Calvin Johnson’s injured foot is the hot-topic as the 49ers continue to prepare for a Sunday night home opener against the Detroit Lions.
The wideout gracing this year’s EA Madden video game cover did not practice on Wednesday but returned to work on Thursday according to multiple reports.
In order to stop the wide receiver who has caught 45 touchdowns since 2008, the most in the NFL, the 49ers will use many defensive looks. The same coverage or defensive philosophy just won’t work for 60 minutes against Johnson.
Cornerback Tarell Brown is “geeked” for the challenge, writes Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle.
“Brown and the rest of the 49ers secondary will likely need all available senses on Sunday night when the Lions arrive with All-Pro wideout Calvin Johnson, who led the NFL in receiving yards (1,681), ranked second in touchdowns (16) and was fourth in receptions (96) last year,” Branch wrote.
CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco and Mindi Bach also discussed the challenge of stopping the player known as “Megatron” in their latest Matt & Mindi segment.
Maiocco caught up with Steve Young, who recently had his franchise record of 184 passes without an interception broken by 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. Maiocco: “Smith has thrown 11 touchdown passes since his last interception. During that time the 49ers have also gone 26 consecutive regular-season quarters without a giveaway of any kind.”
Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee looked at the development squad players on the 49ers roster and their impact in a Week 1 victory. Barrows: “Neither first-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins nor second-round pick LaMichael James played against the Packers. But both were integral in preparing for them. During practice, Jenkins lined up as Rodgers’ favorite target from 2011, Jordy Nelson. This week, Jenkins has an even bigger assignment. He’s tasked with giving the defensive backs a taste of Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who is five inches taller and at least 40 pounds heavier than Jenkins and who led the NFL in receiving yards last season.”
Steve Palazzolo of ProFootballFocus.com offers more analysis from San Francisco’s win in Green Bay: “The Packers did not attempt a run to the left of center all game. Probably a good idea as that’s where reigning PFF Defensive Player of the Year Justin Smith resides.”
49ers.com’s coverage included a story on the defense’s ball-hawking ways, a look at the offense’s emphasis on ball security, plus Kyle Williams’ growing confidence and a recap of Jim Schwartz and Matt Stafford’s conference calls.
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Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Alex Smith, Justin Smith, Kyle Williams, LaMichael James, Steve Young, Tarell Brown
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