Johnson Is ‘The Complete Package’

Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is fourth in the NFL in receiving yards.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Sunday, December 12th, 2010 at 9:57 am | Categories: Ryan Mink

How good is Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson?

Just ask the Ravens cornerbacks.

“If you go in Madden and you create a wide receiver he’s going to look just like him,” Josh Wilson said. “He possesses all the skills you’re looking for, all the skills you’d want from a guy at his position.”

“When you’re watching the film, it sticks out that he’s the best receiver in the league,” Fabian Washington said. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts. The guy can do everything. And he does everything great, not good.”

“He has all the tools, speed, route-running, everything you need for that position,” Lardarius Webb said. “He has it all – the complete package.”

Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder who was selected third overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, has gone to four Pro Bowls and led the NFL in receiving the past two years.

The Miami product already has his third straight 1,000-plus yard receiving season, ranking fourth in the NFL with 1,018 yards. He’s tied for fourth in the league in receptions (71).

Johnson suffered an ankle injury in Week 3, which caused him to miss one game. He aggravated the injury last Thursday but still caught six passes for 149 yards. He is listed as probable to play.

“It doesn’t look like he’s playing on a bad ankle to me,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s their go-to guy in every down and distance situation.”

Expect the Texans to take plenty of deep shots to Johnson, particularly over the middle. Houston likes to roll out quarterback Matt Schaub, who is adept at throwing the long ball, and find Johnson streaking through the secondary.

So how do the Ravens go about covering him?

The first rule is to ignore the name on the back of the jersey, the cornerbacks said. Good coverage starts and ends with sound technique, no matter who it’s against.

“With bigger receivers, I want to make sure they don’t shield me away from the ball,” Chris Carr said, adding that he prefers playing bigger players. “You could have a guy covered, but if you don’t pick a side and you take him on right over the middle, he could just run a curl route and shield you off.”

Tennessee Titans cornerback Courtland Finnegan found a way to erase Johnson. After Finnegan smacked him in the mouth during their Week 12 meeting, the two players threw down in an all-out brawl (which Johnson unanimously won). Both players were ejected and fined.

But the Ravens, who were “shocked” by the fight because of Johnson’s usual low-key nature, aren’t anticipating a repeat.

“I’m not Courtland that likes to talk and hit people after the play,” Carr said. “That’s not my game, and I’ve heard [Johnson's] not that type of player as well. I mean, he just wants to go out there and play. So, I just focus on what I’ve got to do. If people get mad, then that’s their thing.”

Tags: , , ,