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Texas A&M's Jeff Fuller Is Like Andre Johnson

Robert Cessna over at The Bryan/College Station Eagle makes some great points about what an impact Jeff Fuller's injuries have done to the Aggie offense. It's a little more subtle than the effect that Andre Johnson's absence has meant to the Houston Texans, but when you look a little closer, there are a ton of similarities.

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For one, both players provide the deep threat that keeps defenses honest. Without that threat, both offenses have stagnated and seen coverage close up on those underneath routes. Especially affected have been Owen Daniels and Ryan Swope, as that coverage takes away the underneath routes they love without anyone stretching the field.

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It also takes a way a big body on third down for both units. Fuller was a first down machine the past few years, using his frame to get open on hitch routes around the first down marker. Andre served the same purpose for the Texans, being the receiver most likely to get a ball thrown to him when the Texans needed to convert on third down. Fuller's injuries may be keeping him from catching quite as well as normal, as he had a couple of indefensible drops against Missouri that he should have gotten.

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Not being able to rely on him on third down has meant Ryan Tannehill has been throwing more to Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu, who doesn't have nearly as good a hands as Fuller.

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Hopefully, both offenses will start clicking again when both stars return to health as it's easy to see how much they're missed.

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.