Lions receiver Calvin Johnson 'curious' about role in new offense
The Lions are entering their first season under offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi after firing Scott Linehan along with head coach Jim Schwartz after last year. In his last job as the Saints' quarterbacks coach, Lombardi helped oversee a New Orleans offense that was more dynamic and used more motion than Detroit's attack.
Johnson knows he could be going in motion a lot more this season, which will help the team diagnose coverages. But he isn't sure what else Lombardi might have him do.
“I’m as curious as anybody else,” Johnson said Wednesday. “But one thing that’s not going to change is the way we go out there and work. We’re still going to go out there and bust our butts. No matter what Coach calls, however we fit into the plan, we just want to win at this point.”
The Lions finished sixth, third and fifth in the NFL in total offense the last three seasons, while the Saints finished fourth, second and first.
After offseason knee and finger surgery, Johnson has participated in training camp but hasn't played in the Lions' first two preseason games. He will make his debut in Detroit's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday.
Johnson led the NFC with 1,492 receiving yards last season, adding 12 touchdowns.
Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar and Chris Burke discuss what they will be watching in the Week 3 preseason games.
- Ben Estes