LIONS INSIDER

Learning from Megatron has been invaluable for Durham

Posted Dec 14, 2012

Kris Durham says he's learned more about how to play the wide receiver position in the last three months practicing and playing alongside Calvin Johnson than he did in his previous three seasons combined.

Like Johnson, Durham stands 6-foot-5. He's a tall receiver with some speed.

Unlike Johnson, though, Durham is 216 pounds, whereas Megatron weighs in at 236. That 20-pound difference on a 6-foot-5 frame means a physical corner can more easily force Durham off his route by putting hands into the receiver's chest.

Johnson doesn't have as much of a problem with that because of his size and strength at 236 pounds, but Durham says Johnson still tries to out-leverage defenders and play proper techniques, despite the fact that he could simply overpower them if he wanted.

Durham said that's one of the things he's really picked up from watching Johnson.

"Just the way he works and how he uses his body and footwork and everything," he said. "The way he drops his weight and different little things that he does. I've been able to pick up a few things and a few pointers."

Durham had four receptions for 54 yards making his first start opposite Johnson in Green Bay last week. He admitted after the game he should have had a few more, though.

As a taller receiver with a thinner frame, Durham said he's consistently working on ways to better gain leverage against physical corners, like the ones he faced last week and the ones he'll see Sunday in Arizona.

"I might be taller so they have more leverage getting up underneath me," Durham said. "The taller you are the more body surface you have.

"Defenders are already lower than you so if you stand up your chest is exposed and they are able to get their hands on you and push you off (your route). The more you stay low the better. If they hit me in the shoulder I have my momentum moving forward and it's going to be hard for someone to sit there and push on my shoulder and stop me."

The Cardinals play a lot of cover-one press and different coverages utilizing press concepts, according to Durham, so he'll have to be very sound in his technique and put into action what he's learned from Johnson and Lions receivers coach Shawn Jefferson over the past few months.

"You just have to attack what their tendencies are and pick up on things they do and what your strengths are vs. what they do," Durham said.