Deshaun Watson on Duke Johnson Jr.: 'He's an electric guy'

O'Brien impressed how quickly Johnson Jr. has picked up the offense

The Bull Rush
August 21, 2019 - 4:25 pm

USA TODAY

HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) – Duke Johnson Jr. practiced for the second time on Wednesday, and drew praise from his head coach and quarterback, because of what he adds to the Texans’ offense.   

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“He’s an electric guy.  Everyone around the league knows what Duke Johnson can do, what he did for Cleveland in his time there.  He’s a guy that’s going to bring a lot of energy, a lot of extra talent, and he can do a lot of different things for our offense,” Texans’ Quarterback Deshaun Watson said after practice on Wednesday.

Johnson Jr., 25, wasn’t able to immediately hit the Texans’ practice field after the trade, a trade in which the Texans sent a conditional third-round pick to Cleveland for his services, but his work learning the playbook has been admired and noticed on the practice field even if he had a bit of a head start.

“Very smart guy, he’s able to learn in the meetings.  He’s done a lot of the things.  I think in Freddie’s (Kitchens) offense he was doing a lot of the similar things, maybe they call it apples, we call it oranges, but conceptually it’s the same thing,” Texans’ Head Coach Bill O’Brien added.

His numbers, especially in the passing game, have been impressive.  As a rookie in 2015, he caught 61 passes, 53 more in 2016, a career high 74 receptions in 2017 and then slipped to a career low 47 catches last year in 2018.  O’Brien has a plan for his newest running back, a back that reminds him of a few of his former players in the passing game.

“Here in Houston, we had Arian Foster, who was a tremendous receiving back, really an excellent running back, but his passing game ability was unbelievable,” O’Brien said.  “Then, when I was in New England, we had Kevin Faulk and Danny Woodhead and guys like that, who are really good players.  Duke’s done a good job learning, and has had a good couple days back.”