Andre Johnson simply loves playing against his hometown team.
The former University of Miami receiver, now in his 10th season with the Texans, has torched the Dolphins throughout his career. In five games against Miami, Johnson has caught 37 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns.
And for the first time since 2008, he won’t have Vontae Davis to worry about. The Dolphins will trot out their new-look secondary Sunday in Houston, although it’s unclear if Miami will assign one corner to the 6-3 receiver or split up the duties.
“I’d definitely welcome the challenge, if the coaches go that route,” Sean Smith said. “I definitely don’t shy away from competition at all. Whatever they tell us to do, I’ll do.”
Added Richard Marshall, the Dolphins’ other starting corner: “He’s a big receiver. We have to keep our pads low. He likes to get up on you, and once he gets your body on his body, he likes to throw you by.”
No moves yet
Two days after releasing David Garrard and putting Artis Hicks on injured reserve, the Dolphins still have not filled the vacancy on their roster — and might not do so until next week.
Miami’s front office has been quietly eying veterans such as Jabar Gaffney, but it does not appear an offer is imminent. They might wait until after the season opener, when they wouldn’t have to guarantee the entire season’s salary.
“I’m comfortable right now,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said when asked about the roster. “ Jeff [Ireland] and his staff are constantly evaluating what’s out there, what might best help us win. Until that really occurs, we’ll probably sit where we’re at.
“[But] I wouldn’t rule out anything happening here in the next couple days certainly.”
Richie Incognito already has a player in mind. He sent a public Twitter message to Jason Taylor, the retired pass-rusher, on Thursday that included a picture of three empty lockers, which Incognito said were reserved for Taylor.
“Take Sept to do ur TV thing. Come join us in October,” Incognito wrote.
THIS AND THAT
• Former Dolphins offensive lineman Ryan Cook, traded to the Cowboys last week, played well off the bench Wednesday in Dallas’ season-opening win over the Giants. Five days after moving Cook, the Dolphins placed starting guard Hicks on injured reserve.
• NFL Films’ Greg Cosell had high praise for Ryan Tannehill on ESPN Radio, saying the rookie will play better than stats indicate this year, and that he showed good situational awareness in the preseason, knowing when to check out of bad plays.
• ESPN’s Ron Jaworski wrote Thursday that Tannehill’s throwing motion is “a little Dan Marino-like at the top of his drop,” although he did say the young quarterback gets stuck on his progressions at times.
• The Dolphins are worth $1.06 billion Forbes announced Wednesday, making them the league’s 15th-most valuable team.
• Miami will not name season-long team captains, Philbin said Thursday, but instead will pick them on a weekly basis.