By: Mike Stone
While everyone in the wacky world of the NFL is focusing on last year’s handshake incident between Lions’ head coach Jim Schwartz and his 49ers counterpart Jim Harbaugh, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is not.
Johnson is more focused on payback for the 25-19 loss the Lions took at the hands of the 49ers last October at Ford Field, telling 97.1 The Ticket show hosts Mike Stone and Bill McAllister,”The handshake doesn’t play into it at all, but we definitely want something, want to get them back …. They messed up our perfect season. We definitely owe them one.”
On the subject of ‘Pants-Gate,’ the infamous photos of Jeff Backus sweating through the team’s newly designed “lightweight” pants and leaving his backside exposed on the field — Johnson can’t stop himself from smiling.
“That’s not Jeff’s fault, man,” Johnson said, laughing. ‘That was hilarious … I know he’s heard enough of it here… Hopefully, not too many people outside the building saw it… He’s got a good sense of humor, he don’t get too high on himself. He’s a good guy.”
On a serious note, the Lions are coming off a thrilling 27-23 win over the Rams in the season opener, a game where the Lions needed to drive 80 yards in less than two minutes to tie or win the game and Johnson said they were not thinking about a tie,”Nobody was thinking field goal. Everyone was thinking touchdown.The mindset was ‘Let’s go down the field and put seven up.’”
Johnson was only targeted seven times in that game, but he doesn’t think the team necessarily has to throw deep to be effective this week in San Francisco, saying,”We want to be patient, take what they give us, capitalize on their mistakes cause they don’t make many at all.”
Johnson also respects the Niner defense, adding,”They are a well-coached unit.We have to be disciplined and have no penalties before or after the snap.”