SANTA CLARA – Tarell Brown spoke in the media tent on Wednesday. He discussed how to cover Calvin Johnson and what “the look” from Aaron Rodgers means. Here’s a transcript.
Q: How do you prepare for Calvin Johnson?
BROWN: He’s a great player and he does a lot of great things for their team. I think the biggest thing for us is just to go out there and play our game. Our coaches definitely get us ready for that.
Q: Watching film, are they doing anything different with Johnson?
BROWN: Same thing – they’re getting him the ball. He’s their featured guy. The biggest thing for us is just to play our style of football: Go out there and be physical, go out there and get our hands on him, try to slow that guy down. He’s going to make catches, but we want to limit his yards after the catch, and go out there and compete for every jump ball, every time he’s thrown to.
Q: How do you think you fared against him last year?
BROWN: I feel I fared well. We played a lot of different coverages, tried to change things up.
Q: What’s the key to covering Johnson?
BROWN: You want to take the focus off the quarterback and put it more on (Johnson), and kind of see what his types of stems are, types of routes he likes and how he bends or breaks out of his cuts. That’s the biggest thing, and I think a lot of that comes from film study.
Q: Johnson is 6-5. You’re 5-10. Technique-wise, how does a shorter man cope with a big man like him?
BROWN: You want to get in to him, be aggressive with him at the line of scrimmage. When the ball’s in the air, we’re both going to compete for the ball. He may have the height advantage, but if I get off the ground quicker than him, I feel like I’m taller than him.
Q: So it’s a matter of timing?
BROWN: Timing, and getting in and out of your breaks quicker than him. With a guy like that, the hardest thing is the jump ball. But like I said, if you jump off the ground quicker than he gets up, you’ll be OK.
ME: Chris Culliver said that Aaron Rodgers was giving him “the look” throughout the game – making eye contact with him before the play and raising an eyebrow. Did he do that to you?
BROWN: Yeah, we got a couple of those looks. I think those were just him trying to read the defense. He wasn’t getting a good tell off the safeties so he was looking at the corners seeing who would give him a key or a tell as to what kind of coverage we were in.