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Old 07-13-2004   #1
tacoman_j
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Default PFW on Andre Johnson

From Dan Arkush of Pro Football Weekly

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Fourteen days, dear readers. You won’t have to wait much longer.

On July 27, the wheels will start turning again for good in the wild-and-crazy world of pro football, when five teams — the Broncos, Falcons, Bears, Eagles and Rams — begin the sport’s annual training-camp ritual, setting off a chain reaction of popping pads and daily doses of gridiron gossip from coast to coast.

Every team has one guy, some of whom are more obvious than others, who will warrant the primary focus on my personal radar screen. Some are players. Others are coaches. Whatever the case, I plan to pay special attention to each one of them — but for a lot of different reasons.

What follows is a quick look at my special cases, team by team:

Houston / WR Andre Johnson — The third overall pick in the draft a year ago, Johnson is a Pro Bowl regular in the making — starting this season, when he is expected to get the ball in his hands a lot more frequently. Mark this down: Andre will be a giant NFL star.
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Old 07-13-2004   #2
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He is a Giant star? I thought he played for the Texans

Okay, Credit goes to V on this one. I stole it from him
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Old 07-13-2004   #3
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Looking back on Andre's 1st 6 games last season (before Carr ran into injury problems), Johnson had 31 catches for 466 yards. That translates over a 16 game schedule to 82 receptions & 1242 yards. Now that may seem like cherry-picking stats, but those were his 1st 6 games as a pro...logic would indicate that he would either improve or at least stay at that level of production had the other factors remained the same.

But things didn't remain the same, and AJ's numbers regressed. I think Andre was not only hurt by Carr's absense during games, but also on the practice field where they were beginning to develop chemistry. Another offseason and training camp and AJ & David's chemistry should be more enhanced and the numbers they put up at the start of the '03 season should be easily duplicated. And 80+ rec./1200+ yards are right around what Pro Bowl WR's put up.
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Old 07-13-2004   #4
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Those are interesting numbers Lucky, but you also have to consider defenses getting a feel for him as well. Early in the season teams don't know what to expect from NFL rookies, much less a rookie on an expansion team. Once they get some film on him D-Coordinators can set up their defenses to slow him down. I'd still love to see those numbers this season
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Old 07-13-2004   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasguy346
Those are interesting numbers Lucky, but you also have to consider defenses getting a feel for him as well. Early in the season teams don't know what to expect from NFL rookies, much less a rookie on an expansion team. Once they get some film on him D-Coordinators can set up their defenses to slow him down.
That's possible, but there was tape from the preseason games to go off of. The Texans were going to Andre pretty often then. And AJ was the #3 pick in the draft, it's not as if he snuck up on anyone. There was plenty of tape on Anquan Boldin as the season wore on, but he was solid throughout.

I just see the Carr injury as the real determining factor in AJ's decline. In the 9 games in which David took the majority of snaps, Andre averaged 4.9 catches/game. In the 7 other games, he averaged 3.1 receptions. In the last 2 games of the year (Carr took all of the snaps) Johnson averaged 5 receptions for 79.5 yards. Extrapolate those numbers for a season and you get (again) 80 catches/1272 yards.
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Old 07-13-2004   #6
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Originally Posted by texasguy346
Those are interesting numbers Lucky, but you also have to consider defenses getting a feel for him as well. Early in the season teams don't know what to expect from NFL rookies, much less a rookie on an expansion team. Once they get some film on him D-Coordinators can set up their defenses to slow him down. I'd still love to see those numbers this season
Have to agree with Lucky. While rookies on other teams would not naturally be the focus of the defense, AJ was the threat people were game planning for from day one on the Texans last year. In the 2nd week he was seeing significant double coverage and did so throughout the remainder of the season. The pre-injury and post-injury stats for Carr are markedly different, Banks played a simplified ball control compared to the first few games and Ragone's games were a total team let down. Will be very surprised if AJ has less than 1100 yds this season and frankly think 1200+ is very achievable.
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Old 07-13-2004   #7
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I agree with both Lucky and Infantry on the fact that the defense can prepare for rookies, but not as effectively as when the rookie is halfway or even 2/3's through his season. Having preseason tape is nice, but we all know that offenses and defenses are mild at best during the preseason. The Cowboys had preseason tape of the Texans, and we saw how well that worked out for them. As a side note, I think a lot of Delhommes success last year had to do with coaches not having a lot of tape of him playing on the NFL level and he obviously snuck up on them. My main point is that although DC's injury was significant; there were several other contributing factors to AJ's numbers (still great for a rookie though). As for the double teaming, that is effective, but AJ is a strong & fast reciever in the mold of a TO type. A reciever like that can dictate the movements of both the LBs and DBs. You hear talk of the 'Vick' schemes or the 'Moss' schemes etc, and D-Coordinators would be wise to devise one for AJ if they haven't already. That being said I still think he would have had better numbers if Carr had been healthy, or if his fellow recievers were more effective.

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Old 07-14-2004   #8
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I think we kinda knew Andre Johnson was gonna be "giant NFL star" when we drafted him. Wasn't that the purpose behind drafting him?
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