Belichick Compares Calvin Johnson to Shaq?
Bill Belichick, aka “The Hoody“, is undoubtedly one of the best coaches in the NFL despite any personal feelings you may have toward him. He has made a living as a defensive genius and one of his trademarks is to take away the opposition’s best player. He has repeatedly sacrificed other areas of his defense and allowed other players to have some degree of success in order to completely eliminate the top weapon of the other team.
Heading into this week’s game, Belichick is game planning to stop one of the most physically gifted, talented, and dangerous offensive players in the game. Calvin Johnson. Despite being shut down nearly completely by Darrelle Revis a couple weeks ago, Calvin is easily one of the top 2 or 3 WR’s in the NFL.
When addressing reporters today, Belichick gave one of the more interesting soundbites I’ve heard this week. He has no doubt been scheming hard core to try to limit Calvin Johnson as is his M.O. What he’s seen in the past and on film this year, though, has clearly impressed the SuperBowl winning coach. The Hoody had this to say about Calvin Johnson:
“He’s never covered. It’s like Shaquille O’Neal going for a rebound against two point guard
Belichick is similar to Phil Jackson in that he never says something without an agenda behind it. He definitely works the psyche of his team as well as any NFL coach today and I’m sure this was said partly to get a point across to his team and maybe even to get into the mind a little bit of Calvin Johnson.
But it’s 100% correct. Calvin Johnson is a FREAK! This man is listed at 6’5, 240 pounds and he’s one of the fastest players in the NFL. In the rookie combine in 2007, Calvin was clocked at 4.33 which is not that far off from who I believe to be the fastest player in the NFL, Chris Johnson. He’s not only big and fast, but he’s incredibly strong and he has natural ball skills. CJ is as good with the ball in the air as any other WR in the NFL.
Belichick is dead on with his assessment as it doesn’t really matter what kind of coverage you have on the guy because the tallest DB any team is going to have is 6’2″. And that’s a BEST CASE scenario. You can scheme and game plan and even execute your defense perfectly and there will be times that you still can’t stop the man because he will just out-run, out-jump, or out-muscle your defenders.
Since his AFC East rivals, the New York Jets had incredible success in slowing CJ down earlier in the year, I’m sure Belichick will copy as much as he can. The reality for the Patriots, however, is they don’t have a Darrelle Revis or the pass rush of the Jets.