Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson: "Almost feels like I'm back in college"

This year feels different for Andre Johnson, both on and off the field.

Now in his twelfth season, the seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver contemplated walking away from the game completely after last season's 2-14 finish. A new head coach, a new quarterback, a new system – what would it be like starting all over again at this point in his career?

“It’s different, it’s definitely different,” Johnson said on Texans Radio. “Being around here, back around the team, it almost feels like I’m back in college. Football is fun. You’re enjoying it, the coaches making things fun, they’re not just walking around with a sad face and not interacting with the players. Coach (Bill) O’Brien walks in the locker room and cracks jokes with the guys and stuff like that. When you have stuff like that going on with the team, it makes you want to do a lot for your coach. It lets you know that he has your back. It keeps everybody loose.”

Johnson has since said he’s glad he returned. In fact, he wishes he had come back sooner. That’s how much he has enjoyed these past few months. Plus, he had to study hard with less time to learn the playbook and the new offense installed by O’Brien.

“It’s a challenge,” Johnson said. “It’s probably the most I’ve studied in a long time as far as just trying to pick something up really quick. I know I had to play catch up coming in here and they told me they were going to move me around a lot. I know I had to learn all the positions as far as playing wide receiver. I was able to pick it up pretty fast. I spent a lot of time just looking at the different route combinations and stuff like that, just trying to learn the different concepts. I think once I learned the different concepts that helped me out more. No matter where I line up, if you know the concept then you know what you got.”

Through two games, Johnson leads the Texans receivers with 167 yards, averaging 13.9 yards per catch.

Each week, Johnson continues to climb the all-time yards receiving list, surpassing Irving Fryar to move into 15th place with his performance at Oakland. He also currently ranks 14th with the most receptions in NFL history with 939 catches.

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Andre Johnson Moves into 15th Place on All-Time Receiving Yardage List

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson used a six-catch, 74-yard performance against the Oakland Raiders to move past Irving Fryar for 15th place on the NFL's all-time receiving yardage list, per CSN Houston's James Palmer.

Johnson had an efficient afternoon in the Texans' 30-14 blowout victory, hauling in six of his seven targets from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The longest gain came on Johnson's final reception of the day, a 20-yard run-and-catch on a screen pass in the third quarter.

Though he's yet to reach the end zone this season, Johnson is off to a promising start under new head coach Bill O'Brien, having accounted for 12 of the team's 28 receptions through two games. The lack of team-wide volume is due to the fact that Fitzpatrick has attempted just 41 passes, the fewest for any NFL quarterback that has started and played through both of his team's games.

Now 15th on the all-time receiving yardage list with 12,828, Johnson figures to climb much higher by the end of the season. Things are bunched pretty close, with the exception of all-time leader Jerry Rice, whose 22,895 career receiving yards are far beyond the 15,934 of second-place Terrell Owens.

Johnson will likely pass Steve Largent (13,089) and Andre Reed (13,189) by midseason, and the 33-year-old Texan also figures to eclipse 12th-place Torry Holt (13,382) by the end of the year.

Heading into Monday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Reggie Wayne of the Indianapolis Colts sits in 11th place with 13,664 yards.

While Johnson is unlikely to pass Wayne this year, 10th-place Henry Ellard (13,777) and ninth-place Cris Carter (13,899) are well within reach. If Johnson really has a big season, he could even pass eighth-place James Lofton (14,004).

With both Wayne and Johnson appearing to have a few good years of football left, the two could eventually settle into second and third places on the all-time list. The 35-year-old Wayne needs just 2,271 more receiving yards to pass second-place Owens, while Johnson needs 3,107.

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How Andre Johnson helps offensive chemistry

HOUSTON -- When Texans' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick called receiver Andre Johnson a "quarterback-friendly" receiver, it meant more than just the fact that Johnson is an elite talent.

It's the little things Johnson does that really help his connection with Fitzpatrick. The body language through which he can communicate with his quarterback, his precision on routes so Fitzpatrick always knows where he's going to be and his intelligence in the offense.

"Andre is an easy receiver to throw to, to get on the same page with just because he’s played so much football," Fitzpatrick said. "I think there is not a whole lot that surprises him in terms of coverages and things that he’s gone against."

Johnson had six receptions on Sunday, all of them for first downs.

"It’s also the communication between not only coach-to-player but player-to-coach and player-to-player that makes Andre such a good player because when he comes off the field, he tells you exactly what he saw," quarterbacks coach George Godsey said. "It’s exactly what’s on the tape when you watch it the next day. You’re able to make adjustments from a coaching standpoint. You’re able to see the coverage when you were looking somewhere else and really take that for the next possession."

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Andre Johnson Looking Forward To Reunion With Raiders Derek Carr

Andre Johnson saw it from the time Derek Carr was just a kid, hanging around the office with his big brother.

Confidence. Oodles of it.

“The one thing you noticed about him, he had great confidence,” Johnson said on Wednesday. “When I used to come out the locker room sometimes, he’d be sitting right there in the hallway. He was always telling me he was going to go to Miami and be a quarterbackicon1 at the U.”

Things didn’t go exactly according to plan for Derek, the younger brother of former Houston Texans No. 1 overall pick, David Carr.

But a few details aside — like playing his college ball at Fresno State — Derek still ended up where he said he would: in the NFL.

When the Texans on Sunday face the Oakland Raiders, who took Derek 36th overall in April, Derek will be under center, starting against the team whose facilities he used to frequent as a 12-year-old with wide eyes and a healthy bravado.

“Yeah, it just shows you how old I’m getting,” said Johnson, now 33 years old, 11 years after he first met Carr.

Johnson and Derek had a close relationship back then. Johnson even went to Derek’s middle school games in Sugar Land, Texas, where Derek played until moving to Bakersfield, Calif., for his senior year of high school.

“He was here, during practice sometimes, and I always saw him after every gameicon1,” Johnson said. “He was always sitting right outside the door. Every time I came out, he was right there, he and a couple of his friends. We used to talk a lot. It’ll be good to see him”

Though the two have lost touch since then, with Johnson neither having seen nor spoken to Derek since Derek headed west, Johnson said he’s very much looking forward to catching up with Derek in Oakland.

“I just can’t wait to get a chance to talk to him,” Johnson said.

“Just to ask him about the experience. How was it. Stuff like that. Just to ask him about the family. Used to play golf with his dad and stuff like that. Me, him and David and stuff. They were a real cool family and good people to be around.”

Johnson isn’t the only one excited about it.

“It’ll be pretty cool,” Derek said on a conference call on Wednesday.

“Especially being able to see Andre again. I think that’ll be pretty cool. I haven’t seen him since I was obviously a little kid. But I remember him coming to my junior high games, now we’ll be playing against each other. It’ll be awesome.”

Derek looked sharp last week in his NFL debut, a loss to the New York Jets. Facing Rex Ryan’s fiesty defense, the 23-year-old had 151 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 of 32 passing for a 94.7 quarterback rating.

This weekend, he’ll face a Texans defense whose six points allowed in last week’s win over Washington was tied for the fewest in football. They also pressured quarterback Robert Griffin III on 53.7 percent of his dropbacks, per to Pro Football Focus, most in the NFL.

“It’ll be cool,” Derek said. “I have nothing but love for Houston and Mr. McNair. He’s first class, and so is that city. I loved my time there, that’s where I grew up. I still hold it near and dear to my heart.”

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#NFLU Week 1 proCane Wrap Up

Every Tuesday we will wrap up the all the action from the previous week’s NFL action.

The Streak: Four proCanes scored (Allen Hurns (2 TDs), Greg Olsen (1 TD), Travis Benjamin (1 TD), Lamar Miller (1 TD)) to extend the TD Streak to 7 straight weeks a proCane has scored an NFL touchdown. As reminder the record is 149 straight weeks.

Allen Hurns, Jaguars: Hurns caught four passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. He became the first undrafted rookie to catch two touchdowns in his first game since the New York Giants’ Bobby Johnson in 1984. Two catches, two touchdowns, Hurns became the second NFL rookie to ever do that, joining Detroit’s Charles Rogers. Hurns also ended up playing the 2nd most amount of snaps among WRs behind Antonio Brown. Hurns has out-produced both receivers the Jaguars selected in the second round of the NFL draft in May. Not bad for an undrafted rookie

Andre Johnson, Texans: Johnson moved past Redskins legend Art Monk into 16th place in NFL history in receiving yards. Johnson, who hauled in six passes for 93 yards, has 12,754 yards in his 12 professional seasons.

Frank Gore, 49ers : Gore just the 29th running back in NFL history to reach the 10,000-yard mark, and just the 10th to eclipse the milestone with one franchise. With a four-yard run in the third quarter, Gore became one of just three active running backs in the 10,000-yard club. He is also just the second #proCane to do it; Edgerrin James ranks 10th all-time with 12,279 yards.

Devin Hester, Falcons: The Falcons promised to use Hester also as a WR this season, and so far they have fulfilled that promise. Hester caught 5-of-6 targets for 99 yards in the Falcons' Week 1 win over the Saints.

Seantrel Henderson, Bills: Henderson, who was drafted in seventh round of the year’s NFL Draft started his first NFL game in week 1 beating out 2nd round Bills draft pick Cyrus Kouandjo.

Greg Olsen: 8 catches, 83 yards, 1 TD
Allen Bailey: 2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL
Reggie Wayne: Back from injury: 9 catches, 98 yards
Vince Wilfork: Back from injury: 2 tackles

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Andre Johnson marches on career yds list

As he's done so many times before, Andre Johnson had 90 or more receiving yards in a game, and he continued his climb up the all-time list.

The longest-tenured Texan caught six passes for 93 yards in the victory over Washington, and in the process, moved past Hall of Famer Art Monk into 16th place on the all-time yardage list. Monk had 12,721 career receiving yards, and Johnson now has 12,754.

“When I came into this game, I never thought about being even in that category," Johnson said. "Coming in as a kid, you always say that you want to be the best, but you just want to come out and play football."

Johnson missed OTAs and minicamp during the spring, so he was a bit behind when he rejoined the team at the start of training camp. He showed no signs of rust on Sunday, however, as he led the team in both yards and catches. The victory, however, was the sweetest part of the day.

“It feels good just to win a game," Johnson said. "I knew when I came in I had a lot to learn. I had to play catch up, so I did it. I wanted to make sure I was ready to go opening day.”

After the game, head coach Bill O'Brien singled out the Pro Bowler for praise, and described why.

"Andre Johnson is a guy who has put his heart and soul in to this organization and I’m happy for a guy like him and many others," O'Brien said.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was asked about his chemistry with Johnson, but quickly gave the credit to the All Pro.

“I contribute the chemistry really to Andre being a great receiver," Fitzpatrick said. "He’s a quarterback’s dream in terms of being in the right spot at the right time."

Next up on the career yardage list is Irving Fryar, who's in 15th place with 12,785 yards. With 32 yards, Johnson will pass him.

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Redskins’ Secondary Well Aware Of Andre Johnson

The Washington Redskins’ secondary is well aware of the challenge that awaits Sunday when they open up their season against the Houston Texans, who feature seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Johnson is coming off another monster season in 2013, when he played in all 16 games and caught 109 passes for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns.

This season will be Johnson’s first under rookie head coach Bill O’Brien, who said this week that quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will be his starter on Sunday over Ryan Mallett, who was recently acquired via trade from the New England Patriots.

“You’re talking about an All-Pro, Pro Bowl-caliber player who’s done it time and time again,” veteran Redskins safety Ryan Clarkicon-article-link said of Johnson. “So for us, it’s trying to see how he’ll be used in this new system, what kind of chemistry (he has) with whatever Ryan is playing quarterback — whichever one they figure to start — and understanding how we have to play him.”

Recent history shows how dangerous of a weapon Johnson can be against the Redskins.

In 2010, the Redskins were clinging to a 27-20 lead with 2:03 left in the game when then-Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, on fourth down, found Johnson 34 yards away in the FedExField end zone for the touchdown.

The Texans would tie the game on the extra-point attempt, and won it in overtime with a Neil Rackers 36-yard field goal.

Johnson finished that game with 12 receptions for 158 yards and that aforementioned touchdown.

He’s made a habit of providing moments just like those throughout his entire career, which has included 154 regular-season games, 927 receptions, 12,661 yards and 61 touchowns.

Over that span, Johnson has been named to seven Pro Bowls and been selected First Team All-Pro two times (in 2008 and 2009).

On Sunday, the Redskins will lean on veteran experience to try to neutralize Johnson. Duke Ihenacho — a safety who was claimed on waivers by the Redskins this week — started 17 games for the Denver Broncos a season ago, and said he got a up-close look at Johnson’s abilities when the Broncos and Texans held joint practices together.

“He’s been doing it for so long,” Ihenacho said. “He’s one of the greatest receivers of all time, and I had the opportunity to practice against him when I was in Denver, and you see how talented he is, and he’s still got it.”

The Redskins know stopping Johnson won’t be easy on Sunday, but they’re excited to be opening their season with a challenge.

“He has a bunch of touchdowns, bunch of catches, bunch of yards,” Ihenacho said. “He’s real physical, real fast, real smart and he goes about his business and is really consistent.”

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Ryan Fitzpatrick looks for Andre Johnson early, often

DENVER – For years, Matt Schaub’s go-to receiver and in-game security blanket was wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Ryan Fitzpatrick kept the Johnson connection in vogue Saturday, during the Texans’ preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field.

With Johnson making his first start of the exhibition season and Fitzpatrick seeking his second consecutive strong outing, the Texans’ starting quarterback targeted No. 80 three times on the team’s opening offensive drive, connecting twice for 15 yards.

On the Texans’ second drive, Fitzpatrick threw high to Johnson on second down for an incompletion. Four of Fitzpatrick’s initial eight passes were intended for Johnson.

The veteran receiver missed the initial portion of training camp due to a hamstring strain. He had a strong week of practice against Denver, though, and was announced as being active about 90 minutes before kickoff.

Johnson returned for the Texans’ first scoring drive, pairing with receiver DeAndre Hopkins along the left side as the Texans took a 7-3 lead with 8 minutes, 23 seconds left in the second quarter.

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Andre Johnson shines in Texans-Broncos work

Andre Johnson is "showing no signs of rust" after missing a chunk of Texans camp with a hamstring injury.

Johnson reportedly showed up "all over the field" during Wednesday's Texans-Broncos joint practice and made one "incredible" catch in the back of the end zone. "He's a big part of what we're doing here," coach Bill O'Brien said. The No. 12 overall fantasy receiver a year ago, Johnson's ADP has dropped into the late fourth round. His QBs were Matt Schaub and Case Keenum in 2013.

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Andre Johnson doesn’t like the increase in penalties

The renewed emphasis on illegal contact and defensive holding penalties benefits NFL offenses.  That doesn’t mean all NFL offensive players appreciate the move.

Specifically, Texans receiver Andre Johnson doesn’t like the increased throwing of flags in the 2014 preseason.

“Watching the game last week against Atlanta, it kind of makes the game longer.” Johnson said Wednesday, via 610 Sports Radio in Houston.  “It actually makes you hate it a little bit because every time you look around there’s a flag on the ground.”

Johnson believes that the officials won’t call illegal contact and defensive holding as tightly once the regular season begins.  The NFL has said that the emphasis on illegal contact and defensive holding will continue.  We’ll begin to find out whether the NFL means what it says when the Packers travel to Seattle to start the 2014 regular season in only 15 days.

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Andre Johnson practices at full speed vs. Falcons

Receiver Andre Johnson and running back Arian Foster returned to practice against Atlanta today.

Johnson and Foster had been sidelined because of hamstring injuries.

Foster refused to speak with the media, but, as always, Johnson was polite and cooperative.

“Its good to be back out here with my teammates running around,” Johnson said. “I was able to do things full speed.”

Johnson worked full speed on Monday and Tuesday on an adjacent practice field and told the trainers he was ready to return to practice against the Falcons.

He didn’t participate in every drill.

“It was just being careful about the way they work me back in,” he said.

As far as playing against the Falcons on Saturday night, Johnson said, “I don’t know. That’s the coaches decision. We’ll see what happens.”

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Andre Johnson could return vs. Atlanta

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans played without three offensive starters and two defensive starters in their preseason opener Saturday against the Arizona Cardinals.

They could get at least two of those players back next weekend against the Atlanta Falcons.

Texans coach Bill O'Brien said running back Arian Foster and receiver Andre Johnson have "a shot" to return for the team's second preseason game. Both have soft tissue injuries, Foster suffered injury on July 27 and Johnson on July 28. Foster returned for one day of practice since then, which means both have missed the same number of days while healing.

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Andre Johnson, On Learning Bill O’Brien’s Offense: “It’s Different, It’s A Challenge”

Andre Johnson’s holdout with the Houston Texans this offseason cost him all of OTAs, all of minicamps. On Sunday, the All-Pro wideout missed his fifth straight day of practice with a hamstring.

Not exactly conducive to learning his first offense since 2006, when former head coach Gary Kubiak arrived.

But after 11 NFL seasons, a body of work that has him primed for Hall of Fame consideration, the 33-year-old said he’s confident he’ll be able to pick up first-year head coach Bill O’Brien’s scheme. Fast.

“When you’ve been around the game for a while, you’ve seen a lot of things, you’ve seen a lot of offense” Johnson said. “So, it’s some of the same things, different names.”

Johnson, seven times a Pro Bowler since 2004, said that for him, getting down the verbiage is the hardest part. That includes familiarizing himself with O’Brien’s nomenclature — and forgetting Kubiak’s.

 “You just have to try to get that old stuff out of your head.” he said. “I was in the same offense for eight years. When you hear something in this offense, it’s like, OK, we had it last way this year, so I’ve got to think of this word.”

Johnson said that, physically, he’s unsure if he’ll be able to play when the Texans open the preseason against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night.
But despite being sidelined for more than half of training camp so far, and with no word on when he’ll return, Johnson said he’s been able to take plenty of mental reps from the sidelines and during the team’s afternoon walk-through sessions.

“It’s different,” he said. “It’s a challenge. At the same time, you just have to study it. I think that’s the biggest thing, you know, just studying it, staying on top of it.”
Johnson, whose 82.2 career receiving yards per game rank second all-time, reportedly received his playbook the week that training camp opened. He showed up for camp on veterans’ mandatory report date on July 25.

The Texans open the regular season against Washington on Sept. 7.

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Andre Johnson, On Playing Texans Preseason Opener: “I Would Hope To”

Andre Johnson doesn’t care what week it is and what opponent lies ahead. Preseason. Regular season.

He wants to play.

But after missing training camp practice with a hamstring for the fifth straight day on Sunday, the All-Pro wideout couldn’t commit to being ready for the Houston Texans preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night.

“I mean, I would hope to (play),” Johnson said. “It doesn’t matter what game it is, you would want to play. But it’s best that I do what’s best for the team. If it’s me being out there than I will be out there, if it’s not then I won’t.”

Patience seems to be the approach head coach Bill O’Brien is taking with all player injuries in his first NFL training camp. Arian Foster also missed his fifth practice of camp on Sunday, and Jadeveon Clowney missed his second straight day. Jonathan Joseph, who’s coming off a season-ending toe injury, missed his first day of camp on Sunday after appearing to make it through Saturday’s session unscathed.

Johnson said he isn’t bothered by his injury.

“I”m feeling fine,” he said. “It’s a day-by-day process. That’s pretty much it.”

Johnson, 33, ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards over the last two seasons and has gone for 1,200 or more receiving yards every year since 2008. The only exception was 2011, when he missed nine games to hamstring injuries.

In Johnson’s absence, DeAndre Hopkins has stepped into the No. 1 wide receiver role, with DeVier Posey taking first-team reps opposite Hopkins and newcomer Mike Thomas working in the slot.

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Andre Johnson (Hamstring) Remains Sidelined

Johnson (hamstring) missed practice again on Sunday, reports.

Though Johnson has indicated that he would like to play in the Texans' preseason opener Saturday against the Cards, the report suggests that may not be the case, presumably as a precaution.

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O’Brien on Andre Johnson: “No need to rush him back”

Andre Johnson is “doing better,” according to head coach Bill O’Brien after missing Friday’s practice with a lingering injury. After tweaking his hamstring while flattening himself for a catch, All-Pro receiver has not practiced since Sunday.

“I think that is something he and I talk about every day,” O’Brien said. “I don’t think there is a need to rush him back. I think he needs to come back when he feels ready to be back. Again, that is not a serious injury, but it is not something that you need to rush him back.”

It hasn't prevented Johnson from the team's afternoon walk through practice, where players work on corrections from morning drills and get a first look at what to expect for the following day.

After missing OTAs, Johnson is working to get himself caught up with playbook and familiarize himself with the new offense. So far, the 12-year veteran has impressed O’Brien with ability to pick up the system quickly.

“The thing that I’ve noticed right away about Andre, which I knew this from our offseason conversations, is he is a very bright guy,” O’Brien said. “He’s already got a lot of the things down. In the afternoon walk through, we walk through a lot of things with him. Routes and adjustments and signals and things lioke that., It’s been my experience with guys of that caliber, being one of the top receivers in this league, they get there for a reason. They have talent, they have great ability, they’re really great teammates and they’re smart. You can see that right away from him.”

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Andre Johnson sits out

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, July 30. Head coach Bill O'Brien has said the team is being cautious with Johnson.

Fantasy Tip: Johnson has plenty of time to let his hamstring heal, so owners should not be worried about him at this point. Johnson should be considered a low-end No. 2 wide receiver in all leagues.

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Fitzpatrick on QB Friendly Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson had a lot of nice things to say about Ryan Fitzpatrick on Monday.

The quarterback returned the favor on Tuesday, explaining why Johnson is one of the greatest receivers in the NFL.

“He’s a very easy guy to throw to, not just because he’s a big target and he’s got great hands and all the athletic stuff, but he’s a very smart player," Fitzpatrick said.

Johnson didn't practice on Tuesday at training camp, after leaving Monday's practice early with an injury he described as "nothing serious". But through three days of work, it's clear to Fitzpatrick how Johnson at receiver is a luxury.

"He’s very quarterback friendly in terms of his body language, his knowledge of defense and running routes the way that we expect the receivers to run routes," Fitzpatrick said. "He’s got all that and that’s just not something you pick up overnight. It’s his whole body of work from his whole career.”

