I've been over this already. Calvin Johnson is the NFL's best receiver. Matt Elam is a work in progress who hasn't had a great rookie season. It's been decent and Elam's showed potential. But he hasn't done enough to warrant calling Johnson "pretty old."
But now, it seems Johnson, given some motivation by the rookie from Florida, has decided to return the favor. Johnson is talented and physical enough to brush off any kind of bulletin board material. And perhaps his talent allows him to continue to jaw with his opponents before the game.
But after responding to Baltimore reporters in a conference call, Johnson continued to talk about the topic with the Detroit media.
Via ESPN.com, Johnson told reporters he didn't know who Elam was prior to his comments, following that with, "Don't make nothing of it, you know. I don't have time to make something out of every time somebody says something. Sometimes you just need to know when to keep your mouth shut, but, you know, he's a rookie. He'll learn."
Here's Elam's chance to turn his early-week comments into a positive. Johnson — saying he didn't have time to respond — actually responded, insinuating Elam will learn not to run his mouth against a receiver like him.
Elam figures to be shadowing Johnson on whichever side of the field he lines up on, so the two should cross paths more than a safety and receiver normally would.
Elam will have his chance Monday night to not only back up his own words, but let Johnson know what kind of player he's capable of being.