March 22, 2018

Player Spotlight: Andre Johnson

Today in Player Spotlight, we will discuss a player that has been putting in work year after year from the beginning. He is the longest tenured player on the team and part of the foundation of the team, especially the offense. He has been a cornerstone to the offense and it’s makeup. Without this player, alot of the success that the team has had over the years would not be possible. This week the spotlight shines on Mr. Andre Johnson.


Andre Johnson is the epitome of a professional and character player. He does everything the right way and he is an excellent role model for the new crop of receivers. Andre has been one player that you could always look to when representing the team’s brand and marketability. He isn’t an outspoken guy with loads of charisma or anything, but he’s a speak softly and carry a big stick type of guy. Andre gives it up for his team week in and week out, and when he speaks everyone listens. He has earned the respect of defensive backs across the NFL. We are seeing one of the great players that has dawned a professional uniform for this city.


When Andre Johnson came out of the University of Miami he wasn’t considered the top wide receiver. It was said that he was a track guy that played receiver. The top receiver at the time was Charles Rogers out of Michigan State, and Andre was considered second. Former GM Charley Casserly stated that whichever receiver the Detroit Lions took the Texans would take the other. The Lions took Rogers and the Texans took Johnson. Needless to say, it was the right decision because Rogers wasn’t what the Lions expected and is no longer in the league. Johnson was paired with former quarterback David Carr. At first, Andre struggled with the transition to wide receiver as a rookie but, with time under the tutelage of wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey, Andre improved and improved.


The time came when as Andre began to make his imprint in the league, a new coaching regime was brought in and shortly after a new quarterback to help facilitate the change. The new system maximized Andre’s abilities between the 20’s, but not so much in the end zone. Andre while being in Gary Kubiak’s offense has put up 9,261 yards (including 2013 season) but with only a pedestrian 47 touchdowns. This is no slight on Andre as he has shown the capability to get into the end zone when the ball is thrown to him, but it’s the system that Kubiak runs that minimizes his touches in the red zone. Andre has had his injuries throughout his career that have caused him to be less aggressive after the catch, but he has shown this year that he still has the ability to get those yards after the catch. The biggest problem for Andre is having his quarterback get him the ball on the run to help him avoid getting tackled prematurely.


As the seasons have rolled on, Andre has been solid and mostly healthy.  But as he has gotten more “seasoned” in his career, some of the soft tissue injuries he’s had have cost him some of his speed and explosion. Now this doesn’t mean he’s washed up because he can still pull away from most defensive backs, but some of his breakaway speed after the catch isn’t what is was, causing him to be caught from behind more. With this being said, Andre has still shown the ability to get separation with ease. If ever there was any doubt about Andre’s ability at 32, just take a look at what he did against the top secondary in the league in Seattle Seahawks where Andre put up 110 yards on just 9 receptions. If that isn’t enough, you don’t have to look any further than his most recent game against the Indianapolis Colts where he put up 229 yards on 9 receptions and 3 touchdowns. Lost a step, I think not. But instead of him having that sub 4.4 speed, he may be sub 4.5. Not necessarily a cheetah, but still fast and effective.


My hopes as Andre gets closer to hanging it up is that he gets at least one Super Bowl ring because he has done everything else in writing his Hall of Fame resume. I have no doubts he will make it in, but I do believe for him to be a first ballot hall of famer he needs the “hardware” or ring(s) to pair with the rest of his stats.


Andre Johnson

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