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Season in review: Wide receivers

For the first time, wide receiver Andre Johnson and quarterback Matt Schaub played a full 16 games together, and the two flourished. Schaub led the league in passing, and Johnson led in receiving yardage. Jacoby Jones turned in the finest season of his three-year career, and veterans Kevin Walter, André Davis and David Anderson provided additional outlets for Schaub.

SEASON IN REVIEW: Wide receivers

Position coach:Larry Kirksey (13th NFL season, 3rd with Texans)

Week 1 starters: Johnson and Davis

Week 17 starters: Johnson and Walter

Key injuries: Walter (hamstring, Weeks 1-3); Davis (concussion, Weeks 1-3); Anderson (concussion, Week 17)

By the numbers (top statistical performer): Johnson (101 rec, 1,569 yds, 15.5 yds/rec., 9 TD, 6 games with 100 yds receiving, 8 games with 80 yds, 15 games with 60 yds)

Season overview: Schaub, the NFL's passing king, couldn't have done it without a talented and diverse receiving corps. Of his 4,770 passing yards - and the 33 thrown by backup Rex Grossman in the Jaguars' game - 3,079 (or 64 percent) were accounted for by the wide receivers.

{QUOTE}The Pro Bowler Johnson was his go-to guy, cracking the 1,500-yard receiving mark for the second consecutive season. Johnson joined Marvin Harrison as the only two players in history to achieve that feat.

"He's a tremendous player," Schaub said. "He's the best receiver in the game, in my opinion, and I'm fortunate to be able to throw the ball to him and have him on my side."

Behind Johnson, Walter had 611 receiving yards on 53 receptions, two of which were touchdowns. His stats were down a bit from 2008, but his absence from the season's first three contests helps to explain some of the downturn.

Jones was the most explosive per catch of the group, catching 27 passes 437 yards and scoring six times. The day after the season finale against the Patriots, in which Jones made an acrobatic touchdown catch, head coach Gary Kubiak dispensed high praise for the young playmaker.

"I told him he's got starter ability, and it's time for him to think that way," Kubiak said. "He's got to think that way because he's got the ability to do it."

Anderson was a reliable target as well, with 38 grabs for 370 yards.

"We've got plenty of great talent here," Schaub said. "I'm just happy to be the guy that's able to throw it to them."

2010 outlook: The Texans' receiving corps might alter some, depending on whether or not Walter leaves in free agency. But with Johnson back, complemented by an improved Jones, the explosiveness of the league's fourth-best offense in 2009 likely will be augmented. Throw in a healthy Owen Daniels drawing attention at tight end, and the potential for fireworks continues.

Perhaps the most important key to improvement is the continuity of a healthy Schaub and Johnson. Johnson loved that Schaub was upright and on his feet throughout 2009.

"It is a great feeling," Johnson said. "The way we play together when we're out there on the same page, we know what each other are thinking. It's a great feeling. He helps us out a whole lot."

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