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Top Flight Receiver: Why this Texas receiver could be a big “catch” in ’08.

Let’s play a sweet

Texas
game. Listed below you will find three clues.

 
Read all three clues first before answering any of them.

 

Clue 1:

  This

Texas
player averaged over 14 yards per catch in 2007.

Clue 2:

  After
recording the fastest 40-time at the combine he was drafted in the top 10 of
the 2003 NFL draft.

Clue 3:

  He’s not
Keyshawn, but……..

 

When Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson was drafted
in 2003 my first thought was R-Jay Soward; the USC wide receiver drafted in the
first round of the 2000 NFL draft who played only one very poor season before
boozing it up and settling for the CFL in 2004.

 
Then something happened in 2004 that changed my perspective on the
former

Miami star.

  I was watching the Texans host the Vikings
early in the season.

  Johnson was all the
Texans had at wide receiver at the time, so as you can imagine he was being
thrown the ball on almost every pass play.

 
The Texans were inside the red zone and on a third down play Johnson was
fed the ball in the back of the end zone, but as he went up high for it he was
flipped 360 degrees over the top of the defender.

  He landed hard on the turf face first, but
held on for the touchdown.

 

In 2007, the Texans brought in QB Matt Schaub via trade with
the Falcons.

  Johnson and Schaub quickly
jelled, and when I say quickly I mean instantly.

  In an article from April 3rd of
2007 Johnson was quoted as to saying this, “Just from looking at the way he
walks around the locker room and things like that, you can tell he’s a leader.
That’s something you want to have at the quarterback position.”

  And Schaub, well he had nothing but good
things to say as well as quoted in the same article, “It’s a quarterback’s
dream to have a guy like that on the outside that can make people miss, go up
and catch the deep ball and is fast like him. He’s just a great asset to
have.”

  Right from the start both Johnson
and Schaub were on the exact same page, and not only did it show in the words
that were spoken, but in the final stat column as well.

 

In nine starts last season Johnson caught 60 passes for 851
yards and hit pay dirt eight times.

 

 He was on pace to catch over 100 passes for
over 1500 yards and 15 touchdowns had he played all 16 games.

  As for Matt Schaub, he recorded three of his
top four games with Johnson in the lineup in weeks one, two, and eleven.

  In those three games the former Falcons back-up achieved
quarterback ratings of 101.5 or higher, and threw five of his nine total touchdown
passes for the season (4 to Johnson).

 

As for this season; I would look for much of the same from
Johnson and Schaub, when they’re playing together that is.

The Texans offensive line has developed
nicely and Schaub seems to have grown more comfortable with the offense as a
whole.

  Now I know what you’re thinking:
What if Schaub goes down again?

  Johnson
owners have nothing to fear even if Schaub can’t stay on the field, because
behind him is a solid back-up in Sage Rosenfels, who has also grown comfortable
with the offense, 15 touchdowns and a passer rating of 84.8 in nine games in
2007, and his role on this team.

  In
fact, Rosenfels looked so good in 2007 that other teams were pitching trade
offers in order to acquire the lifetime back-up this offseason.

 

Overall, I honestly never thought that I would be so high on
a Texans wide receiver in my fantasy football lifetime, but Andre Johnson seems
to be in the right situation

with the right quarterbacks, and a solid supporting cast around him.

And if he can stay healthy throughout the entire
2008 season there is no doubt in my mind that he’ll be a top flight receiver, which would also make him a big

Texas “catch.”

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