By Ashley Dunkak
FORD FIELD (CBS DETROIT) – Under normal circumstances, no defender in his right mind would leave Calvin Johnson, the freakishly athletic wide receiver nicknamed “Megatron” and widely acknowledged as the best in the game.
The presence of perennial running and receiving threat Reggie Bush alongside Johnson for the Detroit Lions makes the defender’s decision of whom to cover a bit more difficult.
The result – consecutive catches for Johnson, totaling 50 yards, on the Lions’ second drive of their first preseason game Friday – was exactly what the Lions had been planning on when they signed Bush.
“I went up to Reggie afterwards, [and] I was like, ‘Nobody ever drops Calvin for anybody,’” quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “It was kind of awesome having a corner drop Calvin to play Reggie coming out of the backfield. That’s kind of the offense that we envisioned, and everybody else doing their part and making plays as well.”
Bush is good for more than just distracting the defense, though. He caught all eyes when he jumped over a defender for a first down early in the game.
“It was good to get the crowd going a little bit,” Bush said. “I didn’t plan it. It was just kind of an instinct because the guy was going so low, so it just kind of happened to play out that way. I got the first down, so that was the most important part.”
Though Stafford’s perspective on the hurdle was compromised, he enjoyed it.
“The hurdle was awesome,” he said. “I kind of had a bad view of it, but then all of a sudden I just see him flying over somebody, and it’s kind of sweet, so more of that would be awesome.”
Bush said the play was one he is not trying to repeat, however, since it can be a dangerous one. Getting caught up high could result in injury, but he knew he could get over this particular defender.
“He pretty much had his head down,” Bush said. “You could see he had already made up his mind, he was going really low, and he was already kind of short too, he’s a shorter guy … He made it easy for me.”
On a more serious note, Bush also picked up on the way his presence affected the defense and its attention to Johnson, and it looks like the offense will open up just as the team hoped it would.
“I can definitely bring a little bit to this team where it takes a little pressure off some of the other guys, and vice versa,” Bush said. “It definitely felt like we took advantage of some of those opportunities, so it was good to see that.”