Saints receivers coach Curtis Johnson impressed by depth


There's no doubt that one of the fiercest battles to watch in Saints training camp this summer will be the competition at wide receiver. After Wednesday's minicamp practice, WWL's Bobby Hebert and Kristian Garic caught up with Saints receivers coach Curtis Johnson, who said the unit is certainly deep this offseason.

"This is one of the best problems I've ever had," Johnson said. "We've got a lot of guys who can do a lot of different things. They function very well within the offense. The quarterback loves them all. Even the young kids, they come in. They're physical. They're big. All these guys can run. Our scouts did a great job assembling this group."

Johnson was asked about the team's Pro Bowl wideout Michael Thomas as he heads into his third year in the league, and he offered up some things Thomas can work on to get even better.

"I think Mike Thomas is hungry by nature," Johnson said, "but I'll say one thing about him. He needs to get more detail-oriented. Some of things that he does in practice and does in games, we need to clean up. And we're working on it. He does a fabulous job doing that. He needs to continue to press the defense. He needs to learn more about what our offense is doing, learn more about defensive backs, study those guys around the league a little bit more, but I think he's in a good position."

Johnson marveled at what veteran speedster Ted Ginn, Jr. still has left in the tank.

"One thing about him, man, he's found the fountain of youth," Johnson said. "I don't know where he found it at, but he still can run. He's fast. He's made a couple of plays out here a couple days, I really didn't think he'd get to those balls. And then what he does is he does well with the ball in his hands also. We can give him a reverse or downfield, and he tracks the ball a lot better than I ever thought he'd do. So this kid, he has it all. Good thing he has a couple more years in him."

However, Johnson had a surprising answer when it comes to who may have been the most important member of the receiving corps last season, singling out Brandon Coleman's willingness to play the role of unsung hero.

"Last year, I thought he was our MVP," Johnson said. "Any dirty work thing he had to do, he did all those things. He was at every game. He played. He competed hard. He played a variety of different positions. I love what B. Cole does."

Johnson also offered up effusive praise for up-and-comer Tommylee Lewis.

"Woooo, Tommylee may be the star so far," Johnson said. "Tommylee's catching deep, short balls. I think he and Drew are starting to hook up a little bit more. I like what Tommylee is. He's another speed guy that you love to have on the field."

You can hear the full audio of Hebert and Garic's chat with Curtis Johnson by clicking the podcast link. The Saints close out minicamp Thursday with another 11am practice that will be open to the public, weather permitting.

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