I just got done writing a story about the great upcoming matchup between Andre Johnson and Nnamdi Asomugha on Sunday. Both players are regarded as among the best at their respective positions in the league.
I didn't include this in my story because Texans fans already know how special of a player Johnson is, but I wanted to make sure to point out some of the comments on him from Raiders coach Tom Cable and Asomugha during conference calls with the Houston media today. This is what you call big-time respect.
Cable, on how they limited Johnson to two catches for 19 yards last year:"That guy is a great player. You've got to do a number of things to try and contain him, if you will. I don't know if you will ever take him out of a game. Again, weather conditions and all that had something to do with it last year."
Asomugha, on the challenges that Johnson presents: "You're talking about one of if not the top receiver in the league. Any time you get a guy with his size and his strength and his speed, you're going to have some matchup problems, and there's a lot of ways that he can hurt you whether it's running the ball, whether it's deep, whether it's short. He's got all the intangibles. So he always presents a problem for any corner around the league."
Asomugha, on if yards after the catch are as much of a concern with Johnson as the catch itself:"Yeah, absolutely. You watch teams that play him around the league, and lots of times when he catches the ball in space, he's able to turn it up for a considerable gain. So those are some of the things that you always have to key on when you've got a guy like him or the other physical guys in the league, (Anquan) Boldin, Steve Smith or Brandon Marshall – those are the guys that any time they catch the ball, no matter where you are, you've got to swarm him to bring him down because he can always turn it into a big play."