According to the National Football Post, some people believes that Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson has lost half a step, which is one of the reasons why they drafted DeAndre Hopkins this year.
The Houston Texans chose DeAndre Hopkins in the first round 2 ½ months ago, in large part to provide an explosive complement to Andre Johnson at wide receiver. And the former Clemson star has, coaches acknowledge, been one of the standouts in offseason workouts. “You can really see the obvious (playmaking) skills,” Texans general manager Rick Smith said. But the Texans may need to start looking down the road as well to a future replacement for Johnson, who turns 32 this week. The 10-year veteran still rates among the NFL’s premier wideouts – he started all 16 games in 2012, the first time that has occurred since 2009, and posted 112 catches – and there has been no real discernable drop-off. But some opponents suggest that Johnson has lost perhaps a half-step, and isn’t as explosive. Johnson had only four touchdown catches last season, his fewest since 2002 in a season in which he played at least nine games. So while the bigger emphasis has been on Hopkins, who should provide Houston and quarterback Matt Schaub a quality No. 2 starter, the club has privately allowed there is a need to start developing one of the other young wide receivers as well. Second-year veteran DeVier Posey had some flashes as a rookie in ’12, and fellow youngsters Keshawn Martin and Lestar Jean have promise as well. One of them needs to step up as a viable No. 3, and possible Johnson replacement in a few years.
I realize that Johnson is approaching the back-end of his career, but I want to see how he bounces back this season before I start believing he’s not the same player. While he had a down year in 2012, it also looked like quarterback Matt Schaub wasn’t very sharp as well.
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