Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson spoke with the media about breaking Jerry Rice's single-season receiving record on Saturday night. First, an interview with ESPN:
Below is a look at Johnson's comments from his post-game press conference. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)
On how breaking the NFL record for single-season receiving yards feels with a 4-11 record: "It feels tough because we fought our way back a little bit and just couldn't...it was just turnovers that kept us... I had a fumble. It was just turnovers. We took ourselves out of it. But at the same time man, it's an accomplishment that took a lot of work man. You can't take that thing away."
On what it was like to go to the sideline and give your father the record-setting football: "When you're in the game you're still in the moment. You're still on the play that just happened so I was still focused in there. I was in my zone you know. So I went over there - I don't think I even said anything to my dad when I gave him the ball. I just gave him a hug. When I think back on it, it was a special moment."
On what you were thinking as you were crossing the field and the ball was coming towards you: "The crazy thing is we ran the ball earlier, got walled off by the mike (LB Akeem Dent) and (Sean) Witherspoon and called the same route again and just bounced it around like coach told me. The biggest thing is I just like to see the ball. See the ball."
On if he knew as soon as you caught it: "Yeah, because the guys were telling me on the sideline I'm like four, five yards away so it was just like one reception and I'm there. So I'm like shoot, we're going to knock this thing down."
On who was telling you on the sideline: "Everybody - everybody was keeping record of it."
On if he his aim set on 2,000 yards: "Man, I don't know where we stand but we got another game left so you never know what could happen. Like I said, just told the team, ‘Come back study film; we got a divisional opponent so we might as well go ahead and get our mind right.' We'll come in here and try to get this win this week and leave the season on a good note."
On how big a part of this record is QB Matthew Stafford: "It's half his too. He's the one delivering me the ball every week. When we both stay healthy man, we can do some special things out there."
On if he believed tonight would be the night he broke the record: "Never know because we've had plenty of 200-yard games. Like I say, when we're on the field together, you know what's going to happen. When we see our favorite coverage, we're going to attack it. We saw some holes in there and my trainer, I was working with him before the game, he's like, ‘We're going to get this thing tonight.' He had me feeling good before the game and we got it."
On the trainer: "My trainer from back home, Tom Bender."
On if the Falcons played you straight up more than most teams did: "They did. They did a game plan. They're obviously a team that's going to do what they do. They stuck to what they did and we saw that a lot this year. More than expected and we were able to take advantage of it sometimes but we weren't able to get the record like we wanted. In the end of things, didn't expect coming into the year to see this happen, but now that it has it's a part of history. I'm sure it will sink in at some point."
On where the ball is: "My dad got it right there. I told him not to let it go."
On the ball not going to Canton: "Oh no, that's my ball. (Laughter)"