Amon-Ra St. Brown openly called to have more deep passes come his way, and Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson has heard his best receiver’s request.
Just after the season was over, Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown made it clear to Justin Rogers of The Detroit News he sees an untapped void in his game when asked if there was one.
"It’s funny you ask that; it’s definitely something I wish I did more,” St. Brown said. “I don’t really get the ball thrown to me too much down the field. So, I’m not getting some of these opportunities some of the other players are getting. That’s something I want to get more opportunities to do going forward, having the ball thrown down the field, and not just catching it after 5 yards and making guys miss. I want to catch it 25, 30 yards down the field. You watch my tape this year, I really haven’t had any of those. I haven’t had anything over the shoulder, really.”"
The tape does not lie, and neither do the numbers. Just 8.9 percent (13) of St. Brown’s targets this past season traveled over 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, with zero over 25 yards. By contrast, 69.2 percent (101) of his targets traveled 10 yards or less in the air.
Ben Johnson has clearly heard Amon-Ra St. Brown’s call to be used a little differently
During a wide-ranging conversation with Tim Twentyman of the Lions’ website, posted this week, Johnson talked about St. Brown.
"We just want the best football players that we can find,” “And that’s what Amon-Ra is, he’s a phenomenal football player. Take the receiver part out of it. He is just a natural football player and we can’t get enough of them. I mean, we want to line him up as the lead blocker. We want to line him up with the ball in his hands. We want to have him running all the routes, he can do all that.”He’s an ultimate chess piece that is fun. And we’re going to continue to push the limits with him,” “I think he’s made it well known, he wants to get that deep ball going a little bit this year. So, we’ll see what we can do.”"
St. Brown already in some rare company with his production over the first two seasons. He also became the fourth receiver in Lions history with a 100-catch season this past season. If the Lions can unleash him as a downfield threat even a little bit….I struggle for the words to describe it.