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Dolphin Defenders Have An Eye On Johnson...
In an article published earlier this week, staff writer Carter Toole noted that NFL schedule makers were kind enough to afford rookie receiver Andre Johnson the opportunity to make his pro debut in Miami, a city the youngster knows as well as anybody.

"I grew up right around the corner from the stadium so Miami was always my team," Johnson said. "To have my first professional game to open up against Miami will be a great feeling."

Johnson showed flashes of brilliance in the preseason, catching eight passes for a team-high 113 yards and one touchdown -- a 24-yarder against San Diego. The Texans drafted Johnson to give David Carr a big, physical go-to target and open up the field for fellow receivers Corey Bradford and Jabar Gaffney.

That strategy appeared to work in the preseason and the Dolphins' veteran secondary took notice.

"Carr has a strong arm and being that Andre is pretty much one of the fastest guys on the team he is going to be able to stretch the defense," Dolphins cornerback Sam Madison said. "I’m not saying they weren’t able to do that last year with [Bradford], as well as [Gaffney], but you just add another threat to it.

"Andre’s a big, strong, physical guy and goes up and fights for footballs. Some of those balls that were dropped last year I think he is a guy that can go up and make those catches and make those plays to move the chains. ... I feel that he is a guy that can really contribute to helping them move the chains and get more points on the board so they can win football games."

Thus, Johnson starts his first game with a target already on his chest. It comes with the territory of being a first-round pick. But Johnson just shrugs it off.

"I just need to go out there and play to the best of my ability," he said.

A few miscellaneous notes of interest heading into today's game. ...

Place-kicker Kris Brown has scored at least one point in 47 consecutive games. ... Carr has completed at least 10 passes in three consecutive games dating back to last Dec. 15 against Baltimore. ... Stacey Mack has not fumbled in 267 rushing attempts, the second longest active streak in the league behind injured Detroit halfback James Stewart (397).