Saturday, July 26, 2014, 5:20pm
Much was made about the lack of timing QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and WR Andre Johnson would have because they'd never worked together. On the first play of team, CB Kareem Jackson was up in press man on Dre. At the snap, Dre gave a little shimmy, buzzed his feet, all the while setting up his inside move on the slant route. At the perfect time, Dre planted his left foot, pivoted inside and as he turned the ball was put between the 8 and the 0. Perfect timing.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 5:12pm
"I think it's just gonna be fun for me, me picking up the things I need to pick up, him telling me that he's gonna move me around a lot and stuff like that," Johnson told NFL Media's Desmond Purnell. "So it's going to be interesting to see because I really wasn't moved a whole lot before, so I just got to, day-by-day, just progressively get better and make sure that I'm on top of everything ... "
Despite spending the last two months threatening to hold out, Johnson has arrived at NRG Stadium and is expected to begin practicing Saturday morning.
Johnson's decision will certainly help his fantasy stock. It gives him time to learn the new offense and get valuable reps with his new quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick. He should once again be a force in PPR formats, though he has always had trouble scoring touchdowns.
Johnson, one of the best receivers in NFL history, will not be traded for several reasons. The Texans want him to finish his career in Houston. They know they are a better team with him. And they don't want to set a precedent for similar situations that might develop in the future.
And here's a prediction: When he finally reports, probably before the Washington opener, Johnson will work as hard as ever, keep his mouth shut as he always does, learn his new system, have another terrific season, and continue to augment his Hall of Fame résumé.
The story, written by the trustworthy John McClain, indicates that Johnson will show up and play at some point in training camp. We'd be more likely to select Johnson in the 4th round of 12-team drafts, but he still has to learn a new offense and build a rapport with new QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Also, players that miss offseason activities or report late to camp have a tendency to pull a hamstring when they return, so that's a possibility as well.
Before OTAs and minicamp, star wide receiver Andre Johnson told the Houston Texans he had heard enough from the new staff and coach Bill O'Brien to make him want to show up and join the team. He told them of his plans to be there for offseason workouts, despite missing the early portion of it. The question revolved around his $1 million bonus for attending workouts.
Though Johnson had missed some of the sessions, he wanted to earn his money back by working out extra, allowing him to receive the money.
The Texans told him no, per two sources informed of the situation.
That furthered the divide between Johnson and the Texans, driving a wedge between the parties. That caused Johnson to tell them he wanted to play for another team. He is now working out, "not thinking about the Texans," a source said.
The Texans have not yet been willing to trade him.
If true, this is a pretty dumb reason to lose your star receiver. This looks like a situation that won't be rectified soon, but Johnson needs to get into camp to learn a new offense and work with new QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. He's a risky fantasy pick at this stage in the offseason.
Andre Johnson wanted nothing to do with Houston's offseason program, but the All-Pro wide receiver expressed optimism on Wednesday that he'd be in uniform when the Texans open training camp later this month.
"Hopefully. We'll see what happens," Johnson told NFL Media's Marcus Smith. "Training camp's three weeks away, so we'll see what happens."
Asked if he'd be on the field when Houston hosts the Washington Redskins in Week 1, Johnson remained vague, saying, "I don't know. I can't answer that question."
The 32-year-old pass-catcher confirmed what NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported months ago, acknowledging that he's "had conversations with the organization" about his future.
"I haven't been public about anything," Johnson said. "I just choose not to talk publicly about it. It's in-house and that's the way I choose to keep it. I'm not a big media guy, so I refuse to talk about it."
Since Johnson is in control of whether or not he reports, we're not sure why he's 'hopeful' he'll attend camp. Either he will or he won't. If he does, he'll remain a high end WR2, especially in PPR formats, but he hasn't yet built a rapport with new QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and has to learn a new offense. The other option is a trade, something Johnson appears to be angling for when he says that he doesn't know if he'll be on the field for the Texans in Week 1. He's no longer a safe pick in fantasy drafts.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 3:37pm
Texans WR Andre Johnson's offseason absence gives DeAndre Hopkins an advantage. The Sideline View's Lance Zierlein confirmed to Around The League that Fitzpatrick and rookie Tom Savage are already developing a strong rapport with the second-year wideout.
HC Bill O'Brien's offense should also provide a boost. Hopkins drew just two more targets than tight end Garrett Graham with Gary Kubiak calling the plays. Dialing up more slants, bubble screens and crossing routes will help. His leaping ability was also underutilized, as Kubiak has long been one of the NFL's most conservative coaches in the red zone.
Hopkins doesn't have the extraordinary physical gifts of Johnson, but the talent is there to post several seasons as a top 15 NFL wideout. Taking over the Titans game suggests No. 1 receiver potential should Johnson force his way out of Houston.
Even if Johnson returns by September, Hopkins should have little trouble flirting with 1,000 yards and a half-dozen touchdowns. After all, he was on pace for 80 catches and 1,080 yards after the first four games of his career.
