One of the reasons for veteran wide receiver's departure from Houston after twelve seasons with the Texans was that he was told that his role would be diminishing in the offense. Obviously, for a player who could very well end up in the Hall of Fame one day, that's not exactly an appealing reason to stick around.
So he signed with the Colts, a team with a great quarterback in Andrew Luck and championship hopes. In doing so, however, he joined a group of receivers that is very deep, and while there hasn't been much question as to whether Johnson will start or not (he will), there have been some questions about how big his role will be in the team's offense.
After Wednesday's OTA session, the second such practice for the team and the first that was open to the media, any such doubts vanished as it was clear that Johnson will have a key role in the offense in 2015.
"While the Texans wanted to reduce Johnson's role in their offense, it was pretty obvious during Wednesday's OTA session that the veteran will have a significant part in Indianapolis' offense as he took his snaps with the starters."
"Wednesday was little more than a snippet, but it's already clear Johnson is going to have an extensive role with the Colts."
Holder also noted that Johnson was working in the slot a lot, which is an interesting tidbit on how the Colts might be thinking about using him. He'll certainly play outside, but by putting him in the slot the Colts would focus on matchups with speed receivers on the outside and Johnson, a possession receiver, in the slot. What is clear from Holder's report is that Johnson will fill a number of different roles for the Colts in their offense, playing a key part in it.
Johnson has certainly earned such a role, as in 12 seasons in the NFL he has caught 1,102 passes for 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns - most of the time while playing with sub-par quarterback play. Now with the Colts, he has a top-tier signal caller throwing him the football and a plethora of other receiving talent, such as T.Y. Hilton, to help take some of the pressure off of him. Running back Frank Gore is looking forward to it as well, as he's excited to finally face a six or seven-man box. With the offensive playmakers the Colts have there is plenty to be excited about, and it sounds certain that Andre Johnson will be right in the midst of the offense with a key role.
Head coach Chuck Pagano called the transition "pretty seamless" for Johnson and Gore. "To me it seems like they've been here for the past five years to be honest with you. They don't miss a beat as far as the playbook goes, knowing what to do. Every time I see them in the huddle, break a huddle, to me it looks like they're going the right direction. They're lining up right. They're very talented, talented guys. They fit right into the locker room. They're professionals. Again, the resume speaks for itself.
"They're not talkers. They're workers, they're doers. So it's not like they had to come in here and say a whole lot. They're all business. They're great for our team. They're great for our young guys to see guys like that come in and having years of experience under their belt and watching those guys work and put the time in at their age. They don't ask to have days off. They don't ask to have reps off and all this other stuff. They're working like everybody else."