As a whole, Fitzpatrick is looking forward to the new offense the Texans will run with Johnson, running back Arian Foster and the rest of the receivers and tight ends.

“You got a lot of things to do and think about at the line but if you can get it down as a quarterback, the weapons that we have here with the mismatches we create and the exciting players that we have, it’s gonna be a lot of fun to be a quarterback in this offense," Fitzpatrick said.

He and the Texans will practice on Wednesday morning, with a walkthrough in the afternoon. On Thursday they'll get the first day off of training camp.

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Andre Johnson dealing with minor injury

It took just three days for injuries to limit the Texans’ offense.

Veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson tweaked his right hamstring Monday during practice, while star running back Arian Foster was held out of action.
Coach Bill O’Brien said both injuries were minor.

The team has not revealed what is affecting Foster, who has not spoken with the media since offseason workouts began and again denied an interview request Monday.

“Those guys have played a lot of football,” O’Brien said at NRG Stadium. “We’ll make sure we do a good job of managing them through the season.”

Foster exited practice early Sunday and didn’t take the field Monday, during a workout that saw the Texans wear pads and at times engage in full contact.

“He’s dealing with something,” O’Brien said. “He’ll be fine. He’ll be back. It’s a minor deal. You know, it’s a long season. He’ll be out there.”

Johnson was injured while making a catch down the middle of the field. He didn’t apply ice after the tweak and said he isn’t concerned. However, Johnson acknowledged he’ll have his hamstring examined as a precautionary measure.

“I don’t know (if I will be limited). We’ll see what happens,” Johnson said. “Like I said, it’s nothing that I’m seriously (worried about). Anytime you get a knick or anything, you know, you worry about it.”

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Andre Johnson: O'Brien plans to 'move me around a lot'

Earlier this offseason, Texans running back Arian Foster said Andre Johnson "is Houston."

Fans turned the statement into sound Saturday when they loudly rejoiced after a simple screen pass went to the veteran receiver at the Texans' first training camp practice.

After skipping previous offseason work, Johnson is catching up on Bill O'Brien's offense.

"I think it's just gonna be fun for me, me picking up the things I need to pick up, him telling me that he's gonna move me around a lot and stuff like that," Johnson told NFL Media's Desmond Purnell. "So it's going to be interesting to see because I really wasn't moved a whole lot before, so I just got to, day-by-day, just progressively get better and make sure that I'm on top of everything ... "

Johnson also added that the Texans needed someone like the loud, blunt O'Brien to shake up the team.

Moving Johnson around to create mismatches in the offense should aid the receiver's production and that of second-year receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Even with a shaky quarterback situation last season, Johnson was still one of the most productive pass catchers in the NFL (109 receptions, 1,407 yards).
There is no reason to think he can't produce similar results under O'Brien with Ryan Fitzpatrick as his quarterback.

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Andre Johnson picking up install well

All is forgiven between fans and Andre Johnson, if there ever was any animosity there for Johnson's offseason holdout.

The ones at training camp embraced Johnson's return as he sauntered onto the field this morning. It was Johnson's first time catching passes from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, his first time operating within the Texans' new offense under Bill O'Brien. The very first pass in 11-on-11 drills was a bullet from Fitzpatrick to Johnson, and again a roar arose from the crowd.

"So far, the first day install I picked up pretty well," Johnson said. "I went out there and wasn’t really thinking a lot. I got with Fitz after everything last night and me and him went over some stuff. Everybody has been very helpful with me picking up everything. It’s just fun to be back out here and be with my teammates and getting back to football."

That rapport between Johnson and Fitzpatrick will be especially important this season. They first met at J.J. Watt's charity softball game on May 2 and Johnson said he liked Fitzpatrick a lot personally.

"We have to be on the same page, especially in this offense," Johnson said. "There is a lot of communication and a lot of stuff that goes on."

Johnson is a weapon that will only benefit Fitzpatrick, who was named the Texans' starter during their mandatory minicamp.

"He’s a true pro," Fitzpatrick said of Johnson. "I think everybody here knows that and I’ve always admired him from afar. I’ve heard a lot about his work ethic and the way that he attacks everything. It was nice to sit back and throw to him a little bit today."

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Texans, Andre Johnson’s agent are communicating

On Monday, Texans receiver Andre Johnson reportedly was back in the building.  On Tuesday, agent Kennard McGuire declined to address those reports.

“I am not refuting, confirming or denying any reports or stories,” McGuire told Mark Berman of FOX 26 in Houston.  “Per the collective bargaining agreement there’s a period in which veteran players are not allowed to participate or be in their team’s facilities.”

As explained earlier in the day, veteran players currently may work out on their own at team facilities.  Which is all that Johnson could have been doing, under the CBA.

While not addressing whether Johnson visited the team’s facility, McGuire admitted that he has been talking to the Texans on Johnson’s behalf.

“While I am personally in contact with the Texans organization, those conversations will remain between myself, the organization and Andre Johnson,” McGuire told Berman.

Johnson reportedly was willing to report for OTAs, but the Texans refused to give him a chance to earn back a $1 million roster bonus that Johnson forfeited by missing the first two phases of the offseason workout program.  That impasse caused Johnson to skip all remaining offseason activities, including a mandatory minicamp.  The question now becomes whether Johnson will show up for training camp.

Veterans are due to report in Houston on Friday.

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Andre Johnson expected to report to training camp on time

Andre Johnson has made it quite clear that he wants out of the Houston Texans franchise for a number of different reasons, but the team has also made it painfully clear that they have no intentions of letting Johnson go elsewhere.

Reports last week suggested that the team are not interested in shopping Johnson in any potential trades. The reason why is simple: the team is much better when Andre Johnson is wearing the Texans uniform.

Regardless of Johnson’s play next season, the team will likely not make the playoffs. Dealing him to another team, however, will not benefit the Texans in any way. Instead, the Texans are forced to look for other avenues to make Johnson a happy member of the Houston franchise.

Many pundits believed that Johnson would hold out during training camp and not show up to the team’s practices. Today, reports are surfacing that Johnson will in fact report to training camp on time as scheduled:

This is of course is great news for the Texans, as they desperately need the play making and leadership ability of Johnson in their locker room throughout training camp and into the regular season.

Only time will tell if Johnson’s attitude towards the team has changed, or if it will affect his performances come time for opening kickoff.

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Texans being petty with Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson deserves special consideration, writes Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle. He calls the handling of Johnson's situation one of general manager Rick Smith's top five bungles and advocates for the Texans guaranteeing Johnson's 2015 salary to show they actually mean they want him with the team for the rest of his career. Solomon makes a good point here, and I've always felt that players can earn the right to get special consideration for their place in a franchise's history. It wouldn't set a bad precedent. Would any player dare ask for the same treatment given to the best offensive player in franchise history? After everything Johnson has given the Texans on the field, and his positive presence off it, he deserves that. I've written the Texans' perspective on this in the past -- that they aren't inclined to let go of a player in whom they've invested so much. But it's also worth considering what Johnson has invested in the Texans, the fifth most valuable franchise in the NFL.

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Andre Johnson not a trade target for Jets, per report

Andre Johnson's continued unhappiness with the Texans—the star wide receiver has played on just two playoff teams in 11 seasons in Houston, which is in rebuilding mode again under first-year coach Bill O'Brien—had prompted renewed speculation that Johnson might force a trade.

But according to Kristian Dyer of Metro New York, the Jets can be crossed off the list as a possible trading partner (assuming the Texans want to move Johnson in the first place, of course):

Trading for Johnson “is not something we are actively pursuing,” one Jets team executive told Metro New York, adding “he isn’t a fit for where we are heading.”

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source said the Texans have done nothing to signal a willingness to deal Johnson. But the source also made it clear the Jets aren’t looking to add Johnson at this point.

“Clearly Andre is a special player, but special players come at a price,” the executive said. “Right now, with the direction the team wants to go, it isn’t the best fit. While he is a tremendous talent, he would hurt a lot of cap flexibility.”

That view is consistent with how the Jets have operated under second-year general manager John Idzik. Idzik's habit has been to dole out contracts with an eye on avoiding significant cap costs in future years. This is not a case of IDZIK IS CHEAP!!! either: It's true the Jets have $22.3 million in cap space for this year, per NFLPA records, but that figure can be rolled over into the future, and Johnson is due to make $10 million this year, $10.5 million next year, and $11 million in 2016, per

Would Johnson, who turned 33 last Friday, be willing to work out a new deal with a new team? Who's to say.

In late May, Jets running back Chris Johnson (no relation) openly lobbied for the Jets to trade for Andre Johnson, albeit with a subsequent acknowledgement that the Texans probably won't ship him out. Two reasons the Texans and Johnson are unlikely to part ways: The 6-foot-3, 219-pound Johnson has had seven seasons with at least 1,100 receiving yards, making him one of the league's most consistently productive receivers—a significant chip for an offensive-minded coach like O'Brien. And by trading Johnson, the Texans would have to absorb a salary-cap hit of nearly $12 million, though they could spread that hit out over the next two seasons.

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Arian Foster: Andre Johnson owns Houston

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster told local television station KPRC that Houston is receiver Andre Johnson's city, above other high-profile athletes.
Johnson is unhappy with the Texans over a disputed $1 million workout bonus and has said he is unsure if he will continue his career with the team. The 33 year-old has drawn considerable interest on the trade market as teams hope Houston parts with its star receiver.

Foster tried to persuade Johnson to reconsider his stance:

"He is Houston," Foster said. "I remember when I had my little run where I had like two back-to-back great seasons. I felt like this city loves me, they love me here. Everywhere I go, this is still Dre's city. I don't care if James Harden is walking around, Dwight Howard, whatever. This is Andre Johnson's city. He is Houston."

Johnson has been with the team his entire career since being drafted No. 3 overall in 2003. He finished the 2013 season with 1,407 receiving yards and five touchdowns for the 2-14 Texans.

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Andre Johnson still unsure about Texans future, but trade more iffy

Just when there seemed to be detente between Andre Johnson and the Texans, it's getting harder to read the intentions of both sides regarding the 32-year-old wide receiver's near future in Houston.

On one hand, he just told the NFL Network that he's had some conversations with team officials and 'hopefully" will be there when the Texans open training camp in late July. On the other hand, he chose not to "talk publicly" about those discussions, and has no idea if he'll be a Texan come Week 1 of the 2014 regular season.

Another report from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport detailed a potenital bigger rift between Johnson and the team. The issues include Johnson wanting his $1 million workout bonus as a good faith gesture for putting in his own extra work after he missed the early part of team workouts. That prompted Johnson to express his desire to play for another team, despite the fact the Texans have shown little willingness to trade him.

At this point, the Texans are opposed to dealing Johnson because he's a needed savvy No. 1 receiver in first-year head coach Bill O'Brien's passing offense. They need him to help their two newcomer quarterbacks, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and rookie Tom Savage, as well as oto boost the value of secondary targets Deandre Hopkins and Garrett Graham.

Johnson also remains difficult to trade because of the fact it would cost the Texans nearly $12 million (in dead money) toward their salary cap for '14. Their better bet is to give the best Texan in franchise history assurances, both in terms of money and security beyond a contract that already goes through 2016, that he's still a highly valued member in their quest to quickly turn around a 2-14 season.

But should a trade occur, Johnson reportedly is willing to restructure yet again in order for his new team to be able to fit the receiver.

Stay tuned, but it still would be surprising if Johnson played anywhere other than Houston this season and for that matter, during what's left of his already great career.

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Andre Johnson's potential landing spots

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that four teams have shown interest in trading for disgruntled Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Juicy stuff, but we still view a swap as unlikely because of the weighty financials: A Johnson trade would leave Houston with $11.96 million in dead cap money.

The Texans have resisted Johnson's requests to be dealt, but that won't stop teams from picking up the phone.
Here's our guess on who might be zeroing in on Andre:

New England Patriots
Cap space is limited, but New England makes plenty of sense. With Tom Brady in the final stages of his career, wrangling a true No. 1 pass-catcher would fill a genuine roster need and give Johnson a chance at the Super Bowl. We doubt Houston would have interest in shopping the wideout to an AFC power, but coach Bill O'Brien's friendship with Bill Belichick might help.

Cleveland Browns
With Josh Gordon set to walk into the abyss, how could the Browns not be interested? Cleveland has a ton of cap room and a coordinator in Kyle Shanahan who worked beautifully with the pass-catcher in years past. The Browns (sans Gordon) currently field one of the NFL's least attractive gaggle of wideouts, but pairing Johnson with Johnny Manziel would turn this roster into a dark-horse contender in the AFC North.

Carolina Panthers
Houston would sooner shop Johnson to an NFC squad, and we imagine that Johnson would be willing to re-do his deal to ease Carolina's cap. This scenario would furnish Johnson with a bona fide franchise passer in Cam Newton while instantly solving the team's lack of proven playmakers at the position. Andre and rookie Kelvin Benjamin would form a fascinating duo.

Seattle Seahawks
Seattle has never been afraid to swing for the fences. General manager John Schneider has proven he can win without a dominant corps of receivers, but Johnson would furnish Russell Wilson with a game-changing presence in a passing scheme also set to unleash a healthy Percy Harvin.

New York Jets
The Jets still lack a true No. 1 receiver despite adding Eric Decker and rookie tight end Jace Amaro. Running back Chris Johnson begged Gang Green to make a play for Johnson, but such a move would require general manager John Idzik to break from his measured approach to team-building. In New York's favor: They have prairie lands of cap room.

Baltimore Ravens
The natural connection between Johnson and new Ravens coordinator Gary Kubiak makes Baltimore a logical landing spot. The team's passing attack was a snoozefest last season, but the combined powers of Torrey Smith, Steve Smith and Johnson would turn the Ravens into one of the AFC's more dynamic air attacks.

Kansas City Chiefs
Outside of the Browns, the Chiefs might have the deepest hole at wideout. Dwayne Bowe isn't the same player and Donnie Avery or Junior Hemingway would struggle to make plenty of rosters. The need is there, but the Chiefs don't strike us as the wheeling-and-dealing type.

Oakland Raiders
Oakland is a potential wild card team identified by Rapoport that could win Johnson's services. This would certainly please new Raider and Johnson's old quarterback Matt Schaub.

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Four teams interested in trading for Andre Johnson

Before OTAs and minicamp, star wide receiver Andre Johnson told the Houston Texans he had heard enough from the new staff and coach Bill O'Brien to make him want to show up and join the team. He told them of his plans to be there for offseason workouts, despite missing the early portion of it. The question revolved around his $1 million bonus for attending workouts.

Before OTAs and minicamp, star wide receiver Andre Johnson told the Houston Texans he had heard enough from the new staff and coach Bill O'Brien to make him want to show up and join the team. He told them of his plans to be there for offseason workouts, despite missing the early portion of it. The question revolved around his $1 million bonus for attending workouts.

As he has expressed publicly, Johnson believes the team is rebuilding, and he has said he has doubts about if he wants to take part in another similar process, as he has several times in his career.

Johnson has also restructured his contract in each of the past three years at the team's behest, and he wants the same goodwill from the Texans regarding his $1 million roster bonus that he could earn Week 1 if he participates in offseason workouts and fulfills his contract.

The Texans declined to comment on the story, and Johnson's agent, Kennard McGuire, did not return a call for comment. Johnson told NFL Media on Wednesday that he didn't know if he'll be with the Texans on Week 1. Asked if he'd be at camp, Johnson said "hopefully" but he didn't know for sure.

Johnson is set to earn $10 million this year, not including his workout bonus. A source informed of Johnson's thinking says he would restructure his contract to help a potential new team get under the salary cap but a pay cut is not in the cards.

The Texans have resisted his request for a trade thus far, though four teams have expressed interest. Meanwhile, one veteran Texans player said while the team wants Johnson to play with them in 2014, they've also told him from a business sense, "Stick to your guns."

One possible option for the team to resolve this standoff (if they refuse to trade him) is to guarantee he's on the roster for 2015. That might bring Johnson back. They also could simply decide to pay him his $1 million bonus. Or, they could stand their ground and he'll play for no one in 2014.

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Why the Houston Texans won’t trade Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson may not be content with his current situation, but don’t expect the Houston Texans to trade him, either.

Johnson told NFL Media he didn’t know if he would play for the Texans in 2014:

“I’ve had conversations with the organization. I haven’t been public about anything, so I just choose not to talk publicly about it. It’s in-house and that’s the way I choose to keep it. I’m not a big media guy, so I refuse to talk about it publicly. Training camp is a few weeks away, so we’ll see what happens.”

NFL Media: Will we see you in a Texans uniform next season?

“I don’t know. I can’t answer that question.”

Johnson has said he doesn’t want to be part of another rebuilding effort after Houston’s 2-14 season in 2013. He turns 33 years old Friday, and knows he doesn’t have much time left in the NFL. There have been whispers about a demand to be traded, but coach Bill O’Brien has said he would like to have Johnson with the team next season.

In an attempt to show how serious he was about the Texans improving before offering his commitment to them, Johnson has missed all offseason training so far, which forfeited a $1 million workout bonus.

The reality remains, however, that Johnson is still under contract — and one that pays him quite well. According to, Johnson is due $14.6 million in 2014.

But there’s another number that says everything you need to know about why Houston won’t trade Johnson: if the franchise ships Johnson elsewhere, it will result in almost $12 million in dead cap space. It’s a significant amount that makes it very difficult to conceive a feasible trade. Even if another team does make a compelling offer, it would then need to take on a huge lump of Johnson’s lucrative deal.

It’s simple: the Texans have all the leverage in this situation. The team has nothing to gain from letting Johnson go unless the package that is offered in a trade is so outrageously good that it would surpass the dead cap space and would be impossible to pass up. Don’t count on that happening.

That doesn’t mean that Johnson will absolutely play for the Texans next season. He still has the option of sitting out for the entire 2014 campaign. But let’s be real; there’s no chance he walks away from $14.6 million.

If Johnson fails to show up for training camp when the team reports July 25, fines will follow. That will be the next step in determining just how far apart the two sides are.

If Johnson is gaining anything from his absence from offseason workouts, it’s letting the franchise know that he wants to win. At this point, however, it just doesn’t make sense that he’ll be headed anywhere other than Houston.

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Andre Johnson's TD catch No. 44 of 100 on list

Not much went right for the Texans in 2013. But Andre Johnson still played at an extremely high level.

Johnson caught 109 passes for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns. His five touchdowns came in a two-game span in early November with Case Keenum under center. Johnson caught three touchdowns against the Colts and two against the Cardinals in back-to-back weeks.

But Johnson's last touchdown catch in the Arizona game was the most spectacular. With 4:34 left against the Cardinals, Johnson rose up to catch a ball that was tipped off the hands of corner Patrick Peterson. After he grabbed the ball, Johnson somehow got both feet in.

That great play is No. 44 on the NFL Network's countdown of the best 100 plays of 2013.

That touchdown pulled the Texans within three points but they ended up losing 27-24. In fact, that was just one loss in 14 straight. And that touchdown catch in Week 10 was Johnson's last of the season.

Johnson has been frustrated this offseason and didn't show up to any of the team's spring practices. The 32-year-old said his frustration stems from losing.

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Andre Johnson expected to be back

ESPN Texans reporter Tania Ganguli fully expects Andre Johnson to be back with Houston this season.

Johnson skipped last month's mandatory minicamp as he tries to force a trade, but none of the media covering the Texans expect him to dig his heels in. The Texans would never be able to get equal value for a player that's 33 years old (next week) and carrying a hefty contract. Johnson's choices will likely come down to either playing with Ryan Fitzpatrick or sitting out the season.

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Andre Johnson Just Wants to Win, Since When Is That A Bad Thing?

The position has been filled with David Carr, Matt Schaub, and Ryan Fitzpatrick. These are the primary Houston Texans quarterbacks of the Andre Johnson era. This is a sad, pathetic list of QBs. And yet many people still wonder why Andre Johnson is having second thoughts about continuing to play for the Texans.

Johnson's the greatest player in the history of the Texans. He's on that very short list with Earl Campbell as the greatest player to ever play for a professional football team in Houston (if you want to count his short tenure with the USFL's Houston Gamblers, then you can include Jim Kelly). But unlike Campbell, Johnson's never been in the position to put the Texans on his back and carry the team to the playoffs. Johnson's a receiver, and there's only so much a receiver can do with QBs who can't get him the ball, or when the head coach wants to use him as the fifth decoy to a third string tight end in the red zone.

But for 11 seasons Johnson has taken to the field and excelled at the game of football. He's started 154 games, caught 927 passes for 12,661 yards and 61 touchdowns. He's blocked on running plays, served as a decoy. He's attempted to dodge injuries caused by the Texans crappy turf, and he's come to near stops on wide open bombs because certain QBs didn't have the arm strength to get the ball deep enough.

Johnson's made a habit of restructuring his contract, giving up guaranteed base pay. This has allowed the Texans to stay under the cap and work new deals with other players -- most recently being last season when he allowed the team to cut his base pay from $10.5 million to $5.5 million so the team could sign Brian Cushing to a 6-year deal.

Johnson's stated that he wants a chance to play on a winning team. That he doesn't want to start all over again. Isn't this the attitude that all fans should want, a guy who wants to win football games? Yet the primary fan response is that Johnson should suck it up, take his pay, and play for a rebuilding team. It's one thing to say this to J.J. Watt who's still young, or to Ryan Fitzpatrick who's a mediocre journeyman known as much for his awful TD/interception ratio and for going to Harvard than he is for his abilities as a QB.

But Johnson's about to play his 12th season. It's a career that's seen his team reach the playoffs just twice. It's a career that's seen his team rebuild multiple times. He's been the face of the franchise, going out into the city performing charitable deeds and setting the perfect example for his teammates. He's been the consummate professional. The guy just wants one last chance to play for a winner, yet somehow he's the bad guy for not wanting to just sit back and take it.

It's hard to name another top-notch wide receiver who has played with such a string of crappy QBs for his entire career -- even Larry Fitzgerald had Kurt Warner for a few years. Jerry Rice had Joe Montana and Steve Young for most his career. Reggie Wayne's caught passes from Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. Calvin Johnson now has Matt Stafford's big arm and Stafford's belief in Johnson's ability to catch any pass thrown in his direction.

How would those receivers do if David Carr was slinging the ball in their direction, or if they dealt with a QB who'd rather throw a short pass to a running back than to the best receiver in the game? Just think of what Andre Johnson's numbers might look like if Tom Brady was throwing him jump balls in the end zone every week.

