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Tampa Bay Bucs face tough challenge in stopping Lions receiver Calvin Johnson

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, left, has 63 catches for 916 yards and is 84 yards from his second 1,000-yard season.

Associated Press

Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, left, has 63 catches for 916 yards and is 84 yards from his second 1,000-yard season.

TAMPA — The Bucs are well aware of the challenge in front of them Sunday in Lions WR Calvin Johnson.

"Refer to him as 'Megatron,' please," coach Raheem Morris joked, referencing Johnson's nickname derived from the movie Transformers.

Johnson, at 6 feet 5, 236 pounds, has a dangerous combination of size and speed, and more than 60 catches for the third straight season. He ranks second among receivers with 12 touchdowns.

He entered the league as the second overall draft pick in 2007.

"He's one of the top receivers in the league," Bucs CB E.J. Biggers said. "When the ball is in the air, he makes it his duty to go find it and make the catch."

Morris said the Bucs likely will try different things to try to cause confusion and disrupt Johnson's rhythm.

"Hopefully," Morris said, "they throw it to somebody else."

The safeties will probably be involved, and S Sean Jones is familiar with Johnson. Jones, an Atlanta native and former Georgia standout, said he has watched Johnson, of Tyrone, Ga., since high school.

"Any time you have a guy who is 6-5 plus with speed and great ball skills, that's always a problem for a defense," Jones said. "You've got to have somebody watching him at all times."

McCOY HAS SURGERY: DT Gerald McCoy, two days after season-ending surgery to repair a torn biceps, made an appearance in the locker room Friday.

McCoy was in good spirits, but he lamented that he will be unable to lift weights or do anything that requires much use of his left arm for some time.

"Man, it's frustrating," he said.

But overall, McCoy was his usual vibrant self after the surgery in Miami. His left arm will be wrapped and in a sling for 10 days, he said. Then he will start rehabilitation.

McCoy vowed to be ready for organized team activities in the spring. Those workouts typically start in April. The offseason conditioning program begins before then.

MORRIS MUM: Morris declined to name a starter in place of McCoy, but he made it clear it won't be Michael Bennett. He suggested either Roy Miller or Frank Okam would be it.

Tampa Bay Bucs face tough challenge in stopping Lions receiver Calvin Johnson 12/17/10 [Last modified: Saturday, December 18, 2010 12:08am]
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