as an analyst waiting for him after his career is up. Clark and the Steelers defense have an extremely difficult task ahead of them, as they will have to contend with Calvin Johnson, who is once again playing at an unstoppable level. He picked up two touchdown receptions last week, including the one that won the Lions the game (he showcased superb route-running on that play). Johnson simply does it all, and he truly is a living legend.
Clark certainly recognizes just how great Johnson is on an all-time scale, and he went as far as to say that nobody compares to Johnson. From MLive.com’s Justin Rogers, “I would compare Calvin to a young Randy Moss, but what Calvin does better is his run after catch. He’s a physical player, so he’s a tough matchup. I guess if you get the best things from the best players in every era, you might be able to come up with Calvin if you put all those things together. But no one guy compares to him.”
Johnson is an explosive receiver after the catch, he’s a height mis-match, he has good hands, and he’s an incredible route-runner. That last trait is especially important, because the ability to get open is the most important thing for a wide receiver. Everyone knows Johnson is fast and defenses do whatever they can to key in on him, but Johnson can still beat them thanks to his football IQ and crisp routes.
The Steelers will do more than just shadow Ike Taylor on Johnson, so it’s definitely going to be a big game for veterans Clark, Taylor, and even star SS Troy Polamalu. Stopping Johnson and the Lions passing attack is a team effort, but they should be relieved that they most likely won’t be facing No.2 wideout Nate Burleson.