Johnson's career will end soon -- the odds are the Texans will drop him after this upcoming season because they no longer want to pay him. All he wants is a chance at the Super Bowl. Instead the Texans have provided him with a coach who's reputation is built on the legend of Tom Brady (just like the reputation of his previous coach was built on the legends of John Elway and Steve Young) but has yet to prove anything as a head coach. He got to watch his bosses pass on drafting a potentially elite QB in the first round so that a Mario Williams clone could be selected instead. The guy should have demanded a trade by now, instead he's expressing displeasure and thinking out his options.

Maybe Texans fans should lash out at Bob McNair instead of Andre Johnson. McNair's the one, after all, who's been happy fielding a mediocre product from year to year. Andre Johnson doesn't want to take anymore. It's a shame the fans don't feel the same way.

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Texans keep moving on without Andre Johnson

Newly named starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t know Andre Johnson well but is looking forward to finally working with him.

After head coach Bill O’Brien made Fitzpatrick the starter, the veteran quarterback was asked about the absence of seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson.

“He’s a true professional in terms of everything I’ve heard about him, everything I’ve seen from afar and the tape that I’ve watched,” he said about Johnson. “Obviously, you guys (media) know and have seen him play over the years and be very consistent and play at a high level.

“For me, it’s going out there with the guys that are here and trying to perform. It’s kind of different situation right now. I don’t know Andre all that well, but the guys that have been here, I think it has been a pretty productive offseason — just getting to throw to all of the different guys.

“When I first got here, I hadn’t thrown to any of them, so it’s been a really good experience for me in terms of getting to learn a lot of different guys.”

O’Brien has maintained regular contact with the veteran wide receiver, despite Johnson missing all of OTAs and the first day of a mandatory minicamp Tuesday at NRG Stadium.

As a whole, though, the Texans are carrying on without Johnson, who remains at odds with the organization and has no timetable for his return.

“It’s all about the guys that are here,” said O’Brien, who has spoken and exchanged text messages with Johnson during the receiver’s holdout. “The guys that are here seem to be really focused.”

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Andre Johnson won’t be coming to mandatory minicamp

Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson hasn’t volunteered for any of the voluntary workouts this offseason.

And he won’t be volunteering for the mandatory ones, either.

According to Brian Smith of the Houston Chronicle, Johnson won’t be attending this week’s mandatory minicamp, via his adviser and uncle Andre Melton.
That will subject Johnson to nearly $70,000 in fines if he skips all three days.

But for a guy scheduled to make $10 million this year, that’s palatable, if he’s able to parlay his absence into a new address, which seems to be what he wants.

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Andre Johnson is committed to his position, but would he retire for it?

Veteran wideout Andre Johnson already has forfeited a $1 million roster bonus by not participating in the offseason program. It’s a no-brainer that he’ll risk another $70,000 in fines by not reporting for mandatory minicamp.

The far more important question: What comes next?

If Johnson stays away from training camp, he’ll risk $30,000 per day in fines and, eventually, the loss of bonus money he previously received.  If Johnson retires (and he might), he faces no fines — but he may have to surrender $8.694 in previously paid bonus money that was prorated for cap purposes.

That’s the biggest difference between Johnson’s potential retirement and former Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer’s decision to call it quits in Cincinnati three years ago. With all previously paid bonus money earned, the Bengals were unable to recover any cash from Palmer. If Johnson retires, the Texans could play hardball.

At a certain point, it would be unfair to make Johnson pay back money. Last September, he agreed to convert $5.5 million of his base salary to signing bonus for cap purposes. That created $4.125 million in space that the team needed, at a time when Johnson could have insisted on his full salary.

Unless his contract exempts the unearned portion of the bonus from forfeiture, Johnson could be required to give back $4.125 million.

In hindsight, Johnson possibly wishes he had. For now, his gratuity gives the team extra leverage, if his commitment to his position ends in a retirement.

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Texans coach O’Brien unsure when Andre Johnson will return

First-year head coach Bill O’Brien is unsure whether veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson will attend an upcoming mandatory three-day minicamp, which runs Tuesday through Thursday.

“I don’t know,” O’Brien said. “I don’t know.”

Johnson, who is at odds with the organization, missed all 10 of the Texans’ OTAs, which concluded Friday.

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Arian Foster is Calling Out to Andre Johnson

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Texans remain silent as Andre Johnson misses second OTA

The Texans continue to say little about absent wide receiver Andre Johnson, who missed his second OTA Wednesday.

Asked if he had spoken to the team about Johnson, coach Bill O’Brien didn’t budge.

“I’ll never tell you what I talk to the team about, with all due respect,” O’Brien said at NRG Stadium. “Whatever I talk to the team about is between myself and the team and that’s the way it’ll always be.”

Deandre Hopkins, the Texans’ primary receiver without Johnson, was equally reluctant to discuss his missing teammate.

“I don’t want to speak on that. I’m sorry,” Hopkins said.

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Chris Johnson: Let's get Andre Johnson

Running back Chris Johnson sent New York Jets fans into a Twitter frenzy Tuesday night, tweeting that the Jets should trade for disgruntled Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson.

A Johnson & Johnson attack for the Jets? Catchy. For obvious reasons, owner Woody Johnson probably likes the sound of it, but this is strictly fantasy football chatter at this point.

It's highly unlikely the Texans would trade Johnson, their best offensive weapon and arguably the most accomplished player in franchise history. As promised, he skipped a voluntary practice Tuesday, intensifying the speculation about his future in Houston. Johnson, reportedly unhappy with the direction of the team, recently wondered if he's still a fit.

The Jets spent big money to sign Eric Decker, but they could still use another quality wideout -- and they don't come much better than Johnson. Despite a terrible quarterback situation, he caught 109 passes for 1,407 yards last season. Johnson is a pro's pro and would help the Jets on many levels.

But keep dreaming, Jets fans.

The cold reality is that Johnson turns 33 in July and he's still owed $33.5 million over the next three seasons -- a huge number even for the Jets, who have about $23 million in cap room. For cap purposes, it makes no sense for the Texans to trade Johnson. Also remember that new coach Bill O'Brien is a Bill Belichick disciple, which means he probably won't be eager to accommodate the selfish desire of one player if it hurts the team. And a trade would hurt the Texans because there's no way they'd get fair-market value in return for the effective, but aging, receiver. If they did decide to move him, it would make sense to send him out of the AFC.

Wednesday's Jets practice is open to the media, which means Johnson can expect a lot of questions about his tweet. It also wouldn't be a surprise if he receives a message from John Idzik, who may tell Johnson to leave the GMing to him. After all, Johnson's job is to accumulate yards, not players.

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Andre Johnson misses first day of Texans’ OTAs

J.J. Watt shared the same defensive front with Jadeveon Clowney. Four quarterbacks alternated throws. Brian Cushing watched from the sideline.

Andre Johnson? Nowhere to be found.

The Texans star wide receiver was absent from the team’s first of 10 organized team activities Tuesday at an indoor practice facility near NRG Stadium. Johnson said two weeks ago he planned to miss OTAs and a June mandatory camp. But Tuesday’s no-show was final confirmation the longtime Texan and the only team he’s ever played for remain at odds.

“We’d love to him here right now but that’s up to him,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said. “Again, we’re moving forward with the players that are here. These guys that are here are working extremely hard.”

Players in uniform had little to say about Johnson, a seven-time Pro Bowler who’s grown frustrated with the team’s losing ways. While the Texans focused on learning O’Brien’s new system and adjusting to up-tempo practices, the fact that the all-time franchise leader in receiving yards was missing drew little public notice.

“I’m just out here working hard and doing my job and trying to be a good teammate,” Watt said.

O’Brien has twice addressed Johnson’s absence. But the first-year coach took the same stance Tuesday as he did during the team’s rookie minicamp, praising Johnson as a player but declining to go into detail about a rift that could last for weeks or months.

Neither Johnson’s agent, Kennard McGuire, nor Texans general manager Rick Smith have commented since Johnson voiced his displeasure about the franchise.

“I’ll let Andre speak for himself,” O’Brien said. “I said last week that he and I have had positive conversations. I have a ton of respect for him.”

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New England Patriots still interested in Andre Johnson?

Just a few weeks ago, it looked like Houston Texans’ wide receiver Andre Johnson may be on his way out of town.

The former Miami Hurricanes’ star has had an excellent career for the Texans, but they are without a starting caliber quarterback and had the worst record in the NFL in 2013. That has led Johnson to express his frustration and has led many to believe he would be open to a trade.

One team that has a huge need for a receiver is the New England Patriots. Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick has always been a fan of Johnson and with an improved defense that added cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, defensive lineman Will Smith and return linebacker Jerod Mayo from injury, Johnson could be the missing piece.

That’s why the guys at Comcast Sports New England believe the Patriots should absolutely make a move for Johnson.

Steve Buckley and Danny Picard joined Sports Tonight to discuss the topic.

“Andre Johnson wants to be a part of a team that has that quarterback to win them the big game.” said Picard, “If I were the Patriots, I would absolutely be interested. If I’m Andre Johnson, I only come out and make these comments because I’m interested in playing with a guy like Tom Brady.”

Steve Buckley compared this situation with another former Patriot wideout.

“You can apply everything you just said, just scratch out that name and put in Randy Moss.” said Buckley, “It was different, he was trying to resurrect his career, but he was also looking to play with a good quarterback.”

Although Johnson is 32 years old, he made 109 catches for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns last season.

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Andre Johnson To Skip Texans Minicamp

Amid reports that Andre Johnson and Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien have had good communication, Around The League is reporting that Johnson is likely to skip the teams mandatory minicamp that’s coming up.

The Pro Bowl wide receiver is on record saying that he doesn’t plan to take part in voluntary OTAs when they begin next week. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday’s edition of “NFL Total Access” that Johnson is also unlikely to attend the mandatory minicamp.

This news comes on the heels of Johnson publicly stating that he wasn’t sure if Houston was the right fit for him anymore. Johnson’s concerns reportedly have less to do with their quarterback situation, and more to do with simply not wanting to go through another rebuilding effort.

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Will the Houston Texans Trade a frustrated Andre Johnson?

The Houston Texans shouldn’t even consider trading Andre Johnson. And I highly doubt they will.

Johnson is obviously frustrated. Being the kind of guy he is, he won’t go much beyond his recent passive-aggressive flirtation with wanting to play elsewhere. But for anyone expecting him to come out full throttle and demand a trade, those who know him well don’t believe that’s how he is wired. Certainly he isn’t thrilled with the turn the organization has taken the past year or so, and having to learn a new offense now with so much uncertainty at the quarterback position is hardly ideal for a franchise receiver.

First of all, Johnson is the most decorated player in Texans history. He literally is the franchise (though obviously J.J. Watt is taking that lead now, too; not that Watt would be thrilled about having to actually play out a puny fifth-year option for the club in 2015). Johnson has been there more or less from the get-go, and he is still a very productive player on a team that isn’t exactly overloaded with premium weapons in the passing game. He’s the central cog, especially given the health woes of Arian Foster the past few years and the way the running game has regressed.

If indeed the Texans do end up giving immediate work to recent draft pick Tom Savage, that’s all the more reason Johnson’s presence would be of supreme import, especially considering this particular kid quarterback missed two years of precious developmental time in college due to transfers. They need Johnson to help bring the offense along, and let’s face it, even if veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is under center, you are looking at a fairly limited option at quarterback there, too, and one with a predilection for turnovers. Having a proven big-play receiver is a must.

New head coach Bill O’Brien is an offensive guru, but this was the NFL’s worst team a year ago and it lacks a proven quarterback, and O’Brien isn’t looking to start his tenure looking like an embarrassment on that side of the ball.

The overarching reality is that the Texans and general manager Rick Smith have been very good to Johnson throughout his career, twice tearing up his contract when they didn’t have to, treating him with the utmost respect and rewarding him for being the kind of person and player he has been through his distinguished tenure in Houston.

Johnson is anything but disrespected in the pay department. Yes, several other receivers have surpassed the contract since he signed his last extension in 2012, but this is a man who is averaging just under $10 million a season. He is set to make $7.5 million this season and then has two more years left beyond that, worth $23.5 million.

But if this past offseason told us anything at all about players on the wrong side of 30 who make big money being offered up in trade, it’s that there isn’t any real value there at all. In a league where a younger DeSean Jackson ends up just being released because there are no trade options and no one will trade for Julius Peppers or DeMarcus Ware because teams will just wait for them to be cut, the marginal future draft pick the Texans might get for Johnson wouldn’t be worth it. Not for the huge gulf they would have in their offense this season.

Let’s just consider exactly how big of a loss Johnson, who will be 33 when the season starts, would be. Johnson caught 109 balls a year ago, despite having a revolving door at quarterback. That’s 57 more receptions than anyone else on the team, with rookie DeAndre Hopkins a distant second at 52. Johnson had 1,407 receiving yards, or 605 more than anyone else on the roster. (Don’t forget, this team already parted with longtime stalwart tight end Owen Daniels due to contract and cap issues, losing a key target in the process.) You can knock Johnson’s touchdown totals all you want (five in 2013) but there weren’t too many quarterbacks throwing too many touchdowns anywhere in a Texans uniform last fall.

Johnson has been good for 1,200 yards any season in which he has been healthy -- and he has been plenty durable -- and he is a guy who shows up big at big moments. But given his age and salary, getting a reciprocal value back in trade isn’t going to happen, and he will be worth more to a developmental quarterback these next few years in practices and the offseason and the average off-day Tuesday than he might be even on the field. You need this guy around as you change staffs. Period.

This receiving corps desperately needs Johnson, too. Besides Johnson and Hopkins -- who had a promising rookie campaign -- the Texans currently have Thomas, Alan Bonner, Andy Cruse, Alec Lemon, Keshawn Martin, Devier Posey and Uzoma Nwachukwu.

That’s one of the least experienced receiving groups you are going to find. Most of these guys haven’t played a meaningful snap in the NFL, ever. And while tight end Garrett Graham made some nice strides last season, he doesn’t have an established pedigree, either.

The quarterback is going to need someone to throw the ball to. He’s going to need Johnson.

Johnson has 61 career receiving touchdowns; the rest of Houston’s receivers have combined for 11 (and that’s including seven from Thomas, who might not make this team).

So let Johnson grouse and grumble if he likes. Show him, over time, how quickly your offense can evolve, and go into the season with your best receiver on your roster. Because he hasn’t slowed down yet, and that potential mid-round pick in 2015 won’t do anything for the Texans this year, if ever.

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Texans coach had ‘very positive’ talks with Andre Johnson

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is frustrated.

After expressing those frustrations publicly earlier this week, coach Bill O’Brien said he has been in contact with Johnson and that the talks have been positive.

“I think I’ll let Andre speak for himself,” O’Brien said, according to “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Andre and his career here in Houston. The conversations that Andre and I have had have been very positive about what we’re doing here as a team and, obviously offensively, what we’re doing here. As far as what Andre said, I’ll let him speak for himself. I can only tell you from my end we’ve had good, positive communication.”

This comes as good news for the franchise, which might have been concerned after hearing about the wide receiver’s words from earlier this week.

“Nobody’s been here as long as I have. You just kind of look at things; I’ve been thinking about things this offseason,” Johnson said Tuesday at a charity event. “And I just kind of wonder sometimes, ‘Is this still the place for me?’ ”

Johnson registered 109 receptions, 1,407 yards and five touchdowns in 2013, despite struggles at quarterback. Houston traded Matt Schaub to the Oakland Raiders, leaving Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates on the depth chart for next season.

The Texans also selected former Pittsburgh Panther Tom Savage  in the NFL draft last week.

Although expressing frustrations at a charity event isn’t the most productive way to do it, Johnson does have a point; Houston’s current situation isn’t the most stable, especially at quarterback. With a new coaching regime and a roster filled with talent on defense, however, there is room for growth with the Texans.

The big question is whether Johnson has the patience to stick around to see it through. Johnson is under contract for three more years with the Texans.

“We’re going to continue to communicate and we’ve had good discussions, we’ve had good talks,” O’Brien said. “We’ve spoken quite a bit and will continue to do that.”

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Houston Texans would save nearly $4 million by trading Andre Johnson

The Houston Texans are going through some big changes at the moment and one of those changes could be to move wide receiver Andre Johnson before the trade deadline this season. Johnson has recently voiced his displeasure and frustration with the Texans which has many wondering what his future holds.

According to, should the Texans trade Johnson they’d have to eat over $11 million in dead money but would end up saving almost $4 million on the massive deal Johnson is playing out. as for where Johnson could land in a trade, it has been speculated that the Cleveland Browns could be a fit thanks to their scheme, the connection to offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and the basic need for a top receiver after the Josh Gordon situation.
Cleveland also has the cap space to trade for Johnson, and after moving around the draft they have some assets as well.

Trading Johnson may not be in the cards for Houston as there’s a lot of dead money involved, but if he’s really that unhappy and the Texans can get some return on their receiver then we may see something happen.

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Not first time Andre Johnson, Texans have butted heads

Andre Johnson’s frustrated comments Tuesday were his most direct attack to date against the Texans, as the veteran wide receiver questioned the future of his 11-plus year relationship with the only team he’s ever played for.

But they weren’t unprecedented. Neither was the situation.

As the 2010 season approached, Johnson was coming off back-to-back Pro Bowls. He led the NFL in receiving yards both seasons, totaling 216 catches for 3,144 yards in 2008-09.

In May 2010, Johnson missed three voluntary practices and the initial portion of organized team activities due to a contract dispute, despite having five years left on an eight-year, $60 million deal. At the time, Johnson was one of the premier receivers in the NFL but wasn’t receiving an elite salary.

“They say a closed mouth never gets fed, so I communicated with (general manager) Rick Smith and (owner) Mr. (Bob) McNair and told them how I felt,” said Johnson, who hired agent Kennard McGuire during the process.

Smith’s response: “Our policy’s been that we’ll look at deals and we’ll try to get things done during the offseason. But once the season starts, our entire focus as an organization goes to football and playing games.”

By Aug. 5, the best player in franchise history had the new deal he wanted. Johnson’s contract was extended two years at a base salary of $23.5 million and with a maximum value of $38.5 million. At the time, the revised contract made Johnson the highest-paid receiver in the NFL.

“I want to thank the organization,” Johnson said. “I don’t know what to say other than thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank my teammates. I’m very happy right now.”

Smith joked: “I know this sets a precedent. And if another player comes to my office wanting to (renegotiate), I’ll tell him to get some pelts on the wall like Andre, and we’ll talk.”

Smith said the revised deal would make Johnson a “Texan for life.”

“It’s important that Andre have one home — and that’s with the Houston Texans,” McNair said. “He’ll probably be our first Hall of Fame player. We wanted to make sure he went in as a Texan and he played his career as a Texan.”

Since 2010, Johnson has continued to be one of the league’s elite receivers. He holds the Texans’ franchise record in all-time receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. After an injury-plagued 2011, when Johnson was limited to seven games, he bounced back in 2012-13 to combine for 221 catches and 3,005 yards. In the Texans’ lost 2013 season, when the team went an NFL-worst 2-14, Johnson was one of the few consistent bright spots and the team’s undisputed offensive most valuable player.

Still, at the height of the Texans’ 12-4 season in 2012 — the franchise’s peak since Johnson was drafted by the team in 2003 — the veteran wide receiver echoed his comments Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t say that there was a time when I said, ‘Get me out of here,’ ” Johnson told the Boston Globe, referring to the Texans’ woeful expansion years. “Had I thought about it? Yeah.”

Now, the Texans are again entering a new era. Coach Bill O’Brien is in some ways building his vision of an NFL team from scratch. Johnson is entering his 12th season and will turn 33 on July 11. By the time many expect the Texans to be consistently competitive again, Johnson could be in his 15th year in the league.

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Frustrated Andre Johnson will not attend OTAs or mini camp, says he has decision to make

HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson skipped the Texans voluntary mini camp and said he has no plans to take part in the team's organized team activities or the mandatory mini camp in June.

Johnson said he is frustrated with the losing he has dealt with over his career, but also pointed out this is not about his contract and he has not asked to be traded.

"I've been thinking about things this offseason and I kind of wonder is sometimes is this still the place for me," Johnson told the Houston media who was covering a check presentation on behalf of his charity golf tournament.

"I haven't went to anybody about a contract. I haven't came out and asked for a trade or anything like that. It's just something I'm thinking about right now."

Johnson said he was in Houston when the Texans recently held their voluntary minicamp and he has had conversations with team officials, including head coach Bill O'Brien.

"We've talked," Johnson said. "They understand how I feel. Like I said it's just something I'm thinking about. It's not something I came out and flew off with 'hey I want to get out of there or anything like that'. It's not nothing like that.

"When you go through what I've been through as a player, now on my third head coach, I think it's just something you have to give thought to."

When specifically asked what is bothering him Johnson said, "losing."

And he reflected on what he has been through during his 12 years with the Texans.

"I just look over my career and just kind of wonder is it a place?," Johnson said. " I've only been to the playoffs twice. I think we've had only three winning seasons, two eight and eight seasons. I don't think any player wants to experience that. Over time it can become very frustrating.

"Losing, that's it. I don't play to lose. I don't think anyone in this league does, but that's probably the most frustrating."

Johnson acknowledged that he does have a decision to make, but did not get specific about what that means.

"When you bring a new coach in, you go through a rebuilding process," Johnson said. "Some people say it's not rebuilding and some people say it's a quick fix.

"Everybody has their own opinion. I've been through the situation more than once.

"Right now I'm just taking some time, think about some things and when I make my decision, I'll make my decision and go from there."

The Texans did not have a response.

On Tuesday Johnson presented the Houston Area Women's Center with a check for $30,000.

The non-profit organization is the beneficiary of Johnson's first annual charity golf tournament.

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Frustrated Andre Johnson on Texans: 'Is this still the place for me?'

The vibe in Houston should be good this week, with No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney headlining the latest draft class.

But Andre Johnson doesn't have the time to wait for this draft class to come in and develop and eventually improve Houston's 2-14 record from last year. Johnson has run out of patience, and although he hasn't specifically asked for a trade, he obviously isn't happy with the Texans anymore.

Johnson voiced his frustration to the Houston Chronicle about his situation. Johnson is likely on his way to the Hall of Fame, but is 32 and has barely experienced any team success in his 11 seasons with Houston.

