Was Andre Johnson too much of a percentage of the Texans offense in 2012?

Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak thinks that is a darn fool point of view. I do too.

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  1. In 2012, Andre Johnson caught 112 passes for 1,598 yards. This ended up being 58.1% of all Texans pass targets, a league high percentage.
  2. Kubiak said back in 2006 he wanted Andre Johnson's reception numbers to go up. And this happened. Here are the reception numbers for Andre Johnson's 16-game seasons for the Texans: 103-2006, 115-2008, 101-2009, 112-2012. He's had pretty sporty target/reception numbers in even the seasons he's missed games.

    Of course, would it be helpful to the Texans offense to have more reliable targets? Sure would. Andre Johnson wanted a high-pick drafted wide receiver. Texans fans wanted a high-pick drafted wide receiver. Texans obviously wanted it too because they did it.

    Some fans complain that Andre Johnson gets targets when he is double-covered. But this is by design. If you waited until Andre Johnson was single covered, he would never get the ball until opponents made a get-cut, bone-headed mistake. And he has been very effective even with the attention he gets because he's Andre, and the Texans challenge opponents by having him line up in different spots on the line.

    Even so, if the Texans develop more reliable targets, it means the Texans can punish opponents easier if they load up too much on AJ.

    There's been a great deal of discussion about the improvement of the inexperienced receivers of last year. This needs to happen because the 2012 catch rates in limited targets per Football Outsider numbers was not good: Lestar Jean (50%), DeVier Posey (43%), Keshawn Martin (36%). (Posey may or may not be back this year due to his rehabilitation from an achilles tear).

    To put these numbers in perspective, the catch rates of other Texans targets were: Andre Johnson (69% which is a HUGE number given his targets), Kevin Walter (60%), James Casey (77%), Garrett Graham (70%), Owen Daniels (60%). Early in the season, all three tight ends were in the top three of tight end efficiency, but both Graham and Daniels were dealing with injuries late in the season.

    That's not completely on the wide receivers because a part of quarterback-wide receiver success is chemistry. Schaub missed OTAs last year while rehabbing his foot injury, and perhaps with additional year of work with the young players, he can develop more trust with them. 
  3. When Texans Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison came to the Texans, one of the things that surprised him was how effective play action was even when the run game was being inconsistent. His goal was to improve the run game to make it as effective as the passing game had been. And he did that. After he was hired, the run game went from 32nd in efficiency by FootballOutsiders.com measures to 3rd. 

    This was no surprise because Dennison was a key part of working with the offensive lines in Denver that had yearly, very efficient running backs.
  4. EXACTLY. I barely got the question out. I wish this had been on video but it was the last question of the session and the camera crews were all gone. The look on Gary Kubiak's face and his tone was a mixture of WTF and GTFO. The "F" standing for "fuss," of course.
  5. Drops mic.
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