If Andre Johnson has lost a step -- as Texans owner Bob McNair intimated last week -- the wide receiver's new coach hasn't seen it on game film.
"You don't see a huge drop-off numbers-wise," coach Chuck Pagano said, via ESPN.com's Mike Wells. "Maybe in touchdowns. But you still see a guy who is more than capable of stretching the defense. Certainly somebody who an opponent can't just line up and say, 'Don't worry about Andre Johnson.'"
If defenses still opt to send extra coverage toward T.Y. Hilton, Pagano expects Johnson to take advantage as a "big, possession type guy" on the underneath routes that an injury-ravaged Reggie Wayne couldn't convert in the second half of last season.
"He's a big body guy that can still separate, create separation," Pagano continued. "He's got a big catch radius. But again, the contested catches that you see on tape. It's very difficult to match up."
Johnson will likely start opposite T.Y. Hilton. It’s a big upgrade from a quality-of-quarterback standpoint, as he has never played with one as good as Andrew Luck. His targets are likely to take a hit, however. He averaged 9.7 T/G in 2014, while Hilton and Reggie Wayne led the Colts with 8.7 and 7.7 T/G, respectively. So this looks like a case of the targets dropping but the quality of those targets increasing. After finishing in the top 10 (in PPR) in five of his previous six seasons, Johnson finished #28 in 2014. He’s turning 34 this offseason, so it may be foolhardy to expect a huge bounceback season, but low-end WR2 numbers in PPR formats seem reasonable.