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The NFL's LeBron James?

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08:07 AM ET 08.20 | To watch Calvin Johnson is to watch what many believe is the evolution of his position. Some within the sport are saying Johnson is becoming the NFL's version of LeBron James or Tiger Woods -- though that seems a bit grandiose. More likely is something almost as impressive. It can't be exactly quantified but we might be witnessing Johnson reconfiguring how the position is played, the kind of rewiring that happens generationally in the NFL, every decade or so. Johnson is doing to the position what Don Hutson did to it in the 1930s, Raymond Berry in the 1950s, Paul Warfield into the 1970s, Jerry Rice in the 1980s and Randy Moss into the first decade of the 2000s.

CBS Sports

Calvin Johnson, Icon Sports Calvin Johnson, Icon Sports
August 20, 2012  08:11 AM ET

I'll believe this as soon as he announces that he is taking his talents to Dallas.

August 20, 2012  08:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I'll believe this as soon as he announces that he is taking his talents to Dallas.

And wears a nine inch headband............

August 20, 2012  08:15 AM ET

Nope. I think Cam is the NFL's equivalent to Le Bron.

August 20, 2012  08:23 AM ET

Is he really redefining it, or simply amazingly good at playing the position. I mean isn't a WR supposed to run routes and catch balls?

August 20, 2012  08:24 AM ET

Didn't we have a story last week about that Titus Young guy, and how he was becoming the standout receiver in Detroit?

August 20, 2012  08:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I mean isn't a WR supposed to run routes and catch balls?

Tell that to Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson.

August 20, 2012  08:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Is he really redefining it, or simply amazingly good at playing the position. I mean isn't a WR supposed to run routes and catch balls?

Bull's eye. When he starts doing things like running for 100 yards per game on end-arounds, or throwing for 100 yds on option passes, then he will re-define the position. Until then, he'll just have to settle for being the best in the league at his position.

August 20, 2012  08:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Tell that to Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson.

lol. At least Chad has the "head" movements down ;)

August 20, 2012  08:29 AM ET

I've never seen him without his helmet on, does he also have a receding hairline? Calvin Johnson is a man among boys.

August 20, 2012  08:38 AM ET

If there were 31 other talents out there like Calvin Johnson , then you have an evolution story. But you don't, so just accept it that he is the best at what he does and that is that.

August 20, 2012  08:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Nope. I think Cam is the NFL's equivalent to Le Bron.

Bingo.

Megatron is great, but he's just a very physical wide receiver. If they start changing the rules on coverage because of him, then you have someone who is changing the game. At the moment, Cam is changing the game because he is a legitimate threat to run for 100 yards and/or throw for 400 in any game.

August 20, 2012  08:40 AM ET

Shouldn't we also have a thread about how Calvin Johnson demonstres Intelligent Design?

August 20, 2012  08:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Is he really redefining it, or simply amazingly good at playing the position. I mean isn't a WR supposed to run routes and catch balls?

maybe he's found a way to catch balls without running routes? Your guess is as good as mine...I mean the 'journalist' that wrote this took the time mention that watching CJ is like watching the EVOLUTION of the game (which seems a tad slow to me, but is nonetheless lost on this guy). We don't know how exactly he's EVOLVING his position, other than being really good, but god dammit let's not let that get in the way of useless platitudes such as how he is reconfigurating and REWIRING (seriously?) his position.

Can I please get a job at CBS sports? I have no experience, but I'm pretty sure I can do a better job.

August 20, 2012  08:54 AM ET

When he starts rewriting Jerry Rice's record we'll talk. Til then leave me alone I'm trying to get some sleep.

August 20, 2012  09:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Bull's eye. When he starts doing things like running for 100 yards per game on end-arounds, or throwing for 100 yds on option passes, then he will re-define the position. Until then, he'll just have to settle for being the best in the league at his position.

or if he becomes a shutdown corner as well.

August 20, 2012  09:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I'll believe this as soon as he announces that he is taking his talents to Dallas.

Or Delonte West bangs his mother...

August 20, 2012  09:31 AM ET

about time someone learned to catch with their feet...

August 20, 2012  09:34 AM ET

This article sucks.

1. How exactly, is Johnson "redefining" the receiver position? Is he catching balls with his teeth? Able to turn invisible so CBs can't see him? Does he run his routes backwards?

No, he's just a damn good receiver, but in no way is he revolutionary.

2. Even if #1 above were accurate, how is LeBron "redefining" his position in the NBA? Oh wow, he can post up now and passes it really well (which a lot of guys have been able to do), but really doesn't have a scoring move out of the post. Yeah sure, he can "guard 5 positions" but so could Magic (who actually could play center on offense as well), and Jordan would have too if centers weren't so much damn bigger and better in the 80s-90's. Let's see LeBron try to guard any of these guys in their prime: Hakeem, Malone (I know he's a PF, but he would absolutely punish LeBron by putting a patented knee right in his groin), David Robinson, Ewing, Shaq (LOL)...

August 20, 2012  09:37 AM ET

Megatron is probably the best WR out there, and he sets the bar high, but I do not see where he is "reconfiguring" how the position is played..

 
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