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Andre Johnson losing 'half-step' increases WR urgency

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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Finding cohorts to play alongside aging wide receiver Andre Johnson has been the focus for the Houston Texans this offseason.

While rookie DeAndre Hopkins is slated to fill a big void as the No. 2 receiver, according to Len Pasquarelli, writing for the National Football Post, the Texans have "privately allowed" that they must develop one of their other young wide receivers as well.

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Johnson's production hasn't dropped off. The 10-year veteran had 112 catches and 1,598 yards in 2012.

The reason for the urgency in the Texans organization, according to Pasquarelli, is the notion that some opponents have suggested Johnson has "lost perhaps a half-step, and isn't as explosive."

Johnson's game tape agrees with that assessment and it's not a shock for a soon-to-be 32-year-old to lose a bit of athleticism. However, as he demonstrated last season, the former Hurricane isn't reliant on his explosiveness. His size and hands will allow him to play effectively well into his mid-to-late 30s, if he so chooses.

The Texans need to get production out of DeVier Posey -- who showed flashes last season -- Keshawn Martin and Lestar Jean to diversify their offense, not because Johnson lost a step.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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