Calvin Johnson, Lions expect to exploit weaknesses in Redskins’ secondary

Calvin Johnson has led the NFL in receiving yards the last two season. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Calvin Johnson has led the NFL in receiving yards the last two season. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

When discussing his team’s upcoming date with the Detroit Lions and their explosive offense, which features wide receiver Calvin Johnson, quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Reggie Bush, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall speculated that the Lions probably approach this Sunday with excitement because of Washington’s inability to stop offenses.

“They’re probably smiling right now, looking at our defense,” Hall said. “They’re probably smiling, champing at the bit to get out there against us.”

Johnson, who has led the NFL in receiving in each of the last two seasons, admitted when told of Hall’s prediction that the Lions definitely believe they will have plenty of opportunities for big plays against the Redskins.

“When we watch film, we see the same thing they’ve seen, and obviously, we’ll try to exploit the same things that other teams have success with,” Johnson said Wednesday via conference call with reporters assigned to covering the Redskins. “The fact that that they play a lot of single-high defense, seems like there’s a lot of opportunities.”

The Redskins have surrendered 311 passing yards a game (10th most in the league) and six passing touchdowns (tied for second most). Washington also has allowed opponents to average 10.0 yards per completion, which is a league high.

Johnson said he expects Hall to cover him a lot, and because of the cornerback’s aggressive style of play, the receiver will concentrate on running precise routes.

“When you prepare for somebody like that, you just try to be on your details,” Johnson said. “You don’t want to tip any routes and give him a heads up because he will definitely jump your routes and get to the ball.”

Johnson and the Lions also are well aware that the Redskins play two rookies in their secondary in free safety Bacarri Rambo and cornerback David Amerson. Stafford and his receivers will likely go at those two until they prove they can stop the pass.

“You try to go at those guys, try to put them in difficult situations so they have to make decisions, and a lot of times that inexperience leads to the offense being able to make a big play,” Johnson said. “We’ll see how well-coached those guys are and how much they rely on their technique and coaching when it comes to game time.”

Amerson said his goal for the week is simple: “eliminating big plays.” To do that, the rookie this week will focus on detail and also strive for good communication with fellow defensive backs as they draw an even greater challenge than in the first two weeks.

“From what I can see, and from what I’ve heard, [Johnson is] the best in the league at tracking the ball downfield,” Amerson said. “And plus, he’s big, fast and strong, so you’ve got your hands full if you go against him.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins practice at 1 p.m. Thursday. Both coordinators speak with reporters.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

The Early Lead: Lions’ Suh on gnats, bees and low hits

 

Opening Kick: Is McNabb a Hall of Famer?

Griffin willing to run if a spark is needed | Morris expects more option

Reid: Redskins’ offensive struggles a bottom-line problem

D.C. Sports Bog: Madden on RGIII | Wilbon on RGIII | More Bog on Redskins

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