"I just look at my career. ... I've only been to the playoffs twice," he told the Chronicle's Brian Smith.

He made it clear this isn't about his contract. But he doesn't plan on attending OTAs or the mandatory minicamp, so even though he hasn't officially requested a trade, it seems he wants out. 

Johnson probably has a point. He's still among the top 10 receivers in the NFL, coming off a 109-catch, 1,407-yard season. He's also looking at being a part of a team with a new coaching staff, with journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick poised to start at quarterback with no clear franchise quarterback of the future on the roster, on a team that could quadruple its 2013 win total and still not make the playoffs.

If Johnson ever does hit the trading block, there would be a tremendous battle for his services. Johnson has 12,661 career yards, has passed 1,400 yards four times in the past six seasons and is still very effective. Imagine what he could do for Seattle, Baltimore, Kansas City or New England, to name a few? Or if you stick him on New Orleans with Drew Brees, or if Denver decides he'd be a great replacement for Eric Decker? The possibilities would be intriguing. Perhaps the relationship hasn't gotten to that point, and his contract would make a trade difficult (he has more than a $12 million cap hit this year, and it jumps past $16 million next year). Johnson told the Chronicle the Texans are aware of his displeasure, so if Johnson was going to get moved it probably would have happened before the draft.

But for all the teams that would love to add Johnson to their offense, it's clear that one of the teams Johnson doesn't want to be on is the one he plays for now.

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Andre Johnson should be frustrated

Andre Johnson didn't attend Texans voluntary workouts last week, which is within his rights because they are, after all, voluntary. But his absences were unusual because he has had so few in his 11-year career and also because it would have been the wide receiver's first opportunity to acquaint himself with a new coach and a new offense.

So it was natural to ask if Johnson was sending a message.

In fact, he did send one. People close to him said he informed the Texans he was occupied with other business and will be in Houston this week to fulfill commitments.

He's not angry.

That leads to another question.

Why not?

Anger is not an emotion often associated with the reserved Johnson, although we did see that side of him late in the loss to Oakland last season when he and Matt Schaub exchanged words on the sideline. Johnson walked off the field before the game ended.

But no one could blame Johnson if he were frustrated, especially after the lack of urgency the Texans seem to have in regard to their offense this offseason. That was never more apparent than during the three days of the NFL draft that ended Saturday.

Defense upgraded

They unquestionably upgraded their defense, selecting the best player in the draft, South Carolina's extraordinary pass rusher J.D. Clowney, with the No. 1 pick overall and trading up into the third round for a run-stopping nose tackle, Notre Dame's Louis Nix, considered by some to have first-round talent.

Otherwise, the Texans' draft was uninspiring.

We might judge otherwise in retrospect. Bill Polian, a former executive with three NFL teams, said it takes four years to determine whether a team's draft was successful.

But it appears today as if the Texans did little to address their most apparent offensive needs, adding replacement parts during the first two days, a guard in the second round and a tight end in the third, and waiting until the middle of the fourth round Saturday to acquire a quarterback.

That was Pittsburgh's Tom Savage, the 135th player and the seventh quarterback drafted.

Texans general manager Rick Smith said before the draft the team was open to a more unorthodox quarterback considering the success of Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.

"They've given people some confidence that you don't necessarily need to have a traditional type of quarterback to be successful in our league," he said.
If the Texans were among the confident, they would have taken Georgia's Aaron Murray. NFL Network's Mike Mayock said two quarterbacks had the potential
to start in the NFL from day one, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Murray.

Going with prototype

Instead, the Texans went with a prototypical 6-4, 228-pound quarterback, the type those who have followed coach Bill O'Brien's career said all along he preferred.

Savage didn't receive much attention in his only season at Pitt, where he transferred from Arizona, where he had transferred from Rutgers. He impressed O'Brien during his pro day in March, along with so many other coaches he couldn't fit all of them in for private workouts.

"Savage is one of the great American mysteries right now," Jon Gruden said before the draft. "It is a limited body of work. He's a pocket passer with a strong arm. I'm sure some people have seen it and fell in love with him because of that."

Gil Brandt, who built the Cowboys' scouting department, compared Savage's arm to Troy Aikman's.

"From an arm talent perspective, it doesn't get much better than Tom Savage," Mayock said.

But he added, "You'd like him to have better feet. He takes too many sacks."

To be exact, 43 last season. That was the most in college football's top division.

Some of those no doubt were due to an offensive line less than adept at pass blocking, which should make Savage feel at home with the Texans.

Besides quarterback, the Texans' most pressing offensive need was for a right tackle. They didn't take one in the draft.

Their next most pressing offensive need was for a running back to play behind Arian Foster, coming off an injury. They took one with their second pick in the sixth round, Alfred Blue, who started only two games last season at LSU.

Savage shouldn't be too discouraged because by the time he's ready to play in a year or two, the Texans might have improved their offense. Their second-round choice, UCLA guard Xavier Su' A-Filo, might become a tackle. Their third-round choice, Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, might become the next Rob Gronkowski.

Andre Johnson, however, should be discouraged. He will be 33 in July. He doesn't have enough years left for the offense to slowly rebuild.
He surely didn't volunteer for that.

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REPORT: Andre Johnson Was Denied A New Contract In 2013

HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Andre Johnson is the most notable face missing from the Houston Texans voluntary mini-camp.

“From my understanding, Andre might have wanted new moneylb_icon1 last year and they didn’t give it to him.” Travis Johnson told Mad Radio with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne Thursday.

“Andre is preparing…he’s working hard. I think he’s going to be here. There’s no scenario where he’s not going to be here. I don’t think he’s mad at the team at all.”

Travis Johnson, who is friends and knows many current and former Texans players doesn’t think it has changed Andre Johnson’s attitude.

“He’s not unhappy,” Johnson said. “Eleven years in you need a little bit of a break. He’s been at every OTA. He’s been at all the mini-camps. It’s time to, you know, do his own thing. Try and get better.”

Andre Johnson does not have to attend the current mini camps at Reliant Stadium right now because they are voluntary for all veterans.

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Texans begin new-look mini-camp without Andre Johnson

The Texans were a very different looking team in their first voluntary mini-camp practice Tuesday morning. Their helmets had no bull decals on them. The offense was wearing blue jerseys and the defense white, exactly the opposite of how they dressed under Gary Kubiak. And said jerseys were adorned with only numbers, not names.

There was no Matt Schaub under center, of course. And there was also no Andre Johnson, either. Schaub is an Oakland Raider now. Johnson remains a Texan – he’s still the face of the Texans going into his 12th season with the team – and he hasn’t publicly expressed any unhappiness about that fact despite last fall’s 2-14 disaster. O’Brien, asked for his take on Johnson’s absence, demurred, saying: “(Participation) is voluntary. We just coach who shows up.”

Historically, Johnson has always shown up with the rarest of exceptions, so it seemed odd he would be missing on the first day with a new coach, his fourth in Houston. He was drafted before Dom Capers’ second season, played here for Gary Kubiak’s entire run and answered to the interim man Wade Phillips for the final three games in 2013.

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Andre Johnson Ranks As The Top Draft Choice In Texans History

Ranking every draft choice in Texans history was an interesting – not to mention impossible – undertaking.

Many draft choices never made the team. Some made the team but contributed little. Injuries hampered the careers of others.

A lot of draft choices were ranked based on their potential because they haven’t been with the Texans long enough.

Ranking the worst was easy because some premium picks turned out to be huge busts. Remember a pair of third-round picks – defensive tackle Charles Hill in 2002 and outside linebacker Sam Montgomery in 2013?

Ranking the best was easy.

For instance, nobody can make a legitimate argument against receiver Andre Johnson, the third overall pick in 2003, being the best draft choice in Texans history. He’s the first Texans player who’ll have a bona-fide chance to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

No one can dispute defensive end J.J. Watt – after only three seasons – ranking behind Johnson. Watt’s impact has been so profound he has to be second because he’s considered the best defensive player in the NFL.

After Johnson and Watt, it gets dicey.

Performance, honors and longevity impacted the rankings of players three through 10.

Tight end Owen Daniels was voted to two Pro Bowls during an eight-year career that ended with him ranking second to Johnson in career receptions.

Defensive end Mario Williams became the team’s career sack leader during his six years with the Texans before Buffalo made him the highest-paid defensive player in history.

Left tackle Duane Brown has been voted to the last two Pro Bowls and is still going strong. If inside linebacker Brian Cushing bounces back from back-to-back seasons ruined by knee injuries, he’s got a chance to move up in subsequent rankings.

Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and right tackle Eric Winston were selected in the second and third rounds in 2006, the best draft in team history.

Chester Pitts, a second-round pick in 2002, played tackle and guard during an impressive career.

Even though cornerback Kareem Jackson has been a lightning rod for controversy since being a first-round pick in 2010, he’s improved as a player, and he’s been durable entering his fifth season.

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Andre Johnson And The Number 14

We are two weeks away from the start of the 2014 NFL draft, and at a point when the Clowney/Spurrier storyline has come full circle.

It started with Spurrier seeming to call out Clowney's work ethic, then Spurrier saying he really wasn't doing that and finally, today, he told Dan Patrick the Texans have to take Clowney first overall, that he's an athlete like none he's ever seen before.

And so we continue our countdown. Each day examining a number that coincides with the number of days until the draft.

We started yesterday with 15 days remaining until the draft, examining the Texans' 15 first-half turnovers last season.

At 14, we look at a more hopeful offensive number.

14. Record for catches in a game by a Texans' player and by an opponent

Andre Johnson, perhaps the best draft pick in Texans history, and definitely the best offensive draft pick in Texans history, holds nearly every team receiving record. The one he doesn't hold is longest reception. (And it says a lot about the Texans' offenses of yore that running back Arian Foster has two of the longest receptions in team history.)

But this one belongs to Johnson. His 14 catches in a Texans overtime win over the Jaguars in 2012 were the most catches in franchise history. He also set the record for yards in a game with 273 that day.

Johnson's average of 13.8 yards per catch in his career is the best in Texans history, which makes sense for the player who was drafted third overall in the Texans' second draft. He continued to have statistically strong seasons even after turning 30, but I'll be interested to see how he fits with the new Texans regime. Johnson, who renegotiated his contract before the 2013 season, is due to make a base salary of $10 million this season with a roster bonus of $1 million that comes with a cap number of about $15.6 million.

This offseason the Texans have trended toward younger players and smaller cap numbers. Johnson has been through a lot with this franchise, and showed his frustration at times last season. He'll turn 33 in July.

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Frank Gore, Antrel Rolle, Devin Hester, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Vince Wilfork named to CBS Sports' Under-25 vs. Over-30 teams

This year's prolonged stretch between the end of the 2013 season and the 2014 NFL Draft has left media outlets with a little more room to get creative with ideas in trying to fill the time until actual football happens again.

One of the main strategies in this endeavor is to put out a series of NFL All-Something teams. In an original wrinkle, CBS Sports took this a step further by having two of their football writers come up with an All-Under-25 team and an All-Over-30 team and then comparing them side-by-side with the goal of seeing who could come up with the better roster.

For the matchup, CBS Sports enlisted columnist Pete Prisco to come up with an Under-25 team to go up against columnist Pat Kirwan's Over-30 team.
As expected, both writers think their team is superior. Regardless, proCanes were represented on the Over-30 team with six. Zero proCanes made the under-25 team which speaks to the State of The Hurricanes teams the last few years.

Here's where they landed:
Over-30 Team, Pat Kirwan

Running back: The claim is never let a 30 year old in your backfield. Well, think again. My top choices are Frank Gore, DeAngelo Williams, Fred Jackson and Darren Sproles. I'll start Frank Gore but have Sproles ready for third down.

Wide receiver: I found 10 receivers I would like on the ol' boys team; Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Vincent Jackson, Anquan Boldin, Roddy White, Wes Welker and Steve Smith. I can't have them all but I'll take Larry Fitzgerald and Brandon Marshall with Welker in the slot.
Starters: Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (30) and Brandon Marshall, Bears (30)
Reserves: Wes Welker (32), Andre Johnson (32), Vincent Jackson (31)

Defensive tackles: Good luck running the ball against Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork with 700 lbs. of beef inside. When they need a rest or its time to rush the passer I have to decide between Kyle Williams, Justin Tuck and Darnell Dockett. Those three had 26 sacks between them last year.
Starters: Haloti Ngata, Ravens (30) and Vince Wilfork, Patriots (32)

Safeties: Guys who play safety for 10 years may lose a step but they can read a quarterbackand get him to do things a young safety hasn't even though of yet. My starters for the clash of the young and old will be Troy Polamalu and Antrel Rolle. If I want to go "big nickel" and bring an extra safety, Dashon Goldson and LaRon Landry are available.
Starters: Antrel Rolle, Giants (31) and Troy Polamalu, Steelers (32)

Special teams: Stephen Gostkowski just turned 30 and he was five for six on 50+ attempts but I could always call up Vinateri or any number of the kickers. Jon Ryan, punter for the Seahawks, only allowed 21 returns for a total of 82 yards the whole season and 28 punts inside the 20. Devin Hester can handle the returns with his 13 for touchdowns over his career.
Starters: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots (30), Jon Ryan, Seahawks (32), Devin Hester, Falcons (31)

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Andre Johnson's University Of Miami Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speech

"Well I didn't prepare a speech... a lot of people know I don't talk much. But I'm truly humbled to be here tonight. To be inducted into the UM Hall of Fame is a tremendous honor. I had a childhood dream of being a Hurricane and playing for the University of Miami.

"I'm looking at guys in this room like Michael Irvin, Lamar Thomas, Horace Copeland... you know these guys have laid the foundation and when I came into UM in 1999 with Clinton, we had a goal, and our goal was getting the University of Miami back to where it was. And the guys before us had laid the foundation, and we accomplished that goal in 2001 and beat Nebraska in the National Championship.

"I'd like to thank my mom, my uncle and my brother who've been pretty much my support system since I've been playing the game of football. I don't think they've missed a game that I've played since little league, to high school to professional, so I'd like to thank them for being there for me.

"I'd like to thank all my coaches: Coach Kehoe, Coach Soldinger, Coach Mark. And I'd be wrong if I didn't thank Curtis Johnson. He was a hell of a receivers coach. He's the head coach over at Tulane now. He saw things in me that I didn't see in myself. Coming into UM, he wanted me to play in a way that I wasn't used to playing. He wanted me to play very physical and I wasn't used to that, so he started calling me "soft." I think as a player you don't like to be called soft; I don't care who you is. Like I said he saw things in myself that I didn't see in myself and he was hard on me. At first I didn't understand it, but as time went along, I figured it out. Me and him became real close friends and we still talk now today, so I'd like to thank Curtis Johnson because he's had a heck of an impact on my career.

"To sum it all up, this is where I wanted to be. I wanted to be a Hurricane, living my childhood dream, but I never thought I'd be in the UM Hall of Fame. I guess all the hard work has paid off and I thank everyone who supported me through it all... everyone who's been there for me and kept me positive and kept me on track, so thank you."

- Andre Johnson April 10, 2014

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proCanes Clinton Portis, James Jones, Andre Johnson set to join UM Sports Hall of Fame

James Jones has two NBA championships with the Miami Heat.

Andre Johnson ranks second all-time in NFL receiving-yards-per-game with the Houston Texans.

But the honor that ignites their already fierce pride in a way that can’t quite be compared to anything else, stems from their hometown dreams as children growing up yearning to be Miami Hurricanes.

Jones and Johnson will join a prolific class when they are inducted Thursday night into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame.

“To do anything here at home, in my backyard, is something that I’ll be close to forever,” said Jones, 33, a 6-8, 215-pound small forward who graduated from Miami American High, starred at UM from 1999 to 2003 and has been with the Heat since 2008. “Every time I go to a Hurricanes game or watch the Canes play or watch a Hurricanes football game or think about college sports and the U, I’ll know I have a place in history there.

“It’s a legacy. I’ll be the first in my family to do something like that. Hopefully I can set the mark for my family, my kids and especially kids from the city who dream of those types of things, but never really get the opportunity.’’

Johnson, 32, graduated from Miami Senior High and helped bring UM’s football program back to prominence from 2000 to 2002, earning a national title with the Hurricanes in 2001 while being named the Rose Bowl’s Co-MVP (along with fellow UM Sports Hall of Famer Ken Dorsey) with seven receptions for 199 yards and two touchdowns against Nebraska.

“A tremendous honor,” Johnson said this week as he prepared to work out on campus. “Growing up as a child I always wanted to be a Hurricane. It was a dream of mine. Then, to be able to come here and win a national championship and help get the school back to where it had been before, that was the greatest feeling for me.

“Those were the best days of my life and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. You were a kid and came together with a bunch of guys from different places and built something real special. You look at guys from other colleges and you can tell they don’t have the brotherhood we have here.’’

Johnson will be joined in being honored by fellow football inductees Lamar Thomas, a Hurricanes receiver from 1988 to 92, and running back Clinton Portis, who shared in the 2001 national title and went on to star with the NFL’s Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins.

Thomas, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1993, finished his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins (1996 to 2000) and returned to UM to earn his bachelor’s degree in 2008. He was recently hired as the wide receivers coach at Louisville, and will meet his Hurricanes on the other side of the field in the season opener at Louisville.

Portis now serves as a football analyst for the ACC Digital Network.

The other former Hurricanes being inducted include hometown athletes Wyllesheia Myrick, a two-time All-American in track who left UM with several school records from 1998 to 2002; and infielder and pitching star Javy Rodriguez (1999 to 2002), who led UM to its last two national championships in ’99 and ’01. He returned to complete his UM degree in 2011 and now coaches at alma mater Gulliver Prep.

Rounding out the honorees are Cuban native and current FIU diving coach Rio Ramirez, who earned four individual national titles with UM from 1997 to 99; and pitcher Jeff Morrison, who starred at Delray Beach Atlantic High and led the Canes to the College World Series three consecutive seasons (1979 to 81).
Morrison went on to receive his law degree from Georgetown and spent the next 30 years as an attorney in Atlanta. He is now working on his PhD at Georgia State, and will begin a second career this fall as a history professor.

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More Andre Johnson Trade Rumors

As the NFL Draft nears, Andre Johnson has found himself the subject of several trade rumors in recent days. The Houston Texans are rebuilding and head coach Bill O'Brien is bringing in "his guys." That has caused Matt Schaub to be traded, Owen Daniels to be cut and former No. 1 pick Mario Williams move on. Could the team also be planning on moving away from their No. 1 wide receiver? If so, the Raiders might be interested.

Let's get something straight, the chances the Cleveland Cavaliers win an NBA Championship this season are likely greater than Johnson getting traded. But, the rumors are out there and they cannot be ignored. Johnson put up 1,407 yards last season, but DeAndre Hopkins showed plenty of ability to take over the No. 1 spot if needed so the idea of getting rid of the wide receiver is not totally out of the box.

Having Hopkins frees up the Texans to cut cap space by trading the wide receiver. They would free up over $3 million this season, $8 million next season and $12 million in 2016 if Johnson is sent to another team willing to take up his contract. Houston would likely get another draft pick in return. They could grab a quarterback No. 1 overall and a wide receiver after that. So trading Johnson would not sink the Texans and there would be plenty of interest if he is available.

The Oakland Raiders would likely be the heavy favorites to make a move on Johnson. First, the team needs a receiver and with DeSean Jackson likely headed to Washington, Johnson would be the best available. The Raiders also traded for Matt Schaub, the former teammate of the wide receiver. Johnson was a big advocate for the Texans retaining Schaub over drafting a rookie and was not thrilled when they made the quarterback deal. Could a reunion be in the works?

It has already been reported that the Texans want more draft picks. The NFL Network reported a week ago that Houston had briefly discussed a trade with the Buffalo Bills that would give them more picks, but so far no deal has been made. Shopping Johnson as an option might be more favorable that getting the No. 1 overall pick.

Again, this is speculation.'s Field Yates reports that if a trade is going to happen, it should be one involving the Texans and Johnson. Will it happen? The safer bet might be the Chicago Cubs reaching the World Series.

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Andre Johnson Trade Rumors

Andre Johnson was mentioned in trade rumors at the deadline last season and while that has subsided, one team that could fit a Houston Texans deal is the San Francisco 49ers, as they have 11 draft picks to trade and are not going after DeSean Jackson after his release from the Philadelphia Eagles and the Niners desperately need a receiver behind Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree.

The deal would take some maneuvering since Johnson is on a seven year deal with nearly $70 million that he signed back in 2010, but since he has a decent salary for next year with a base at $6.5 million, it could work. The idea was proposed on by Field Yates in an Insider article and then picked up on by beat writer Bill Williamson, who writes that while there are receiver options in the draft past Jackson like Mike Evans, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and even Sammy Watkins, that adding Johnson would be a superior move to all of them.

Williamson cautions that this deal is very unlikely to go down, as the Texans will probably not want to part ways with Johnson even with his high salary, as he still is a very productive player and one of the best receivers in the NFL. Johnson had an impressive 109 catches last season for 1,407 yards despite the fact that he played with a bad Matt Schaub and a rookie in Case Keenum and that came after he had 112 catches for 1,598 yards the season before. Johnson has played in all 16 games the past two seasons and could be a huge catch for the Niners.

The 49ers could be motivated to make a deal if they can't find a way to trade up for Mike Evans, as Jim Harbaugh is desperate for a legitimate third receiver behind Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. While the team was still very good and got to the NFC championship game last season, Boldin is getting older in age and Crabtree is still not yet a year removed from recovering from Achilles surgery. The team had the fewest three receiver sets last season and part of that were the injuries to Mario Manningham. The Niners have Vernon Davis as a receiving tight end, but they want more depth at the wide receiver position as well.

Jackson was considered to be a prime option for the 49ers and that was reported on before he was released by the Eagles by multiple websites. The Niners said that they did not have interest in Jackson when he was being shopped and now that he is on the free agent market they are one of a number of teams interested in signing him, including the Oakland Raiders, NY Jets, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks.

Jackson is looking to get paid in the same range he was last season and that knocked the Chiefs and likely the Niners out, as he is looking for $9 million to $10 million for a one year deal. Jackson had one of his best seasons last year, setting highs with 82 catches for over 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns before his release from the Eagles amid reports he missed numerous meetings, had a bad work ethic and had connections to gangs back in LA. 

