Frank Reich on what Marcus Johnson brings as a deep threat

Kevin Hickey
·2 min read

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marcus Johnson broke out in a big way for the offense during the team’s comeback win against the Cincinnati Bengals, becoming the first wide receiver for Indy to go over 100 yards this season.

Johnson has been flashing in the last few weeks just what he brings to the offense as a deep threat. Of course, his speed helps him create separation on those deep routes, but head coach Frank Reich told 1070 The Fan what other aspects of his game make him a viable deep threat.

“You know, he’s got speed, but the other thing with Marcus, as far as the ability to catch a ball, there’s a specific trait — you know, a tracking trait — where you’re tracking the deep ball, and Marcus is particularly skilled at that,” Reich said. “He tracks the deep ball very well, and Philip has a lot of confidence and belief in that, and so that’s been a big part of the success he’s had.”

Like he did last year when he filled in for an injured wide receiver corps toward the end of the campaign, Johnson is leading the Colts offense with 20.9 yards per reception. His 18.1 air yards per target not only leads the Colts offense, but it also is the sixth-highest mark in the NFL.

Since the Colts brought Johnson in before the 2018 season, he has been known for stretching the field as a deep threat. It’s something that Reich certainly took notice of.

“Yeah, really happy. And Marcus — really happy for Marcus. He’s consistently been making big plays in every game he’s been in, so that’s good; Philip has confidence in him,” Reich said. “Of course, Philip has had a knack of doing this his whole career. You just follow his career and you know that he just has a knack of getting the ball deep and stretching the field and is very accurate in doing so.”

It will be interesting to see what kind of role Johnson has when Michael Pittman Jr. comes back after the bye week, but his abilities as a deep threat could help open the offense more.

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