After yesterday’s afternoon practice Coach Kubiak commented on whether or not Andre Johnson will play in the first preseason game on Monday. “I don’t know. I don’t have any doubt he can, but we’ll see.” Coach Kubiak also said, “We’ll make a decision on it. His finger’s fine. He’s been okay at practice.”
Talk out of camp is that wide receiver Dorin Dickerson has been making plays and is having a tremendous camp. The Texans recently released depth chart has Dickerson behind Andre Johnson at the “X” receiver position. Could Dickerson get the start against the New York Jets in place of pro bowler Andre Johnson?
Some could interpret Coach Kub’s latest comments on Dorin Dickerson as an indication of such. “He’s getting better. He’s a big guy that can make plays with his body. He does have excellent speed. He’s got to learn to bend a little more and those type of things. The thing about Dickerson that has been night and day is he’s improved on is his conditioning. Gary Kubiak iterated, “He can practice two hours in the heat, make plays at the end of practice as well as the beginning of practice. His conditioning level has given him a chance to become a better pro.”
Okay, we know. We know. Coach Kubiak didn’t exactly come out and and say Andre Johnson wouldn’t play and/or start. Nor did Kubiak state that Dickerson would get the playing time in Johnson’s place.
However, Dickerson, in his rookie season, was stuck behind Johnson last year and told to learn from the NFL’s best wide receiver. Obviously Dickerson made the most of that time. Dickerson worked out with fellow Pittsburg Panthers alum Larry Fitzgerald during the NFL lockout and was able to fine tune route running, pass catching and conditioning. So it comes as no surprise that Dickerson is turning heads at camp.
Quite frankly at some point the Houston Texans coaching staff is going to need to get a nice thorough look at what progress Dorin Dickerson has made but the staff will want to witness it during game situations. With many assuming that due to the lack of a true NFL offseason be ause of the extended NFL lockout. Many starters will probably play more of a role than usual during the NFL’s first preseason games this upcoming weekend.
Houston Texans and the coaching staff already know what they have in Jacoby Jones but expect Jones to get plenty of action as well during Monday nights match-up against the Jets. Jones brings that big play ability but has yet to reach the potential the Texans have hoped for. Jones is however signed for the next 3 years at a very decent rate. You can consider Jones a lock until at least after the 2012 season.
Kevin Walter is due a hefty salary next year as well as this year. As Walter displays terrific hands, Kevin has never been considered a threat to break a tackle after a catch for a long gain or touchdown for that matter. If the Texans get into a situation where they need to trim some fat from around the edges of next years total salary then Walter could end up a cap casualty. Either that or Walter restructures for less money.
Either way you slice it the Houston Texans are going to find out what they have with Dorin Dickerson. And what better way to gauge Dickerson’s progess than to start him on Monday night against the New York Jets in place of an ailing Andre Johnson?
Why even risk further injury to pro bowler Andre Johnson? Let’s face it. It’s not as if we don’t know what Johnson brings to the table leading the NFL in receiving yards per game the last four years in a row. (2010- 93.5 ypg, 2009- 98.1 ypg, 2008- 98.4 ypg & 2007-94.6 ypg) It seems as if Andre Johnson would get some league MVP consideration at some point.
But in the mean time we will be content with seeing what Dorin Dickerson is ready to bring to the table this upcoming Monday night.
Expect to see Texans second year undrafted free agent wide receiver Derrick Townsel also see plenty of action during the Monday night match-up versus New York.
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