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Andre Johnson supports Women's Center in Golf Classi

It was a beautiful Monday for birdies and bogeys as Texans wide receiver Andre Johnsonicon-article-link hosted his inaugural Celebrity Golf Classic at the Golf Club of Houston. The charitable event benefited the Houston Area Women’s Center, an organization dedicated to helping individuals affected by domestic and sexual violence in their efforts to move forward.

Johnson, an avid leader in community involvement, relished the opportunity to support an organization like the Women’s Center.

“You always want to give back, especially being here 11 years now,” he said. “Not many people get to see you and interact with you, and that’s just something I said I always wanted to do.

“Growing up I never got a chance to meet a professional athlete, so I always said I wanted to get out and let people get a chance to meet you or give you a hug or shake your hand. That’ s why I continue to do what I do.”

Joining him on the links were teammates, former Texans, friends and others. Tight end Owen Daniels, cornerback Johnathan Joseph, as well as free agent fullback Vonta Leach and Philadelphia linebacker DeMeco Ryans spoke about Johnson’s generosity in the community.

“We love helping out our teammates and other players around the league when they have foundations and things that mean a lot to them,” Daniels said. “’Dre’s one of my favorites, so it’s great to be here for him.”

“Whenever Andre calls, I have to make sure I’m here,” echoed Ryans. “He’s, first and foremost, a great friend and always has been from when I was here in Houston and we still keep in touch. He’s an awesome guy who’s doing great things in the community. You have to come out and support a first class guy like Andre.”

For 37 years the Women’s Center has been providing shelter, counseling and advocacy to support women, children and men in building lives free from the effects of violence. Johnson’s contribution will assist in providing a place of refuge and relief to the 120 people living in residential shelters.

“My foundation is always working with kids that grew up in a single parent home and things like that,” Johnson said in an interview last month. “I’ve been able to work with the women at the Women’s Center in the past, and we wanted to reach back out to them and work with them again. Giving back to the women that have been battered and stuff like that and have been through some tough things in their life, just to help them get back on their feet. We just try to help out as much as we can.”

As for his golf game, Johnson predicted it would be “very inconsistent.”

“I may hit a good shot and hit five bad ones,” he said with a laugh. “I think that’s what makes me want to play it so bad and become good at it, because it’s a challenge. I’m a competitor.”

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Andre Johnson prepared to catch passes from any QB next season

Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is fully aware that he could be paired with a new starting quarterback this season. The best player in franchise history will attempt to find a quick rhythm with anyone the Texans select to lead them. But the 11-year veteran acknowledged he prefers to take the field with a QB who already knows the intricacies of the NFL.

“You want a guy that’s going to be able to come in and do the best job and play right away,” Johnson said Sunday during a media event at a downtown Houston restaurant. “Most of the time guys are looking for veterans because they have the most experience, they know what to expect. But sometimes you can find that young guy that can come in and pick it up right away and go out there and make plays for you.”

Johnson’s foundation is hosting its inaugural charity golf tournament Monday at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble. The event will benefit the Houston Area Women’s Center.

Texans quarterback Case Keenum joined ex-Texans players Vonta Leach and Dunta Robinson in supporting Johnson’s gathering.

Keenum, who is fully healthy after missing the final two games of 2013, intends to use the Texans’ overhaul of their coaching staff as an opportunity to prove he can become a starter again.

“That’s the beauty of a new coaching staff and a new system, is that everybody kind of starts out at zero,” Keenum said. “We all get to build new relationships and new trust.”

Johnson spoke with former starter Matt Schaub about two weeks ago. While many expect the veteran QB to be released when free agency begins Tuesday, Johnson said Schaub recently had the mindset that he would be a part of coach Bill O’Brien’s team in 2014.

“I get the feeling that he feels like he’s going to be here. … He’s in good spirits,” Johnson said. “I think this offseason was great for him, just to get away and clear his mind.

“As long as (Matt) is my teammate, me and him are going to be working together. Hopefully he’s still here. That’s out of my control but we’ll see what happens.”

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Andre Johnson not retiring anytime soon

HUMBLE — Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson said he’s recovered from a late-season wrist injury that forced him to miss the Pro Bowl and is fully healthy three months before the annual draft.

“I had played for a few weeks (with the wrist) and it was pretty sore and I didn’t want to go back out there and bang it up anymore,” Johnson said Wednesday at the Golf Club of Houston.

Johnson spoke with the media after receiving a quick golf lesson. He’s holding a charity event March 10 at the club, which will benefit the Houston Area Women’s Center.

“It’s so exciting. We are just thrilled,” said Rebecca White, the center’s president and CEO. “It’s very welcome news. Every year we serve 10s of 1,000s of Houstonians and we do that because we are lucky to be in a very generous community. And this is just another extraordinary example.”

Johnson was his normal low-key self Wednesday. But he willingly addressed multiple topics, including the intrigue surrounding former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, the after effects of being part of last season’s 2-14 Texans and ex-Missouri defensive end Michael Sam’s recent announcement that he’s gay.

Johnson has spent time with Manziel and believes he’s a “great player.”

The Texans hold the No. 1 pick in the May draft. If they select a QB, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Manziel are the leading candidates.

“(Manziel) seems like a good kid. Very into football,” Johnson said. “He’s exciting. He’s an exciting player to watch. I enjoyed watching him in college. He doesn’t have the name Johnny Football for nothing. I think he’s a great player.”

As for Sam, Johnson acknowledged the situation is much more complicated. Johnson highly respects Sam’s courage. But whether he’ll fit in with an NFL team remains to be determined.

“I don’t know. Everybody says what they would do or how they would react or whatever. But you don’t know until you’re in that position,” Johnson said. “As far as we know, he’s the first guy to come out and say it. You have to respect him a lot for that. Because it’s not like he’s being undercover with that or hiding something. The guy’s come out and said it is what it is. To me, I think you respect him more for that than anything, because he’s not hiding anything, he’s not pretending to be someone.”

The veteran wide receiver has barely had time to meet Bill O’Brien, the Texans’ new coach. Johnson said limitations set by the new collective bargaining agreement have initially prevented the two from speaking at length.

“I had a chance to sit down and talk with him once,” Johnson said. “It was a very short conversation.”
The first impression was positive, though.

“He seems like a great guy,” Johnson said. “He seems like he really loves the game of football. He’s very passionate about it. He’s all about team. I think all of those characteristics are great. We’ll just see what happens.”

While the Texans were the worst team in the NFL last season and the 32-year-old Johnson’s entering his 12th season, the seven-time Pro Bowler hasn’t given any thought to ending his career anytime soon.

“I know I’m not a second-, third-, or fourth-year guy. Everything comes to an end at some point,” said Johnson, who started all 16 games in 2013, recording 109 receptions for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns. “But right now I don’t know when it might end. I’m feeling fine. I’m feeling healthy. So I’m going to continue to play as long as I can.

“Everybody knows that day when it’s over. When that day comes, I’ll have no problem stepping away. But right now I feel fine. I feel like I still have a few more years left in me.”

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Andre Johnson: I would probably trade No. 1 overall pick

A lot of different people think the Houston Texans should do a lot of different things with the No. 1 overall pick in May's NFL Draft. Former Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips thinks the Texans should take Johnny Manziel.

Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson, who would presumably be catching passes from Johnny Football, doesn't agree with Phillips. If it were up to Johnson, he would trade the No. 1 overall pick.

"I have thought about different scenarios. Me personally, if I had it, I would probably trade it, but that's just my opinion," Johnson said on Wednesday, via ABC-13 in Houston.

Just because Johnson thinks the Texans should trade the pick doesn't mean the team should though. The wide receiver conceded that he's never had to deal with the pressures of draft day. "That doesn't make it right. Doesn't mean they should listen to me, because I am not the [general manager]," Johnson said. "I have never had to sit in the draft room like that."

Texans owner Bob McNair may end up taking Johnson's advice. In January, McNair talked about the possibility of trading the No. 1 overall pick, "Maybe we'll trade down and still get a quarterback that can do the job and get an outstanding defensive player," McNair said. "It's an exciting time. Everything's a moving target. Lot of different pieces."

As for what the Texans will actually do with the pick, guesses are all over the place right now. In his first 2014 mock draft, senior NFL columnist Pete Prisco has the Texans taking Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles. NFLDraftScout's Dane Brugler also has the Texans taking Bortles while Rob Rang, also of, has the Texans taking South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

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How does Andre Johnson stack up to HOFer Reed?

The ninth try was a charm for Andre Reed.

The former Bills receiver has been chosen as a Hall of Famer after being eligible for nine years. He was a finalist eight times. 

This -- after Cris Carter got in last year -- is probably a very good sign for Andre Johnson, who continues to play at a very high level after more than a decade.

Reed is the 23rd "modern era" wide receiver to make it into the Hall of Fame. And Johnson might very well join him one day, which would make him the first Texan enshrined.

Here's a look at how Johnson's numbers stack up to Reed's:

Reed: 16 seasons, 951 receptions, 13,198 yards, 87 touchdowns, seven Pro Bowls.

Johnson: 11 season, 927 receptions, 12,661 yards, 61 touchdowns, seven Pro Bowls.

Most of those numbers are already comparable and if Johnson has a few more seasons like the ones he's had recently, he'll crush the receptions and yards. But that's not all that matters. Aside from the obvious touchdown differential, Reed was a part of a team that went to four straight Super Bowls.

Johnson has been to the playoffs just twice and has never made it past the divisional round, which is a knock on him. But then again, he hasn't ever had a very good quarterback or talent around him. Do those two things cancel out?

Those things will be a part of the debate once Johnson is eligible. Should Johnson be punished for playing on an expansion team that hasn't been any good for most of his career? And should Reed be rewarded because he played on a very good team with a pretty darn good quarterback?

Those are the questions the Hall of Fame voters need to answer as they deliberate each year.

And this year, after a full work day of deliberation, the voters left off two other very strong receiver candidates: Tim Brown and Marvin Harrison. Here's a look at their stats:

Brown: 16 seasons, 1,094 receptions, 14,934 yards, 100 touchdowns, nine Pro Bowls.

Harrison: 13 seasons, 1,102 receptions, 14,580 yards, 128 touchdowns, eight Pro Bowls.

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Andre Johnson won’t play in Pro Bowl

Texans receiver Andre Johnson isn’t going to the Pro Bowl, and pro personnel director Brian Gardner is looking for a job.

One day after defensive end J.J. Watt was named as a captain in the Pro Bowl, Johnson withdrew, leaving the Texans with two representatives in Hawaii.

Johnson’s agent, Kennard McGuire, said his client withdrew because of “wear and tear” from the season. The wear and tear included a wrist injury that didn’t require surgery. Johnson was replaced by Philadelphia receiver DeSean Jackson.

Left tackle Duane Brown, who replaced Eagles offensive tackle Jason Peters last week, will join Watt at the Pro Bowl. It’s a second consecutive appearance for Brown and Watt.

Johnson, 32, was voted to the Pro Bowl for the seventh time in his 12-year career after catching 109 passes for 1,407 yards and five touchdowns. He started every game for the last two seasons.

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NFL Trade Rumors: Andre Johnson To Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers or Patriots Possible?

The NFL offseason is still officially weeks away as the playoffs continue to shake themselves out and for the teams not in the postseason, their focus is on the moves to make and this year there could be an uptick in offseason trades and some possibilities include Andre Johnson or Justin Blackmon and some teams that could be interested includes Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots.

All those teams have some type of issue at wide receiver and they all ranked in the bottom part of the league in receiving yards per game and that could make these deals interesting once the Super Bowl champions is crowned. There is a chance that Johnson's possible trade demands from the season will subside now that Bill O'Brien is head coach, but after losing 14 straight games on the season and dealing with a very tough year, Johnson may be ready to move on. The Texans are a team that could flip things around very quickly ala the Kansas City Chiefs and that would be something that could keep him in Houston.

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Andre Johnson & Chris Myers Named to All AFC South Team by ESPN

The odd thing about the Houston Texans' nine Pro Bowl selections last season was how under-represented the defense was. Seven of the nine Texans who went to Hawaii last season were offensive players, including quarterback Matt Schaub, who told me upon arrival that he was confident he could lead the Texans to the Super Bowl.

This year's All-AFC South team -- voted on by Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco, Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky, Colts reporter Mike Wells and I -- has a similar tilt. Five Texans offensive players are represented -- receiver Andre Johnson, guard Wade Smith, center Chris Myers, left tackle Duane Brown and running back Ben Tate. Meanwhile, defensively only ends J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith made the cut. Texans punter Shane Lechler kept the special teams portion from being an all-Jaguars affair.

Click here to see the rest of the players named.

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Three proCanes Named To Pro Bowl Roster

Three Miami Hurricanes were among those named to the 2014 Pro Bowl, announced by the National Football League offices Wednesday.

Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) was the lone proCane AFC selection

San Francisco 49ers' running back Frank Gore, who recently marked his team-record seventh 1,000-yard season, was an NFC selection along with Saints TE Jimmy Graham.

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Andre Johnson a bright spot for terrible Texans

HOUSTON (AP) - Andre Johnson is having another great season for the Houston Texans.

The star receiver certainly isn’t celebrating it with the Texans mired in a franchise-record 13-game skid.

He told The Associated Press this week that dealing with another terrible season after already suffering through the lean times early in franchise history has taken the joy out of playing the game he loves.

”You don’t expect to go back through it,” said. “You think you’re past that stage as a team ... it is no fun at all.”

Despite his frustration with this year, Johnson has remained Houston’s most reliable leader.

”It’s amazing. Andre is just the consummate pro. He’s always positive,” interim coach Wade Phillips said. “He’s always making plays. It’s tremendous the number of plays he’s made ... that just says so much about him. And if you know him as a person, he’s even better.”

This has been the most painful season for Johnson because the Texans were coming off consecutive playoff appearances and were expected to contend for a Super Bowl. Instead, they need a win at Tennessee on Sunday to avoid matching their franchise-worst record of 2-14 from 2005.

If the Texans lose on Sunday, they will be guaranteed the top overall pick in April’s draft.

Johnson is the only player remaining on the team from the 2005 season. He has been with the Texans since their second season after being drafted third overall in the 2003 draft.

He went through four losing seasons with David Carr at quarterback before the Texans picked up Matt Schaub and the franchise began to turn around. The Texans won back-to-back AFC South titles and looked to take the next step this season.

But Schaub had the worst stretch of his career and was benched after six games in favor of Case Keenum.

But the losing continued with the undrafted, record-setting University of Houston quarterback running the offense. Now it looks like Johnson is likely to be catching passes from another quarterback next season.

Johnson isn’t spending time worrying about Houston’s quarterback situation, especially because the Texans don’t know who their coach will be in 2014 after Gary Kubiak’s recent firing.

”You just have to wait and see what happens,” he said. “You don’t necessarily know if it’s going to be a rookie quarterback or a veteran guy. We don’t even have a coach yet.”

Johnson is second in the NFL with 103 receptions in 2013 and his 1,358 yards receiving are fifth in the league. He tied an NFL record for most seasons with at least 100 receptions on Sunday, reaching the mark for the fifth time in his career.

This Sunday he has a shot at setting another NFL mark. Johnson needs 142 yards to become the first player in NFL history to have at least 100 receptions and 1,500 yards receiving in four seasons. This is Johnson’s seventh season with at least 1,000 yards receiving and he surpassed 12,000 yards for his career earlier this year.

”I think the ultimate goal is to win and win the championship,” Johnson said. “So I think the records and stuff like that is something you’ll look at once your career is over to see what you’ve accomplished since you’ve been in the league.”

Johnson will turn 33 this summer, raising the question how much longer he’ll be able to play at this level, and if time is running out for him to reach his goal of winning the Super Bowl. But this tough season hasn’t dampened his optimism that Houston will turn things around next year.

”You can make moves and put yourself into contention,” he said. “There are going to be some decisions made this offseason with the new coach and everything like that. Hopefully, as an organization, we’ll make some moves to put us in contention where we can go out and compete to hopefully win that Super Bowl.”

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Andre Johnson matches record w/100th catch

Andre Johnson joined Wes Welker in a two-man club on Sunday afternoon. The Texans' wide receiver caught his 100th pass of 2013, and it's the fifth season in which he's accomplished that feat. He and Welker are the only two players to ever do so in NFL history.

With 3:57 remaining in the first quarter, Johnson pulled in Matt Schaub's deep pass down the left sideline and gained 33 yards on the play. Johnson caught more than 100 passes last year, as well as in 2006, 2008 and 2009. His career-best in the category was 115 catches in 2008.

"It's all fine and dandy, but I only play the game for one reason: that's to win," Johnson said. "It's a great thing to have happen, but under these circumstances it really doesn't matter."

The 11-year veteran finished with four catches for 63 yards. Entering the final week of the season, Johnson has 103 receptions for 1,358 yards. He needs 142 yards crack the 1,500-yard milestone.

If Johnson were to eclipse that mark in 2013, it would be the fourth time for him to do so. He and Marvin Harrison are the only players to ever do it three times in a career. He had 1,598 receiving yards in 2012, and had 1,500 yards or more in 2008 and 2009.

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Andre Johnson ties NFL record with 5th 100-catch-season

HOUSTON (AP) Houston receiver Andre Johnson has reached 100 catches for the fifth time in his career, tying an NFL record for most seasons with at least that many receptions.

Johnson entered the game needing one catch to reach the mark held by Denver's Wes Welker. He did it on a 33-yard reception in the first quarter Sunday against the Broncos.

Johnson also had more than 100 receptions in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012.

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Andre Johnson spends over $17K on holiday shopping spree for at-risk children

Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson has a holiday tradition that beats going in debt, purchasing items for people who do not appreciate the gesture, or feeling guilty because you do not have enough money to purchase elaborate gifts.

For the seventh consecutive year, Johnson held his annual Toys “R” Us shopping spree for 12 at-risk children in Houston. They were given 80 seconds (Johnson wears No.80) to grab as many toys as possible.

Oh, but Johnson did not make the kids wait for a clerk to unlock that glass retail display case with those expensive gaming systems.
Instead, Johnson gave each child an Xbox 360 with two games.

What was the grand total for Johnson’s shopping spree?

Only $17,352.

“It just gives them a chance to go through the store and get whatever they want,” Johnson told reporters at the event. “They don’t have to ask nobody for it. Whatever they have on their Christmas list, they can pick-up, so that’s the reason why I do it.”

“It’s fun. It’s fun for the kids. It’s fun for me. It’s something I enjoy seeing every year. I just figure why not keep doing it.”

Each child chosen for the event has suffered through some sort of parental abuse and is now living with an extended family member. The shopping spree gives them a chance to get away from that reality and live the dream of every child - running through a toy store and grabbing whatever they want.

“It’s the holiday season,” Johnson said. “It’s a time for giving. People that know me know I have a big heart. I just like to give back and help people out.”

Johnson also reminds us what the holidays should be about for everyone.

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Record Setting Andre Johnson

On the NFL Network Thursday night it was pointed out that proCane Texans WR WR Andre Johnson averages 6 catches per game over his career, the highest average in #NFL history. Johnson had 13 catches for 154 yards in the Texans’ loss to the Jaguars.

Johnson also tied an #NFL record with his 10th game of 10 or more catches & 150 yards or more versus the Jaguars. Johnson tied the great Jerry Rice. Look for Johnson to break the record in the not so distant future.

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Andre Johnson should call Reggie Wayne this weekend

Thursday should have been a good night for Andre Johnson. The Texans receiver became the first player in NFL history to record 20 games with at least ten catches and 100 yards, but instead dealt mainly with the frustration of his team’s plunge from AFC South champions a year ago to 2-11 and potential recipients of the top overall pick in 2014.

He should call his college teammate this weekend.

When the Indianapolis Colts’ 2011 season fell apart due to a career-threatening injury to Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne soldiered through, amassing nearly a 1,000 yard season despite having to catch passes from the likes of Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky.

As the Colts’ 2-14 season came to a merciful end, Wayne was one of the few veteran constants left on the roster when a new coaching staff and franchise quarterback set up shop the following summer. Andrew Luck’s successful 2012 rookie season happened in part because from day one he had one of the best receivers in the NFL there to guide him along the way. It’s no coincidence that Luck’s 2013 passer rating has gone from 92.75 in his first seven games with Wayne to 71.96 in the past five games since his season-ending injury against Denver.

There’s likely a new coaching staff and franchise quarterback, whether that’s Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater or another elite college passer, on the way in Houston. Johnson, who is signed with the Texans through 2016, will soon have the opportunity to shepherd his team’s turnaround in the same way that his fellow Hurricane did.

One thing the 2012 Colts didn’t have in their rebuilding effort was one of the league’s best young defensive players in J.J. Watt. Add a healthy Arian Foster to the mix and it’s not hard to picture a similar upswing.

Johnson told reporters after Thursday’s game that he’s tired of losing. If the Texans can emulate their AFC South rivals, that won’t be a worry next year.

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Andre Johnson shatters more records in loss

Andre Johnson gave another record-breaking performance despite the Texans’ 11-game losing streak. In Thursday’s 27-20 loss to Jacksonville, Johnson caught 13 passes for 154 yards. It was the 20th game in Johnson’s career with a game of at least 10 catches and 100 yards receiving, for the most in NFL history. 

Johnson also tied Jerry Rice, whom he considers “the greatest receiver to ever play,” with the most games of at least 10 receptions and 150 yards. Johnson and Rice both did so ten times in their careers.

Johnson’s 100-yard performance against Jacksonville was his sixth this season and the 50th of his career, which ties him with Don Maynard for the fifth-most in league history.

Johnson caught just 2-of-4 passes for 14 yards in the first half. When asked what he did differently in the second half to catch the bulk of his passes, Johnson’s response was simple.

“I didn’t do anything differently,” Johnson said. “I just had more opportunities and tried to make plays when they came my way.”

Johnson ranks as the Texans' all-time leading receiver with 900 receptions for 12,377 yards and 61 touchdowns in 11 eleven seasons. Last week he became the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach 900 receptions, doing so in 150 games.

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Stopping Andre Johnson again not easy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Houston receiver Andre Johnson is third in the NFL with 82 receptions.

The Jaguars are only responsible for two.

Johnson managed just two catches for 36 yards in the Jaguars' 13-6 victory over the Texans in Houston on Nov. 24. That success, however, doesn't mean anything when the teams meet again on Thursday night at EverBank Field.

