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Matt Schaub defends Houston Texans' Andre Johnson

Matt Schaub defended teammate Andre Johnson from growing criticism about his play, the Houston Texans quarterback said on "NFL Total Access."

Many have wondered if the Pro Bowl receiver has begun to slow down. NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi said Johnson "does not look like the same player" he was in seasons past.

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"We're trying to get him the ball every game," Schaub told NFL Network on Friday. "He's obviously one of the best receivers in this league. And teams obviously know that. They gear and game plan things to take him away. We understand that. We still try to get him the football. But we have a lot of weapons on this offense both at wide receiver, tight end with Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham, James Casey at fullback and our running backs make a lot of plays.

"We spread the wealth around, but we know that No. 80 is ready to go and have a big game at any moment."

Johnson has 17 receptions for 283 yards and two touchdowns. He's on pace for 906 receiving yards if he plays all 16 games. Johnson put up five 1,100-plus yard seasons from 2004 to 2010.

Defenses are determined to take away the deep ball against proven threats. Two-deep safeties have been successful against the Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson. The same has happened to Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson.

The Atlanta Falcons have been successful since teams can't solely focus on Roddy White or Julio Jones. The Miami Dolphins' Brian Hartline is the surprise NFL leader in receiving yards (514).

Either way, at 31 years old, Johnson's most productive days are likely behind him.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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