Can Bryant Johnson find a home in Detroit?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Will the Detroit Lions be the ideal destination for WR Bryant Johnson or just another place where it doesn't seem to work out?

That's the question MLive's Tom Kowalski asks.

Johnson seemed on his way to good things in Arizona, Killer points out. Then a draft pick named Anquan Boldin turned out a little better than expected.

Then it was on to San Francisco, where Johnson never seemed to thrive in Mike Martz's complicated system (and the Niners' muddled QB situation didn't help).

Says Killer:

Now that he's in Detroit, Johnson is hoping to benefit from playing opposite of Calvin Johnson, who should move into the elite class of receivers this season. Bryant Johnson still has the speed to get downfield and all of his experience in the slot has improved his play over the middle.

Other factors that should help Bryant Johnson get more opportunities with the Lions are the addition of rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew and free agent slot receiver Dennis Northcutt - who will both put more pressure on the defense - and a greater emphasis on the running game.

In the past few years, teams didn't respect Detroit's running attack so they could play two-deep zones and not worry about receivers on either side of the field. If the Lions can run the ball with any effectiveness, one safety will have to drop into the box. The other safety will have to shade Calvin Johnson and now the field opens up more for Bryant Johnson.

Uh, Tom? Calvin should move into the elite class of receivers this year? I believe he did that last year.

Bryant Johnson will get every opportunity to move into a role in Detroit like T.J. Houshmandzadeh had in the best years of the Cincinnati Bengals' passing game. It's pretty much on him.

Discuss in The Den!