"You definitely throw it out," cornerback Dwayne Gratz said. "You feel good about it for a little bit but it's a new game. He has more chances to go out there and make plays, so we've still got to do our job."

The Jaguars limited Johnson by making sure they knew where he was at all times. They play almost exclusively man coverage and cornerback Alan Ball drew Johnson most of the game. He was rarely alone, though. He had safety help over the top and a player without coverage responsibilities sliding over to help on shorter routes.

Another factor was the pass rush. The Jaguars got good pressure on Case Keenum, sacking him twice and hitting him five other times. They also broke up nine passes, including a big hit on Johnson by safety Winston Guy.

All Johnson could manage was a 15-yard catch on third-and-6 early in the third quarter and a 21-yarder on third-and-4 on the Texans' final drive.

"I think the first meeting they came in and had a great plan defensively and they did a great job of executing," Johnson said. "You have to give them credit. … I think when we played them last time we never got into rhythm as an offense."

Ball said the Jaguars will change some of the things they did in coverage because it would be foolish to expect the same things to work again. The Texans will obviously make adjustments to get Johnson more involved, too, like he was against New England last Sunday when he caught eight passes for 121yards.

But the thing that will stay the same is making the linebackers and defensive backs know where Johnson is at every moment.

"We're just going to go out and execute like it's the first time we're playing them and come with a new game plan and new strategy for just trying to limit his touches and limit his effectiveness," Ball said. "We know they're going to try to get him the ball. He's coming off a strong week last week so we expect carryover from that.

"But everybody on the defense has to be aware of where he's at and know how they're trying to attack you with his alignment. I think everybody needs to be on the same page and focused in on that."

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Andre Johnson reaches career milestone Sunday

Andre Johnson is now the second-fastest player in NFL history to reach 900 career receptions. Johnson was eight catches away from the career milestone heading into Sunday's game against New England reached 900 with his final catch of the game, a 15-yard catch in the fourth quarter.

"It's big," Johnson said after the game. "You play this game and have a childhood dream of just making it to the NFL. I never came into the NFL saying that I wanted to have 900 catches. I just said that I wanted to be a good football player. It's humbling. It just shows that the work you put into the game is paying off."

Johnson recorded 900 career receptions in 150 games. He is second behind only Marvin Harrison, the fastest player to do so, who reached 900 catches in just 149 games.

"I was able to get to see Marvin a lot because we played in the same division," Johnson said. "He's one of my favorite guys to watch play. To be in a class with him is a great feeling."

Rookie DeAndre Hopkins, who called the achievement "unbelievable," commended the All-Pro veteran on his ability to make big plays each week.

"The guy is a true leader on and off the field," Hopkins said. "I look up to him. Even when I wasn't playing for the Texans, he was my favorite player so it is an honor to be right next to him."

Johnson caught eight passes for 121 yards in Sunday's 34-31 loss to New England. He currently leads the Texans with 1123 receiving and five touchdowns through 12 games.

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Andre Johnson Admits Texans Are Worst Team in NFL After Dropping Ninth Straight, Adds ‘We Suck’

After Houston dropped their ninth straight game, Andre Johnson was in no mood to sugarcoat his thoughts on his team’s struggles.

Between the Texans’ quarterback shuffle and the team drawing boos from their own fans, things have gone from bad to worse for the team that jumped out to a 2-0 start to the season.

Failing to notch another victory since then, however, frustration has continued to build in Houston and after handing the Jaguars their second win of the season on Sunday, Johnson voiced his displeasure in a very candid, succinct manner.

“We suck,” Johnson said. “As an offense. That’s pretty much it.” The wide receiver hauled in only two catches on the day while Case Keenum threw for just 169 yards with an interception.

It was a poor showing for the Texans, once again, and Johnson didn’t hold back when asked if they were the worst team in the NFL. “I think our record shows it,” he said. “Yeah, if you look at our record, yeah, we’re the worst team.”

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Andre Johnson inches towards another career milestone

Receiver Andre Johnson needed 10 catches against Jacksonville to tie him with Marvin Harrison for the fastest to 900 in NFL history. Johnson had 2 catches for 36 yards.

Harrison reached 900 receptions in 149 games. Johnson has played in 148. Johnson is guaranteed of being the second-fastest. Torry Holt needed 165 games to catch 900 passes.
Johnson (137 games) was the second-fastest to 700 behind Harrison (131).

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Andre Johnson & Chris Myers Respond To Reed’s Comments

After being asked about Reed’s comments, several Texans players responded.

“I’m all about my team,” said defensive end J.J. Watt. “And I would assume he’s worried about his. I guess if he wants to continue talking about us that’s fine.”

Before his stint with the Texans, Reed was teammates with Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and center Chris Myers at the Universityicon1 of Miami. They weighed in as well.

“People have feelings. People feel certain ways,” Johnson told SportsRadio 610. “Maybe that’s something he felt when he was here. Other than that, I can’t really speak on it.”

Myers wouldn’t respond to Reed’s comments, but he backed his coaches play-calling.

“I played with Ed in college. And I’ve done it for a long time. He’s a great guy and a quality player,” Myers told SportsRadio 610. “He’s going to probably be a hall of fame player. But when it comes to the play-calling, leave it up to the coaches. And you know, whatever play they call, as long as we run it perfect it’s supposed to work.”

Despite his lack of production, Myers was happy the Texans brought the future Hall of Fame safety aboard:

“He’s a quality player. A much respected player in this league for a long time. And for any team to be able to get him is a huge asset,” said Myers. “Obviously it didn’t work out here, but he’s trying to make his due up in New York now. For us, it was a great chance to be able to have him and be a part of our defense. It just didn’t pan out. It was great having him while we did though.”

Reed will make his second homecoming to Baltimore this season Sunday, this time with the New York Jets. He was released by the Texans last Tuesday.

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Andre Johnson on staying a Texan: 'I'm under contract'

Andre Johnson dismissed his heated, late-game argument with Matt Schaub after the Houston Texans lost 28-23 to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

At 2-8, the Texans' season is forked, and a coaching change likely is on the horizon. Johnson was asked if he'd want to stick around Houston for a rebuild.

"I'm under contract, so I have to play my contract out," Johnson said, per "I can't do anything about that."

Johnson is signed through 2016.

The 11-year NFL veteran spent his first seven seasons wallowing on terrible and mediocre Texans teams before even earning a winning record. After making the playoffs the last two seasons, Houston was supposed to contend this season for a Super Bowl. Instead, it has lost eight consecutive games.

Changes are coming, but 32-year-old Johnson said he doesn't plan to ask for a trade.

"I've always said this is where I wanted to be, so I don't really have anything to say about that," Johnson said. "I still have an ongoing contract."

This was not how Johnson envisioned the twilight of his spectacular career. He still is one of the most productive NFL receivers when given opportunities. It would be a shame if he got swallowed in another rebuild.

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Andre Johnson is justifiably perturbed

HOUSTON -- "I messed up, I'll leave it at that," Andre Johnson said with a tired-looking smile following the Houston Texans' eighth consecutive loss.

He was talking about the Texans' final offensive play of the game, one that sparked a heated discussion between he and quarterback Matt Schaub. Schaub entered the game late in the third quarter after Texans coach Gary Kubiak benched Case Keenum. After jawing at each other, Johnson walked off the field, away from Schaub.

Johnson said this emphatically after the game: "Matt and I are fine."

He added that he and Schaub talked more in the locker room after they'd each cooled off. Schaub echoed that the two players had no problem with each other.

Players get into it with each other and even coaches on the field sometimes. They get frustrated. They yell. They wave their arms around sometimes. But Johnson's actions were just one sign of mounting frustration for the best player in franchise history.

Johnson slogged through five losing seasons to start his career and didn't have a winning season until his eighth year in the NFL, when the Texans went 9-7. His team finally made the playoffs in 2011 and 2012. With consecutive playoff seasons and a roster that seemed to be getting only better, Johnson thought the days of losing were behind him. Asked last week how tough this season has been, he said it was the most frustrating he has been through because of the expectations.

Now the Texans are 2-8, on a franchise record eight-game losing streak.

"I'm under contract, so I have to play my contract out," Johnson said, when asked if he was happy playing for the Texans moving forward. "I can't do anything about that."

Once more, he was asked if he would be willing to go through more losing seasons as he had before.

"I've always said this is where I wanted to be, so I don’t really have anything to say about that," Johnson said. "I still have an ongoing contract."

It was noted to Johnson that he could ask for a trade.

"Yeah, they can," he said. "I don’t know. I never asked for a trade. Did you hear anything about that?"

His contract goes through the 2016 season, and it's one that has been reworked repeatedly to help alleviate salary cap issues.

He isn't going to ask for a trade, that's just not who Johnson is. But his frustration at this season is completely understandable. Johnson doesn't have another 10 years to be patient through another rebuild. He has never looked elsewhere, he has never even reached free agency. He's stuck with a team, believing in its plan, and now that plan is crumbling.

Is he the same player he was five years ago? No. But last week's two acrobatic touchdowns and the previous week's three touchdowns showed Johnson is still a top-tier receiver, having adjusted to what he does well now.

When Johnson came to Houston, he joined a struggling expansion team looking for an identity. He has already been through one additional rebuild here. It would be a shame if his career ended with another rebuild, on a team that's once again searching for an identity.

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Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson have heated exchange at end of Texans’ close loss to Raiders (Video)

In the latest edition of quarterback-receiver arguments on Texas-based NFL teams, embattled Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub was involved in a shouting match with All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson at the end of the team’s 28-23 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

The Texans had a third-and-1 from the Oakland two-yard-line with 1:28 remaining, but failed to get the go-ahead touchdown when Schaub missed Johnson, who was covered by multiple Raiders defenders, on a fourth-down throw into the end zone.

When the offense came off the field, Schaub and Johnson were seen jawing at each other until people stepped in to separate the teammates. Johnson turned around and walked off the field while the Raiders were kneeling down to kill the clock.


According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Johnson was also seen getting frustrated with Schaub late in the fourth quarter when the QB didn’t see him open in the secondary.

Schaub, the Texans starter who was injured last month, replaced Sunday’s starter Case Keenum late in the third quarter. He downplayed the incident with Johnson after the game.

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In defeat, Andre Johnson shines with 2 scores

He only finished with 37 receiving yards, but Andre Johnson still managed to produce a pair of “wow” moments during Sunday’s loss at Arizona.

With 5:55 left in the opening quarter, Johnson pulled down a 7-yard Case Keenum pass and tapped both feet in bounds on the right sideline for a score. With 4:34 remaining in regulation, he went up and reeled in a deflection off Arizona’s Patrick Peterson, again bringing both feet down in bounds for a score.

“Those were two of the best catches I’ve ever seen in my life,” Keenum said. “Those were incredible. I can’t even describe it. You have to watch it to see how awesome those catches are.”

Interim head coach Wade Phillips took it a step further.

“How terrific is he?” Phillips said. “He can make fantastic plays. That’s why he’s going to be a Hall of Famer one of these days. He’s such a tremendous competitor, not just ability, but he’s a great competitor. I’m glad we’ve got him on our team.”

For Johnson, though, it was just a matter of taking advantage of a pair of chances Keenum gave him.

“I always just try to make the best of my opportunities,” Johnson said. “He gave me an opportunity with the ball. I was able to make the plays on them.”

All touchdowns are reviewed with instant replay, and the officials took a little extra time making sure Johnson’s feet were in bounds. Whether or not he scored was never in question for Johnson.

“I knew my feet were in,” Johnson said. “That’s something I work on a lot, keeping my feet inbounds when I make catches. I never had any doubt about it.”

On the day, Johnson was targeted 12 times by Keenum, and he came down with five receptions. His longest was a 14-yarder early in the second quarter, and that drive would result in a Keenum to Ryan Griffin 2-yard scoring strike. Johnson was covered by third-year cornerback Patrick Peterson, who was highly complimentary of the Texans’ pass-catcher.

“The thing all great receivers have in common is the will to get the ball,” Peterson said. “Having great body control, strong hands, and field awareness, as you saw today.”

For Johnson, though, the two scores weren’t enough to overcome the sting of the team’s seventh consecutive loss. And despite falling to 2-7, Johnson was focused on helping the team get back in the win column.

“We put ourselves in this position,” Johnson said. “There’s no reason to sit around and whine about it. Nothing we can do about it now. We just have to look forward to the games ahead and try to win as many as we can.”

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Andre Johnson with incredible TD catch (GIF)

It’s no secret that Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is one of the best in the game. That still doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy it every time that he shows off that ability, like he did just moments ago in the game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Texans were down 27-17 with time winding down in the fourth quarter. At the Cardinals five-yard line, the Texans decided to utilize the growing chemistry between new QB Case Keenum and Johnson.

Being so close to the end zone, they decided to call a jump ball to Johnson, which he turned into one of the more amazing plays of the day thus far:


It is absolutely insane sometimes how easy Johnson makes plays like these look. He was able to literally just rip the ball away from the defender who had tremendous coverage on him.

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proCanes James Jones, Lamar Thomas, Andre Johnson, Clinton Portis headline 2014 UM Sports Hall of Fame inductees

Current Texans receiver Andre Johnson and Hurricanes football greats Clinton Portis and Lamar Thomas headline the UM Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014.

All eight members will be formally introduced at halftime of Miami’s home finale against Virginia on Saturday, Nov. 23.

The Class of 2014 also includes Heat forward James Jones (basketball, 1999-2003), Jeff Morrison (baseball, 1978-81), Wyllesheia Myrick (track, 1998-2002), Rio Ramirez (diving, 1997-99) and Javy Rodriguez (baseball, 1999-2002).

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1966 by eight Dade County Circuit Court judges, who wanted to establish an organization that would recognize those student-athletes, coaches and administrators who excelled at their sport and brought acclaim to the University of Miami through achievements and championships.

With the addition of the eight newest members, the Sports Hall of Fame will increase to 282 honorees. The eight-member class will be inducted at the 46th annual UMSHoF Induction Banquet, which will be held April 10, 2014.

For more information on the banquet, fans can visit or call 305-284-2775.

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Andre Johnson has big game for Texans

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson came up huge for his team and for fantasy owners on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. Johnson caught nine passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns, though it wasn't enough to lift them past the Colts, who won 27-24.

Johnson accounted for all of Houston's touchdown production, and was crucial in Case Keenum having a strong game. He out-performed everybody else in the game, and has catapulted himself into the top five of receiving yardage for wide receivers in the league.

He comes in at No. 4, behind A.J. Green, DeSean Jackson and Calvin Johnson, and is just ahead of New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham. He's one of the better receivers in the league, but had come up short of 100-plus yards over the past three games.

Fantasy Impact: Johnson needed to have a big game, given that the Texans have been so poor lately. They're 2-6 on the season, with Johnson being one of the lone bright spots. He's as big a must-start as there is at wide receiver at this point. Fantasy owners have to be happy with his performance.

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Andre Johnson practices

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (shin) was able to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Fantasy Tip: More will be known on Johnson's status later in the week. Johnson might be playing without starting QB Matt Schaub (ankle, foot), and the QB situation, coupled with facing a strong Kansas City Chiefs defense, makes him useful only as a low-end WR2 or must-start WR3 in most formats.

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Chris Myers, Andre Johnson promote unity in midst of skid

The Texans’ record is falling apart. But key offensive starters were adamant Wednesday the team’s chemistry remains intact, and a 2-4 squad is mentally preparing for a critical road game at Kansas City on Sunday.

“It’s the way it has to be: strong character on this team,” center Chris Myers said. “The older guys are bringing along the younger guys and understanding that when that kind of stuff starts happening, the team starts separating. All you can do right now is stay together.”

Receiver Andre Johnson was among several players who said the team had a strong practice Wednesday and is ready to put its frustrating four-game skid in the past.

“You would think guys would be walking around mad at each other or just down, but everybody is just talking about getting out of this funk. That’s a great thing,” Johnson said. “Guys are still able to keep a positive energy around here.”

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Andre Johnson: Cheering Matt Schaub's injury not right

The Houston Texans thought last week's blowout loss in San Francisco was rock bottom. They had no clue.

Matt Schaub hurt his ankle Sunday during an ugly 38-13 loss to the St. Louis Rams. The ugliest, most memorable moment came courtesy of the home crowd.

After booing Schaub during the game, Texans fans cheered when he went down with an injury. Backup quarterback T.J. Yates also got a rousing ovation when he entered the game.

"No class," Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson said of his home crowd after the game, via NFL Media's Jeff Darlington. "It's bad when members of the other team are saying that's messed up. No class."

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Andre Johnson likely to be a game-time decision

The last thing the Texans offense needs right now is something else to go wrong, but they may be facing a Week Six date with the Rams without wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Johnson is suffering from a hamstring injury that kept him out of practice on Wednesday and coach Gary Kubiak said that he missed the bulk of Thursday’s session as well. Kubiak went on to say that he thinks Johnson will likely be a game-time decision for the game against the Rams.

While rookie DeAndre Hopkins has had his moments through the first five weeks, the prospect of playing without Johnson has to be a scary one for the Texans. Tight end Owen Daniels is already out and quarterback Matt Schaub’s dismal play of late has been very well documented. Even having a limited Johnson on the field to occupy the attention of the St. Louis defense would be a plus for Houston in a week where they really need things to go as easily as possible for their offense.

Johnson last missed a Texans game in Week 16 of the 2011 season.

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Andre Johnson limited in Texans’ practice

Andre Johnson is still dealing with a shin bruise he received during a Week 3 matchup at Baltimore.

Johnson caught nine passes for 110 yards last Sunday during an overtime home loss against Seattle. He was limited in practice Thursday, but part of the restraint was based upon his normal rest pattern.

“His leg’s still sore,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said at Reliant Stadium. “He moved around a little bit (Wednesday). Took a little bit (Thursday). Just working through the soreness and also kind of part of the protocol we follow with him.”

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Andre Johnson: I don't care what fans think

It was a rough day to be a fan of the Houston Texans. The Texans blew a 20-3 halftime lead against Seattle and ended up losing to the Seahawks 23-20 in overtime.

One of the biggest plays in the game came in the fourth quarter when Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman picked off Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. Sherman returned the interception 58-yards for a touchdown, tying the game at 20 with 2:40 left in the fourth quarter.

As you can imagine, the fans at Reliant Stadium in Houston weren't too thrilled with Schaub's pick, so they started to boo him. It wasn't just Schaub that was getting booed either, the fans booed the entire offense on the Texans next offensive possession.

Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson doesn't seem to mind being booed because he doesn't care what the fans think.

"Fans are going to be fans," Johnson said, via "You have some that are loyal. You have some that are fair-weather, and they only come around when you win. I've been here when it was 2-14 and there was hardly anybody in the stands, so I really don't care about what fans think. A lot of them don't understand what players go through. They can talk about what they want to talk about."

It's probably a good thing that Johnson doesn't really 'care about what fans think' because some might not like him after reading his comments and some might even boo him. Although they might not boo him because he's the Texans leading receiver. Johnson led all players in the game on Sunday with nine catches for 110 yards.

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Andre Johnson returns to practice

The Texans got wide receiver Andre Johnson back at practice on Thursday, but they’re no closer to determining his status for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks.

Johnson was a limited participant in practice, sticking to just individual drills and sitting out team work a day after he wasn’t able to practice at all. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that Kubiak said that the Texans are still considering Johnson a game-time decision for Sunday.

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Andre Johnson hauling in decent stats despite injury issues

Even though he’s been forced to leave the last two games with concussion and leg injuries, receiver Andre Johnson is averaging 8.3 catches during the Texans’ 2-1 start.

Johnson, 32, has 25 receptions for 258 yards. He has 45 100-yard games in his career, more than any active receiver. He’s tied for 10th on the NFL’s career list.

Johnson, who has a  bruised shin but is expected to play against Seattle on Sunday,  has 13 games left in regular season.  He needs five more to surpass Isaac Bruce (45), Jimmy Smith (46), Michael Irvin (47) and Torry Holt (47).

Fifty 100-yard games would tie Johnson with Don Maynard.

Jerry Rice is the all-time leader with 76.

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Andre Johnson ‘sore,’ hopes to play Sunday

Veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson (shin bruise) is still dealing with soreness and will likely be a game-time decision Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, coach Gary Kubiak said.

Johnson did not practice Wednesday. He exited a road loss Sunday to Baltimore and didn’t finish his second consecutive game.

“We’ll see where we’re at (Thursday),” Kubiak said.

Despite the soreness, Kubiak hinted Johnson will likely play against the Seahawks.

“I think Andre’s going to do everything he can to be there,” Kubiak said. “He is very sore (Wednesday). So we’ll let it run its course and see how he’s feeling.”

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Andre Johnson Day-To-Day

Houston (CBS Houston) - For the second straight week Andre Johnson was unable to finish a game.  Johnson was taken out of Sunday’s 30 to 9 loss with a leg injury. After the game, Johnson specified he had sustained a bruised shin and would undergo an MRI.

Luckily for the Texans, the tests were negative, it’s a shin bruise.

“He did come out okay. All of the x-rays were fine so it’s just a matter of working him back through it. It will probably be a day to day process.” Gary Kubiak said Monday.

Kubiak didn’t specify whether or not  Johnson will play this weekend but after the game the wideout seemed optimistic.

“As far as right now, I plan on playing.”  said Johnson after the 30 to 9 loss in Baltimore.

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Andre Johnson frustrated after early exit due to injury

Texans receiver Andre Johnson didn’t want to leave his team in Week 2, but a concussion forced him off the field.

A shin bruise got the best of Johnson on Sunday during the Texans’ 30-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Johnson, 32, again didn’t want to leave the contest. But a hobbling receiver who was limping after the game realized the Texans were better off without him.

“Very, very frustrating,” said Johnson, who caught five passes for 36 yards. “You kind of just go back and forth with the coaches, trying to tell them you’re OK, hoping that it feels better. I know that if I would’ve went out there, I couldn’t play the way that I’m capable of playing. And you see the film, I’m out there limping around.”

Johnson said it was too soon to determine whether he’ll be available in Week 4 against Seattle at Reliant Stadium. X-rays taken at halftime were negative.

“I watched him the first play,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “We threw the ball the first play, and I wanted to see him run. I did not think he could run the way he needs to to play, so we took him out.”

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Andre Johnson looks likely to play Sunday

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is reportedly in the final stage of the NFL league concussion protocol, according to the team's official website. That final stage involves practicing with pads. The receiver's quick progression means the team is optimistic he will be ready to play in Houston's game Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

"If today's an indicator," head coach Gary Kubiak said Wednesday, "then we should be there tomorrow," saying that he is hopeful Johnson will be able to play.