Hopkins finished as the #50 WR in 2013, posting 52 catches for 802 yards and two touchdowns, a solid season for a rookie wideout playing along an established veteran like Andre Johnson. Provided he develops a strong rapport with Fitzpatrick, he should progress in O'Brien's offense.
Raiders beat writer Paul Gutierrez was asked about the team's depth chart at WR: "Right now right now, or later, later (George Lopez voice)? Well, right now, on June 23, I'd say that James Jones and Rod Streater are the starters, with Denarius Moore nipping at their heels and Andre Holmes waiting in the weeds. Juron Criner also showed some life in organized team activities and minicamp. Truly, though, the title of starting receiver may prove to be just that -- a title, as with no true No. 1 consistent receiver on the roster, someone like, I don't know, Andre Johnson, the Raiders figure to use a lot of mixing and matching."
Moore seems to be fading within the organization. This is a notoriously positive time of year and there have been a few negative reports about Moore's progress. Another beat writer went so far to say that Andre Holmes seems to be passing Moore on the depth chart. Streater is the player we like at his current ADP. He has progressed well and is entering his third season.
Fitzpatrick will have a tough time being much of a fantasy option if Andre Johnson doesn't report to camp. If AJ does join the team, Fitzy will be in the mix for streaming/QBBC duties in favorable matchups.
Texans WR Andre Johnson hasn't been to voluntary workouts all offseason in Houston. This week, he'll skip mandatory work for the first time and risk being fined by the team.
"Right now, that's all that he can do,'" Melton said of Johnson skipping work this week. "We've done what we can do, so we're just sitting there waiting."
Melton insisted that Johnson has a great relationship with new coach Bill O'Brien. The seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver seems more dissatisfied with the Texans' lack of a quarterback. Johnson could still skip training camp in July and August, when the fines can really rack up.
"We'll evaluate it in a month or so and see what's going on," Melton said.
It's not clear what Johnson's endgame is -- does he want to be traded? Johnson is missing valuable reps with a new QB in a new offense, and it's not doing much for his fantasy prospects heading into the 2014 season. Buyer beware.
With a decade's experience in the NFL, Ryan Fitzpatrick is the odds-on favorite to be under center September 7 in the regular season opener versus Washington. HC Bill O'Brien explained that Fitpatrick's football brain and experience in the League is why the Texans went after, and ultimately signed him.
Fitzpatrick won't have a ton of value as the Texans' starter, but if Andre Johnson returns to the team, he could work his way into a QBBC/streaming role.
With no Andre Johnson at OTAs right now, DeAndre Hopkins and the wide receivers will be getting even more reps during practice. Hopkins hopes to use the opportunities he has this offseason to improve different aspects of his game, especially his route running.
“I’m nowhere close to where I want to be," Hopkins said on Wednesday. "Not even close. I have a lot of things I need to work on and I’m doing that this offseason."
With a new coaching staff, new system, and new group of quarterbacks, it feels like last year, learning a whole new scheme all over again under head coach Bill O’Brien.
“It’s not been easy; I’m not going to lie,” Hopkins said. “It’s a new playbook, you have to refocus, you have to do everything you did your rookie year all over again, but I feel like I know how to prepare better than last year, just going out and learning from Andre (Johnson) and doing things like that, and I feel like I’m becoming a better player overall.”
“He’s a hard worker,” O’Brien said. “He’s a young player. This is a brand new system for him so it’s difficult because he had a rookie year, now he’s having to learn a new system. I think he’s working really hard. He takes the coaching well. He’s a big guy. He’s a physical player. He’s learning a new way of doing things relative to our offense and I think he comes out there and tries to get better every day.”
Hopkins finished as the #50 WR in 2013, posting 52 catches for 802 yards and two touchdowns, a solid season for a rookie wideout playing along an established veteran like Andre Johnson. Hopkins would be better off if he didn't have to learn a new offense this summer, but he may see a ton of targets if Johnson doesn't eventually report to camp.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014, 4:46pm
Four quarterbacks have a chance to be the Texans’ Week 1 starter.
First-year coach Bill O’Brien said the team will eventually make a decision about its quarterback situation, which will affect repetitions during training camp. But as of Tuesday, the race for the starter spot remains “wide open.”
We expect Fitzpatrick to win this job, but it's something to monitor, especially for Andre Johnson or DeAndre Hopkins owners.
“The conversations that Andre and I have had have been very positive about what we’re doing here as a team. Obviously, offensively, what we’re doing here,” O’Brien said. “We’ve had good communications. But as far as what Andre said, I’ll let him speak for himself.”
Johnson has been mulling his future in Houston, so it's good to hear that he's at least been in contact with his new coach.
Houston WR Andre Johnson says he's been wondering if this is the place for him. Says he doesn't plan to be at OTAs or minicamp currently.
This isn't quite on the same level as a trade demand, but it sounds as if Johnson isn't too happy with how the team has addressed the QB position this offseason. He's turning 33 in July, and seems to be running out of patience with the Texans. Stay tuned.