Johnson was injured Sunday late in the fourth quarter, when Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard hit him while making a catch near the end zone. Johnson left the game after holding on to the catch, and Pollard was fined $42,000 for the hit.

Fantasy impact: Johnson has caught 20 of his 29 targets so far this season for 222 yards, though he has yet to notch a touchdown. The 32-year-old is still easily the Texans' best passing option, though rookie DeAndre Hopkins has impressed so far as well.

When it looked like Johnson might miss Sunday, Hopkins' stock was rising. With this news that the star receiver could very likely play in Week 3, Hopkins' value probably levels off around that of a flex receiver. Johnson, meanwhile, is a must-start, assuming he does take the field.

Concussions are dicey propositions, of course, so owners need to keep a close eye on Johnson's situation. But for now, it looks good for him.

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Andre Johnson 'should be ready to go' despite concussion

LaronByrd 2
Arizona Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd comprise a solid top three. LaRon Byrd and Kerry Taylor are the only other receivers on the roster. First-year coach Bruce Arians has said receiver is one position he doesn't worry about. Floyd's continued development after an encouraging finish to the 2012 season will be important. The former coaching staff envisioned moving Roberts to the slot, with Fitzgerald and Floyd on the perimeter. That could still happen. Arians also plans to move Fitzgerald around the formation the way he moved Reggie Wayne in Indianapolis last season. Drafting a receiver for depth would make sense, but there's no need to chase one early. The Cardinals released veteran Early Doucet, who struggled with drops last season.

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Week 2 NFL proCane Photos

proCane Texans WR Andre Johnson (80)
Bears proCane KR Devin Hester (23)
proCane Falcons P Mat Bosher
proCane Colts WR Reggie Wayne (87)
proCane Browns WR Travis Benjamin (80)
proCane Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (93)

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Andre Johnson making progress

Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said WR Andre Johnson (concussion) is making progress in his recovery from a concussion. Kubiak said the team will determine his status at the end of the week because he has to go through the concussion protocol.

Fantasy Tip: Johnson will have to pass several tests before he receives clearance to play after his concussion. Owners will have to monitor the situation to see if he is cleared to play Week 3.

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Andre Johnson faces detailed process under NFL concussion protocol

When Texans receiver Andre Johnson disappeared from the playing field Sunday at Reliant Stadium, he entered the mysterious world of the NFL’s “concussion protocol,” which includes several layers of tests and exams that players must pass before they can return to play — and even then, only after they are cleared to do so by an independent neurological professional.

There are some new elements this year, and they begin with the system used to monitor players during games and the manner in which they are assessed for possible concussions, said Dr. Kenneth Podell, a neuropsychologist who is co-director of the Methodist Concussion Center.

Watching from above
At each game, Dr. Podell said, there is now an “eye in the sky” observer who scans the field looking for players who may require assessment for a concussion.
“Did somebody stumble when they got up, or is there something about their behavior on the sideline?” he said. “The observer can send an FYI down to the team, or they can send a video clip to the sideline in real time to be checked out.”

In cases such as the hit Sunday by Titans safety Bernard Pollard on Johnson, teams don’t require an observer to tell them a player needs assessment. Beginning this year, players in those cases are assessed by an independent neurological observer. There is one on each sideline, assigned by the league but not affiliated with the team.

“The NFL has a formal document called the Standardized Concussions Assessment Tool, which has been modified to focus on orientation, memory, concentration, balance and symptoms,” Dr. Podell said. “They will do a neurological exam, and if a concussion is determined, the player will be removed from competition.”

The SCAT, a copy of which is available at, informs professionals that a “conservative, safety-first approach should be adopted” in such exams. Exams, which require 10 to 15 minutes, can be administered on the field or in a quieter location, and results are compared with each player’s preseason baseline test.

Any of six physical criteria, including loss of consciousness, amnesia and confusion, can result in a player’s being barred from further play. Five additional questions are designed to help determine if a player has suffered more serious brain trauma.

Players also are administered a 65-point exam that includes the month, date and year, the venue, who scored the most recent touchdown, the team’s previous opponent and the outcome of that game. One test requires a player to recall a list of words, and another requires him to repeat a list of numbers. He also must answer a list of symptoms, including “don’t feel right” and feeling “in a fog.”

Any player diagnosed with a concussion must be escorted to the locker room or training room for observation and cannot return to the field under any circumstances under league rules. After the game, it is determined whether he can return home and under what circumstances.

Long path to field
The return-to-play path can begin one to two days after the game. Players are evaluated using elements of the SCAT and monitored to determine when they are back to normal without return of symptoms, followed by another round of cognitive tests.

According to guidelines from the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee, “Once symptoms have subsided, players submit once again to the standard baseline testing, plus the 30-45 minutes required to complete more advanced versions. Sometimes there is additional testing with the neuropsychologist. Even then, there are no pass-fail grades, only additional data for doctors to interpret.”

Physical tests as well
If a player shows progress on his tests, he can be cleared for return to physical activity.

“It’s a gradual increase in exercise intensity,” Dr. Podell said. “We start with cardio, advance to intense cardio with weight lifting and position-specific drills. If athletes continue to be symptom-free, they advance to the next stage.”

NFL regulations, he said, allow a player to complete up to two stages each day. A player might be allowed light cardio activity in the morning, for example, and moderate activity that afternoon.

Further stages include a return to non-contact drills, contact drills and, eventually, a return to the playing field. But even after a player is cleared by the team doctor, he must be evaluated by an independent concussion expert approved by the NFL and NFL Players Association.

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Andre Johnson will eventually have to consider a pay cut

We’ve gotten a look at the money-shifting restructuring signed earlier this week by Texans receiver Andre Johnson.  While the more immediate reality is that the deal created $4.125 million in 2013 cap space for the Texans, the deal now sets the stage for a tough decision as soon as 2014.

The conversion of $4.5 million in base salary and a $1 million roster bonus to a signing bonus simply pushes an extra $4.125 million into future years, at a rate of $1.375 million for each of the next three seasons.  It increases Johnson’s cap number in 2014 to $12.1 million and in 2015 to a whopping $16.1 million.

With the salary cap staying fairly flat and the free-agency market currently depressed, the 32-year-old Johnson’s skills likely will at some point intersect with the financial commitment, compelling Johnson to take less in order to stay on the team.

Maybe Johnson will do it in order to stay with the only team for which he’s ever played.  Either way, the bridge will need to be crossed at some point in the next two years.

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Texans' Andre Johnson hones interview craft, too

HOUSTON -- Andre Johnson isn't widely known as a media darling. He doesn't seek the spotlight off the field. He doesn't always come across on television because he speaks softly. Reporters who covered him in college remember him as a shy guy who tended to mumble. On a team full of stars, Johnson wasn't sought after when he was eligible to speak.

Somewhere along the way, the Houston Texans' star receiver realized his role had changed.

It's made him one of the most professional and best interviews on the team. That isn't always the case with superstars, especially one with his longevity (he's entering his 11th NFL season).

"I just think you have to be careful about what you say," Johnson told me after one of the Texans' preseason games. "Sometimes certain things shouldn't be said, and sometimes things need to be said. I just think because in the media, sometimes your words can get twisted up."

He doesn't see his thoughtfulness as a favor, rather as a way to make sure he is represented properly.

Teams are allowed to limit one or two players to one interview a week, but Johnson never hides behind that, rarely declining if asked.

I've never heard Johnson snap at someone or be even close to rude. Not letting words bother him is something he's honed on the field. In fact, when Johnson fought with then-Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan in 2010, the incident surprised players around the league because it was so out of character for him. His professionalism off the field translates on it, too.

"I'm not going to go back and forth with you; I gotta play the game," Johnson said. "You want to talk all game, I'll go out there and have 10, 11 catches, and X amount of yards. You can keep talking, but you look bad. The more you talk to me, the more damage I'm going to do to you on the field."

He's made a decent career of coming through on that promise.

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Andre Johnson restructures Texans contract to facilitate Brian Cushing deal

For the third straight year, Andre Johnson restructured his contract to create salary cap space for the Texans. Houston reworked Johnson's deal on Tuesday, in order to create enough room for Brian Cushing's six-year extension.

Johnson was set to earn a base salary of $10.5 million this season, but he and the Texans agreed to a deal that reduced his base salary to $5 million with the other $5.5 million converted to bonuses, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. The Texans and Johnson agreed to similar deals in each of the past two seasons, reducing his base salary and converting the difference into a bonus.

Although the latest restructure will help Houston in the short term, it could have an impact on Johnson's long-term standing with the team. Joel Corry, a salary cap expert for National Football Post and former agent, said Johnson could eventually become candidate for release because each restructure raises his future cap numbers.

Johnson's salary cap numbers aren't likely to be a factor as long as he remains productive. However, at 32 years old, he could begin to decline soon, at which point his cap number may be too high for Houston to justify or manage.

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Andre Johnson made it clear: he's ready

Andre Johnson doesn't talk much on the field and he speaks quietly off it.

Often, the wide receiver lets his play speak for him, as was the case Sunday afternoon in the Houston Texans' third preseason game.

"You definitely try to send a message that you're ready to go," the receiver said. "I think by going out and showing guys that you're ready to go, that makes them step their game up. That's what I try to do. I'm not a big rah-rah guy. I just try to lead by example. When I'm out on the field, whether it's 10 plays or 70 plays I'm going to give everything I got. So that's what I did."

Things went about as well as they could have for Johnson in Sunday's preseason game against the New Orleans Saints. He was a beacon of consistency on an offense that stalled at times during the Texans' 31-23 loss. Johnson caught seven passes for 131 yards in one half of play.

Johnson sometimes offhandedly mentions that people thought he was washed up last season, a season in which he caught a career high 1,598 yards. He didn't after Sunday's game, but he brought it up last week when asked about outsiders' opinions about the Texans.

So was he trying to send message to his teammates or the rest of the league?

"It don't matter," Johnson said, smiling.

Message sent (to whomever).

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Ed Reed post-Super Bowl text to Andre Johnson: 'Get me to Houston'

After the Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII in February over the 49ers, safety Ed Reed wasn't thinking about going to Disney World or Bourbon Street, he was thinking about going somewhere else: Houston.

How do we know that? Because Reed admitted it on Tuesday.

Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson sent Reed a congratulatory text after the Ravens 34-31 win over San Francisco and well, let's let Reed tell the rest of the story.

"Andre just said congratulations," Reed said, via "He said congratulations and it was more my comment to him."

What exactly was Reed's comment to Johnson?

"Get me to Houston," Reed said he responded.

For someone playing on a team that just won a Super Bowl, that's an interesting response.

Reed's comments would seem to insinuate he didn't want to be in Baltimore anymore, which is interesting because the feeling seemed to be mutual. Less than two weeks after Ed Reed signed with the Texans in March, a report surfaced claiming that Baltimore coach John Harbaugh didn't want Reed back. However, the Ravens would later deny that Harbaugh felt that way.

The bottom line here seems to be: Reed wanted to be in Houston and now he is. So does he think his new team can win the Super Bowl?

"The pieces are here but we still have a long way to go,” he said. “The Super Bowl is a long way from now and we still have a lot of work in training camp. This is only the first week. We still have a long way to go, still have a lot to learn."

Reed may have wanted out of Baltimore, but he'll still be going back soon. The Texans go on the road to play the Ravens in Week 3 of the regular season.

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Andre Johnson, Chris Myers all for HGH testing

The NFL and the NFL Players Association are doing a study they believe will lead to testing for human growth hormone. Players are required to give blood when they report. The league and union are trying to see how many test positive before they implement the testing program.

“I’m all for it,” wide receiver Andre Johnson said. “I’m for it. I’m not taking anything, so I really don’t care. Whatever they need to do to stay on top of guys and make sure the game is played the right way, I’m all for it.”

Center Chris Myers agreed.

“To be perfectly honest with you, I couldn’t care less,” Myers said. “I don’t take it. I don’t know who does take it. I have never met a guy who has admitted taking it.”

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Andre Johnson says Ed Reed will play in season opener

Receiver Andre Johnson said today he has spoken to Ed Reed, and the injured free safety told him he will be ready to start in the opening game at San Diego.

Reed has been recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his hip. He suffered the injury in the AFC Championship Game victory at New England. He aggravated it during workouts with the Texans and had the surgery.

Johnson and Reed have been close friends since they were teammates at the University of Miami. Johnson helped the Texans recruit Reed in March.
Reed will be limited in camp as he continues to undergo rehabilitation. Coach Gary Kubiak will bring him along slowly and will make sure he’s 100 percent before he gets on the field.

While Reed recuperates, rookie D.J. Swearinger, the second-round pick, and veterans Shiloh Keo and Eddie Pleasant will get a lot more repetitions.

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Andre Johnson eager to help rookie DeAndre Hopkins

Veteran receiver Andre Johnson reported for his 11th training camp with the Texans, and he’s excited about playing with rookie DeAndre Hopkins, the first-round pick from South Carolina.

Johnson had 112 catches for 1,598 yards but only four touchdowns last season. Hopkins is supposed to play well enough to force defenses to not concentrate coverage so much on Johnson.

“He has a lot of talent,” Johnson said. “I had a chance to work with him in the (offseason program). I’m going to help him as much as I can. I’ll help anybody they (coaches) want me to help.”

Hopkins is the first receiver the Texans have selected in the first round since Johnson in 2003. It’ll be interesting to see if Hopkins can come close to the 66 catches for 976 yards Johnson had as a rookie.

Asked what impresses him the most about Hopkins, and Johnson said, “his hands. He has great hands. I’ve never seen anybody one-hand the ball like he does.

“He’s really pumped about being a Texan.”

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Half-step not an Andre Johnson issue

Has Andre Johnson lost a half-step?

Maybe so.

I don’t care what the Houston Texans wide receiver has lost if he’s producing like he did last season.

In a recent column at the National Football Post, Len Pasquarelli wrote of how the Texaqns have worked to restock the receiving corps.

Sure they’d like to have the next Johnson before the actual Johnson enters his twilight. But drafting four receivers over the past two seasons hasn’t been primarily about replacing Johnson. It’s been about, as Pasquarelli pointed out, finding an “explosive complement” to him.

Wrote Pasquarelli:
“… [T]here has been no real discernable drop-off. But some opponents suggest that Johnson has lost perhaps a half-step, and isn’t as explosive. Johnson had only four touchdown catches last season, his fewest since 2002 in a season in which he played at least nine games. So while the bigger emphasis has been on (DeAndre) Hopkins, who should provide Houston and quarterback Matt Schaub a quality No. 2 starter, the club has privately allowed there is a need to start developing one of the other young wide receivers as well. Second-year veteran DeVier Posey had some flashes as a rookie in ’12, and fellow youngsters Keshawn Martin and Lestar Jean have promise as well. One of them needs to step up as a viable No. 3, and possible Johnson replacement in a few years.”

It will be difficult for Posey to do it this season, as he’s likely not ready until midseason after shredding his Achilles in the playoff loss at New England. Hopkins should be the eventual replacement for Johnson as the No. 1, while the Texans need one of the others to emerge as a No. 2.

We talked a year ago about the possibility that Johnson's legs were starting to go as he had multiple issues in 2011. He responded with 112 catches for 1,598 yards -- the second most productive yardage season in the NFL. Johnson’s never had more yards, and has only had more catches once.

The Texans were overly reliant on Johnson last season, and need some of the new guys, particularly rookie first-rounder Hopkins, to help change that.

As for Johnson's four touchdown catches, I don’t see them as an indicator of some drop-off in play. Rather, they speak to where he caught the ball most of the time.

If the Texans are to be a more threatening offense, Johnson has to have chances to score and more balls aimed at him in the end zone. That’s on Gary Kubiak and Schaub more than Johnson.

(Four links in four graphs there to previous posts about Johnson and the Texans' passing game. That's a new record I believe. Shall we have a parade)?

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Andre Johnson has 'lost a half-step' according to some evaluators

The Houston Texans chose DeAndre Hopkins in the first round 2 ½ months ago, in large part to provide an explosive complement to Andre Johnson at wide receiver. And the former Clemson star has, coaches acknowledge, been one of the standouts in offseason workouts. “You can really see the obvious (playmaking) skills,” Texans general manager Rick Smith said. But the Texans may need to start looking down the road as well to a future replacement for Johnson, who turns 32 this week. The 10-year veteran still rates among the NFL’s premier wideouts – he started all 16 games in 2012, the first time that has occurred since 2009, and posted 112 catches – and there has been no real discernable drop-off. But some opponents suggest that Johnson has lost perhaps a half-step, and isn’t as explosive. Johnson had only four touchdown catches last season, his fewest since 2002 in a season in which he played at least nine games. So while the bigger emphasis has been on Hopkins, who should provide Houston and quarterback Matt Schaub a quality No. 2 starter, the club has privately allowed there is a need to start developing one of the other young wide receivers as well. Second-year veteran DeVier Posey had some flashes as a rookie in ’12, and fellow youngsters Keshawn Martin and Lestar Jean have promise as well. One of them needs to step up as a viable No. 3, and possible Johnson replacement in a few years.

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TDs Wayne, Johnson should have caught

Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne are the headliners among wide receivers in the AFC South.

They are prominent in the most-recent round of research by Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus.

Boiled down, Clay attempts to find something more telling than red zone numbers. Why? Well, over the past five seasons, catches at the 16-yard line resulted in touchdowns 4.6 percent of the time and catches at the 21-yard line resulted in touchdowns 4.0 percent of the time.

If that 5-yard difference is minimal, why should we expect a catch at the 16 to be more productive than a catch at the 21?

“[T]here’s no reason we should be using an arbitrary number to weight what does and doesn’t count as a ‘scoring opportunity,’” Clay writes. “... Should a wide receiver screen to Randall Cobb from the 19-yard line really be valued the same as a quick slant to Calvin Johnson at the 2-yard line? Of course not. But, if you’re referencing [red zone] data, that’s exactly what you’re doing.”

So Clay calculates oTD -- opportunity-adjusted touchdowns.

Brandon Marshall of Chicago was the best receiver (and overall player) in oTD in 2012 at 12.0. Given the same hands and same quarterback as everyone else, he’d be expected to score 12 touchdowns based on his catches. He scored 11.

Wayne’s oTD was 9.9. That means based on where he was catching the ball, he “should” have had 4.9 more touchdowns than the four he scored.

Johnson’s oTD was 4.8. That means based on where he was catching the ball, his five touchdown catches were right in line with his expected touchdown catches.

Johnson's expected touchdowns should be the same, if not higher, than Wayne's, I would think.

What were the biggest differences between the two?

Johnson’s average distance from the end zone on his targets was 49.7, significantly higher than Wayne’s 44.2. And Johnson was only targeted in the end zone six times, where he caught just one pass, while Wayne was targeted 16 times in the end zone and caught four touchdowns there.

We already tied into the Texans and the issue of throwing into the end zone.

Here is further evidence they could be trying to do more with Johnson in the end zone.

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Gary Kubiak thinks too much Andre Johnson is just right

Coach Gary Kubiak promises the Texans will continue to run a high percentage of their passing offense through Andre Johnson.

In 2012, Houston was one of just four NFL teams to target one receiver more than the rest combined (58.1 percent). Asked about the 58.1 percent target rate, Kubiak replied "Tell them a big percentage is going to go through him again. It's going to happen again." Johnson will continue to be the No. 1 read on the heavy majority of Matt Schaub's dropbacks, which is great for fantasy value.

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Andre Johnson off to healthy start in 2013

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Andre Johnson both missed OTAs because of injuries in 2012. They’re both fully healthy in 2013.

The Texans’ defense is currently without Brian Cushing and Ed Reed, but the only 2012 starter on offense missing OTAs due to injury is right tackle Derek Newton.

“It’s great to have everyone healthy,” Johnson said after practice on Monday. “I couldn’t tell you the last time I did OTAs, so I’m happy just to be back out here with my teammates and everything is feeling good.”

Johnson missed OTAs last offseason after having arthroscopic knee surgery. He missed nine games with hamstring injuries in 2011 and hyper-extended his knee in between. He went on to start all 16 games in 2012 and, at the age of 31, led the AFC with a career high with 1,598 receiving yards.

Schaub missed last year’s OTAs while recovering from a season-ending 2011 Lisfranc injury. He started every game in 2012 and led the Texans to a 12-4 record and the second round of the playoffs. But the Texans finished 2-4, a span in which Schaub threw three touchdowns and five interceptions.

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Alabama chasing draft record Andre Johnson and Ed Reed helped set - Falls Short

The talent the Miami Hurricanes produced in their glory days is still unsurpassed.

This year, Alabama could inch closer to those teams.

Miami is the only college football program that has ever had at least four first-round draft picks in four consecutive years. Alabama has had four first-round picks the past two seasons. If they do it again this year, they’ll join the Canes as the only two college football programs ever to have at least four first-rounders in three straight years.

Alabama had defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, receiver Julio Jones, offensive tackle James Carpenter and running back Mark Ingram in 2011, then running back Trent Richardson, defensive back Mark Barron, defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick and linebacker Dont’a Hightower in 2012.

Miami did it from 2001 through 2004. Texans safety Ed Reed was part of that streak as the 24th overall selection in 2002 as was Andre Johnson, whom the Texans took third overall in 2003.

There’s a decent chance of this happening. Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, guard Chance Warmack and offensie tackle D.J. Fluker are expected to be first-round picks. Alabama running back Eddie Lacy is the best running back in the draft, and in the past half century at least one running back has gone in every first round, though there’s always the chance that streak breaks.

UPDATED: Alabama only had THREE first round draft picks last night.

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Numbers show Texans’ overdependence on Andre Johnson

Andre Johnson wants the Texans to draft a receiver.

They haven’t shied away from doing that at various points in recent drafts. What they haven’t found yet, though, is a player who has lightened Johnson’s load.

There isn’t an unquestionable star in the group of receivers available in this year’s draft, and even if there was, it would take some trading up to do it.

That doesn’t preclude the Texans from finding a solid compliment to Johnson in a player not exalted as a game-breaking receiver.

Baltimore found Torrey Smith in the second round of the 2011 draft. In fact, Smith was the second receiver to go in that round, after the wayward Titus Young. The Broncos took Eric Decker in the third round in 2010 and the Steelers got this guy named Mike Wallace in the third round in 2009. Pierre Garcon was a sixth-round pick for the Colts in 2008. None of those guys were studs entering the draft. All of them played important roles for the teams that drafted them.
Statistically, it’s easy to show why the Texans need this. ESPN’s AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky collected these numbers from ESPN Stats and Info:

• The Texans were one of four NFL teams that targeted one receiver more than all the rest combined, along with the Lions, Chiefs and Bears. 
• Johnson was targeted on 58.1 percent of the Texans’ pass attempts to receivers, the highest rate in the league.
• Quarterback Matt Schaub’s completion percentage was 70.9 to Johnson with 31.6 attempts per interception. Meanwhile, his completion percentage to every other receiver on his roster was 56.5 with 21.6 attempts per interception.

At times last season, it seemed as if Schaub was keying too heavily on Johnson. Having a star receiver can have that effect to some extent, but that last bullet point shows that Schaub’s dependence on Johnson was totally justified. And for the sake of the Texans’ offense, that needs to change.

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Andre Johnson asks the Texans to draft a wide receiver

When we posted our Houston Texans draft needs today, we started at wide receiver. Andre Johnson agrees with that assessment.

Johnson told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that he’s been lobbying the front office to use the Texans’ first-round pick, No. 27 overall, on a wide receiver.

“I’d like to have another [receiver],” Johnson said. “I’m all for it. I’ve asked for it for awhile. The more weapons we have, the better it’ll be for the team.”

Johnson, who will turn 32 in July, is getting old by wide receiver standards. But he’s not showing many signs of age and is coming off a season in which he had a career-high 1,598 yards. But Johnson might become even more effective if he had another threat to draw some of the coverage away from him.

Of the top receivers in this year’s draft, Tavon Austin of West Virginia will surely be gone before the Texans are on the clock, and Cordarrelle Patterson of Tennessee probably will be, too. That leaves Justin Hunter of Tennessee, Keenan Allen of Cal, DeAndre Hopkins of Clemson and Robert Woods of USC as receivers the Texans could draft in the first round.

Johnson would love to work with any of them.

“If we draft a receiver, I’m going to help him as much as I can,” Johnson said. “I’ll answer any questions he has because I want him to perform well.”
A rookie receiver performing well on the opposite side of the field could be a great asset to Johnson.

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VIDEO: Gino Torretta to Andre Johnson highlights Miami’s spring game

There aren't many programs that can trot out a former Heisman Trophy winner to throw a touchdown to a future Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver during the spring game like Miami can.

Like Cal letting Marshawn Lynch score during the spring game, Miami had an alumni touchdown as well. Gino Torretta, the 1992 Heisman Trophy winner, put on a jersey and took a snap from former All-American center Brett Romberg, and threw deep to Houston Texans star receiver Andre Johnson, also wearing a Miami jersey.

It shouldn't be a surprise that the duo hooked up for the score, considering the defenders were probably told they'd never be allowed on campus again if they even thought about hitting Johnson. And Torretta looks like he can still throw the ball a bit more than 20 years after winning his Heisman (which should have gone to Marshall Faulk, but that's another story).

Miami always has former players come back around the current team, often working out in the offseason with them. It doesn't hurt that the school is located in Miami. Why wouldn't players want to come back? You can see the Miami players come off the sideline to congratulate Johnson on his easy touchdown, and the whole idea of former Hurricanes stars hanging around the program is a pretty fun thing for the current players.

This is actually a pretty cool trend of having famous alums come back for ceremonial spring game plays. Seeing as how it is fun and harmless, expect the NCAA to step in and stop it soon.

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Draft questions: Who will complement Andre Johnson?

The Texans were booted from the divisional round of the postseason for the second straight January, ending a season that began with great promise, but ended with a whimper.

Matt Schaub was pummeled by criticism in the days that followed, which was more than a little unfair in retrospect. Schaub isn't an elite quarterback by any stretch, but he's capable of leading a deep playoff run given the right weapons.

The Texans have needs at other places, the right side of their offensive line serving as a particular concern. But this is a draft in which the Texans need to get serious about adding a wide receiver who can make an immediate impact while serving as a bridge to the future.

Andre Johnson is coming off a monster season in which he finished with 112 catches for 1,598 yards and four touchdowns. He'll also be 32 years old in July. We don't doubt Johnson has another season or two of high production in him (granted his legs cooperate), but the Texans already have waited too long to locate a player who effectively can complement Johnson and eventually replace him as the team's No. 1 option.

The Texans still might view DeVier Posey as a long-term answer, but his prospects for making an impact next season are dim after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon in January. The under-qualified Kevin Walter finally is out of the picture, giving Houston a clear need at the position.

Robert Woods (USC) and DeAndre Hopkins (Clemson) are two early-round options for the Texans, who pick 27th overall. Tavon Austin (West Virginia) was a potential first-round match until his stock went through the roof at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Texans always could package some picks to move up. Given the need, it might be a gamble worth taking.

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Is Andre Johnson recruiting Chad Johnson to Texans?

Back in December, Chad Johnson made an open plea to all 32 NFL teams asking for another chance to play professional football.

Now, former Miami high-school opponent Andre Johnson is trying to recruit the teamless wide receiver for a roster spot on the Houston Texans.

"I haven't set up any meetings. I could put a few words in, but that's not my call," Andre Johnson told Comcast SportsNet Houston. "I think he'll get another opportunity. I think he'll be very successful, get back to the Chad that we're used to seeing playing football."

A contrite Chad Johnson continues to express regret over the domestic battery arrest that led to his release from the Miami Dolphins last summer.

"I'd love to get a second chance to play the game that I love," Chad Johnson said via Comcast SportsNet Houston. "It was taken from me and I think I've learned my lesson and really, it's in God's hands."

Chad Johnson, predictably, is on board with the idea of joining the Texans. "If I could be that last piece," Johnson said, "especially with me being somewhat humble and being in a position where I have to prove myself again, which could be scary."

Chad Johnson concedes he's in "no position to be picky."

While the newfound humility is refreshing, it might not be enough to land him a job with the Texans. Now 35 years old, Chad Johnson no longer is an NFL-caliber starter and doesn't contribute on special teams.

NFL teams would be reluctant to burn a roster spot on him, even if Chad Johnson came with a squeaky-clean reputation and more disciplined routes.

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Andre Johnson earns big raise in 2013

Over the last few days, "Shutdown Corner" has reported on some of the base salary increases for the 2013 season. In the first report last Saturday, which was updated on Monday, the highest increase belong to Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy, whose performances during his first two seasons in the NFL added $1.75 million to his 2013 base salary.

Move over, Colt.
According to NFLPA records, Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson triggered a $3.3 million escalator in his contract and is now scheduled to earn $9.5 million in base salary in 2013. Johnson, who turns 32 in July, caught 112 passes for 1,598 yards – both numbers ranked in the Top 5 in the NFL – with four touchdowns in 2012 and was named to the Pro Bowl for the sixth time in his career.

In addition to Johnson, Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews will be on the receiving end of a hefty pay raise in 2013.

New Orleans Saints: Jimmy Graham will also get a significant raise from $630,000 to $1.323 million.

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Andre Johnson after Pro Bowl

AIEA, Hawaii -- After the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson spoke about his experiences in the game at Aloha Stadium and in Hawaii for the week.

WR Andre Johnson (on what the experience was like for him overall) “It was great to be around the top guys in the game and just to hang out with them and learn about them football-wise. It was a great experience.”

(on the intensity of the game compared to other Pro Bowls) “It was definitely up there. A lot of guys were playing pretty hard. Guys were into the game. It ranked up there with some of the games I’ve played.”

(on what was it like having J.J. Watt in the offensive huddle) “It was actually funny. It was something they thought about doing earlier during the week and didn’t know if they’d do it in the game or not. They actually did it early in the game. I thought they’d get him a touchdown but it didn’t turn out that way.”

(on what he thought about J.J. Watt’s route-running) “(Laughs) It’s not hard to mess up a fade route.”

(on Green Bay Packers C Jeff Saturday snapping the ball to Peyton Manning) “Well, they spent a lot of time together and Jeff announced today he was retiring. To get his last snap with Peyton in the Pro Bowl, I think it was great moment and great for the fans to see.”

(on getting to pick guys’ brains like Peyton Manning) "Peyton’s very intense, even though it’s just the Pro Bowl, he’s very intense at what he does. It just shows that’s why he’s the best at what he does.”

(on how many snaps he had in the game with Matt Schaub) “It wasn’t too many. I’m not sure, exactly. I was able to catch a pass from him.”

(on what was it like spending a lot of time with his old college teammate, Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne) “It’s a lot of fun. You get to be around guys you played college ball with. It never gets old. Being here never gets old. It was a great experience and I enjoyed every minute of it.”

(on being at the Pro Bowl with eight of his teammates) “It was great. This is probably the best Pro Bowl out of all the ones I’ve been to just because of how many teammates I had come. It was a lot of fun.”

(on his family traveling to the game) “My mom, my brother, my uncle and his family, they all came up. I had a great time.”

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Better with age: Andre Johnson at 6th Pro Bowl

HONOLULU -- The first time Andre Johnson made the Pro Bowl, he was the only Texans player invited to play in the game. The second time, too.

Those were the 2004 and 2006 seasons, much leaner years for the franchise. This time around, at Johnson’s sixth Pro Bowl in 10 seasons, he’s one of nine Texans players on the AFC squad.

Johnson said Friday that he’s enjoying being in Hawaii with so many of his teammates. The relaxed smile on his face said that he’s clearly enjoying being at the Pro Bowl, period. It’s an experience that never gets old for the Texans’ all-time leading receiver.

“It’s always an honor,” Johnson said. “You get a chance to be around great players, the best of the best. It’s a lot of fun. You get a chance to pick their brains a little bit about football and get to learn a lot about those guys, the way they work and just being around them and their families and stuff like that. So it’s always a lot of fun to be over here.”

One of the players Johnson has spent a lot of time with this week is former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, his former teammate at the University of Miami. They watched Miami’s basketball team upset No. 1-ranked Duke together earlier in the week.

Johnson also has been hanging out a lot with Texans teammates like quarterback Matt Schaub, who marveled on Friday at Johnson’s 2012 season.

“Midway through, he really got hot, and he was just the Andre that we know,” Schaub said. “He was just playing at such a high level, making huge plays for us. It’s just special to see what he’s doing as he gets through his career.”

Johnson had the best season of his career this year at age 31, leading the AFC with a career-high 1,598 receiving yards. He did it in the face of nagging, rampant media speculation in the offseason about whether his age and injuries – he missed nine games with hamstring issues in 2011 – had taken a toll on his ability.

“You keep it in the back of your mind when people doubt you,” Johnson said. “I knew that I could still go out and put up big numbers and play well as a player. That’s why I’m here.”

Now that he’s here, Johnson is getting a chance to reflect on the Texans’ season. It ended in disappointment, but it also featured more victories than any season in franchise history.

“I think we took a step in the right direction as a football team,” Johnson said. “Things didn’t turn out the way we wanted ‘em to in the end, but I think we’re building a very solid foundation as an organization, as a team. Hopefully, we can just keep heading in the right direction.”

Added Johnson, addressing Texans fans: “Appreciate you guys’ support. Best fans in the NFL. Can’t wait ‘til next season.”

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Andre Johnson tops in interesting stat

Wide receiver Andre Johnson finished 2012 with a career-best 1,598 yards receiving.

Detroit wideout Calvin Johnson and Chicago Bear Brandon Marshall were the All-Pro selections at receiver, but the Texan had the better numbers in one key category: yards per route run.

According to, Johnson was the only player to register better than 3 yards per route run, and he finished with 3.01 total. Yards per route run was decribed in the post here:

This unique metric evaluates yardage totals solely based on routes run so that the stats are indicative of performance relative to the number of opportunities. It’s easy enough to understand, so let’s look at the notable performances.

Johnson and eight of his teammates are in Honolulu for the Pro Bowl this week.

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Andre Johnson dismisses doubts

HOUSTON — By no means are the Texans expecting people to forget the 42-14 beating they took a month ago at Gillette Stadium. They haven’t forgotten it themselves.

The memory is still fresh for wide receiver Andre Johnson. But seeing the way the Texans have been written off by many, Johnson could only shake his head.
“Every team comes into the season with an ultimate goal and that’s winning the Super Bowl,” Johnson said. “There’s steps you have to go through to get to that point and that’s a big one.

“A lot of people say we don’t have a chance. I just laugh at it. We’ll be ready.’’

Coming off a season in which he racked up a career-high 1,598 receiving yards (second in the league) when many said his best years were behind him, Johnson tunes out the doubt.

“I really don’t get caught up in what people say,” Johnson said. “You have to go out and play.

“We know what kind of football team we are. We know if we go out and play well, we’re capable of beating anybody.”

The Texans will have pieces that were not there a month ago.

Tight end Garrett Graham, who sat out the first meeting with lingering effects of a concussion, will likely be on the field, although he sustained another concussion last week against the Bengals.

And Owen Daniels is coming off a team-high seven-catch, 73-yard performance.

“In order for us to get where we want to go, it’s not going to take one guy,” Johnson said. “It’s going to take everybody.”

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Andre Johnson looks to build on best season

HOUSTON -- Houston's Andre Johnson heard the whispers he'd lost a step and that he'd never again be an elite receiver as he struggled through the worst season of his career in 2011.

He didn't let it get him down.

Johnson used it as motivation, and bounced back from last year's 492-yard season with a career-high 1,598 yards receiving this season.

Now he's looking to do more as the Texans prepare for Saturday's playoff game against the Bengals.

His performance this season has left him with Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison as the only players in NFL history with at least three seasons with 1,500 yards receiving. He also reached the mark in 2008 and 2009.

Johnson has 112 catches this season for his fourth career 100-catch year and his most since finishing with 115 catches in 2008. He was recently selected to his sixth Pro Bowl and has more than 11,000 yards receiving in his career.

Coach Gary Kubiak calls Johnson's season "amazing", and loves the way he leads the Texans by example with his hard work and positive attitude.

"I've been fortunate to be around some special players, but I really count my blessings with this one," Kubiak said. "He's a heck of a player, but a great kid, too."
Johnson has had success against Cincinnati, and is averaging 122.7 yards receiving in his past three games against the Bengals.

He's disappointed that the team has struggled recently, losing three of its past four games. But he believes they'll turn things around on Saturday.

"We just haven't been playing football the way that we know how to play it," Johnson said. "We just have to get back to what we have done earlier during the season. Find that same kind of focus and everybody just lock into what they're doing and just go play football the way we know how to play it."

Johnson got off to a slow start this season after being hampered by minor injuries in training camp. But he has been on a roll in the past seven games, piling up 1,001 yards. Johnson has six 100-yard games this season, including a career-best 273 yards receiving in a win over the Jaguars.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis doesn't believe it's possible to shut down Johnson, but they do hope to limit his catches.

"He's a fine, fine player and I don't know about shutting (him) down and if you can ... do that because as we know, it's a two-pronged attack there with both the running game and the throwing game that comes off of it," Lewis said. "You really have to play really sound, sound defensive football in order to do that."

Johnson has a lot of respect for the Bengals, and knows Houston will have to play much better than it has been to win on Saturday.

"(They) might be the most talented defense we probably have faced," Johnson said. "They've been playing good football, a lot of good players on the back end, so it'll be a big challenge for us."

Johnson, who is the longest-tenured Texan, waited eight seasons before finally making the playoffs for the first time last season. His second trip will be very similar to the first with Houston hosting Cincinnati in a wild-card game for the second straight season.

"It's not new," Johnson said. "Last year it was new to us. This time it's not new. It's crazy that we're in the same place we were in last year, playing the same team. It'll be big. And we'll be ready to go."

One player it will be new to is quarterback Matt Schaub, who missed last year's playoff run with an injured foot. Much of the blame for Houston's recent slump has been directed at Schaub.

"That's just part of it," Johnson said. "When the team is not playing well, the quarterback is going to take most of the criticism. It's all about how you respond. We have another game Saturday, so however he goes out and plays Saturday that's what people will talk about."

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Andre Johnson goes over 1,500 yards

With a 39-yard catch from Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson joined elite company.

Johnson became only the second receiver in NFL history to record 1,500 yards and 100 catches in three separate seasons. The first, fittingly since Johnson did it against the Colts, was former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison.

With that catch, Johnson has 104 catches and 1,505 this season. He had 115 catches and 1,575 yards in 2008, and in 2009 he had 101 catches and 1,569 yards.

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Reggie Wayne stayed, skipping reunion with Texans' Andre Johnson

Considering how things have turned out, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne never gives his decision to re-up with the team that drafted him a second thought.

But that doesn't mean he didn't at least fantasize about a college reunion.

Imagine, Wayne and Andre Johnson, former teammates at the University of Miami, working out of the same huddle instead of once again working off opposing sidelines this afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"It would have been cool," said Wayne, a driving force behind the Colts' dramatic rags-to-riches season. "We joked about it all offseason, man."

Wayne's contract expired at the end of the very forgettable 2-14 season. Free agency loomed, and the Colts had given him no indication he would be part of what appeared to be a very uncertain future.

The dialogue between Wayne and Johnson was constant. So was the topic.

"He asked me, 'What's going on in your camp?' " Wayne said. "I was like, 'Nothing. I have no idea.'

"He joked that it could be like old times. 'I need some help over here.' "

Wayne's response always was the same.

"You know my number."

Wayne admits he had a few solid offers and said he "left a few million dollars on the table" when he accepted the Colts' three-year, $17.5 million offer in mid-March.

He steadfastly refuses to divulge the suitors, but Johnson indicated Wayne had an interest in a relocation to Houston.

"Here was one of the places that he actually wanted to come," Johnson said. "I was hoping that I would get a chance to be able to play with him again. Unfortunately, it didn't go that way."

One of the reasons Wayne re-signed with the Colts was the arrival of Chuck Pagano as head coach. Pagano was an assistant coach at Miami when Wayne was developing into a first-round draft pick. And it was Pagano who recruited Johnson to "The U."

In retrospect, Wayne and Johnson realize Wayne made the appropriate decision.

"Even as we joke about it now, he tells me, 'You made the right decision,' " Wayne said. "I feel like I did, too. But it's good to think about the 'What ifs?' "

Added Johnson: "He started there, he's had a great career there. I'm just happy he's there playing at a high level even though he's been doing it for 12 seasons."

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Six proCanes Make the NFL Pro Bowl

Six Miami Hurricanes were among those named to the 2013 Pro Bowl, announced by the National Football League offices Wednesday.

With its six selections, Miami tied Tennessee for the lead among all universities nationwide.

Andre Johnson (Houston Texans) and Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts) were two of the four AFC selections at wide receiver. The veteran proCanes wideouts, who each earned their sixth Pro Bowl nod, have played pivotal roles for their respective teams through Week 16, combining for over 200 catches and 2,700 yards. Johnson ranks first in the conference with 1,457 receiving yards, while Wayne ranks second in the AFC with 102 receptions.

Johnson's teammate Chris Myers earned his second Pro Bowl selection when he was named the AFC's back-up center. The former sixth-round draft pick was also named to the Pro Bowl in 2011.

Two of the league's best defenders, Baltimore Ravens' safety Ed Reed and New England Patriots' nose tackle Vince Wilfork, were among those selected as starters. Reed earned his ninth trip in 11 professional seasons, while Wilfork was selected to his fifth-career Pro Bowl.

San Francisco 49ers' running back Frank Gore, who recently marked his team-record sixth 1,000-yard season, was the lone proCane NFC selection. The four-time Pro Bowler has rushed for 1,146 yards this season.

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proCane Players of Week 16

Co-Offensive Players of the Week:

Reggie Wayne: proCane Colts WR Reggie Wayne caught five catches and scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter with a little over four minutes to play to help seal an unexpected playoff berth for a young Colts team. Wayne helped Luck break the single-season rookie passing record Sunday, ranks sixth in the NFL with 1,315 yards and fifth in receptions with 102. Wayne extended his NFL record 63 game streak of having 3 or more receptions.

Andre Johnson: proCane Texans WR Andre Johnson recorded his 800th career reception in Sunday's loss to Minnesota, reaching the impressive milestone in the second-fewest games of any player in league history (Marvin Harrison). The 10th-year wide receiver built on another terrific season with a seven-catch performance, eclipsing the 100-catch plateau for the fourth time in his career. The Miami, Fla., native, who has the fourth-most catches of any active player, now ranks third in the NFL with 1,457 receiving yards and fifth with 100 receptions. Johnson finished the game with 7 catches for 97 yards.

Lamar Miller: proCane Dolphins RB Lamar Miller in his first chance at extended play for Miami this season didn’t disappoint. Miller rushed 10 times for 73 yards in Sunday's win over the Bills, leading the Dolphins in rushing. Miller is getting an extended look with Daniel Thomas out for the season, and showed big-play ability while filling in for Reggie Bush. He should go into the offseason no worse than second on the running back depth chart, and could be considered for a starting role if Bush doesn't re-sign.

Honorable Mention: Santana Moss, WR Redskins.

Defensive Players of Week:

Sam Shields: proCane Packers DB Sam Shields continued his stellar play after returning from injury three weeks ago. Shields had 1 tackle, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass deflection and 1 interception in Packers blowout victory over the Titans. Since his return Dec. 9 from an ankle injury, Shields has two interceptions in three games, his first sack in nearly two years and seven passes defensed, just a few stats to tell of his big hits, inseparable coverage and feisty nature in no man's land.
Honorable Mention: Calais Campbell, DE Cardinals.

Special Teams Player of the Week:

Matt Bosher:
proCane Falcons P Matt Bosher continued his great 2nd season with four punts in Week 16. Bosher’s four punts totaled 167 yards with a long of 47 yards, and average of 41.8 yards and two punts were downed inside the 20-yard line.

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proCanes Players of Week 15

Co-Offensive Players of the Week:

Leonard Hankerson: proCane Redskins WR Leonard Hankerson caught two passes for 56 yards with two touchdowns in the Redskins' Week 15 win over the Browns. Hankerson made the most of his two targets. His first score came when he blew past Sheldon Brown and Kirk Cousins threaded the needle between three Browns for a 54-yard score in the first quarter. His second touchdown came on a simple goal-line bootleg from Cousins. Don't chase these plays as Hankerson continues to rotate with Josh Morgan opposite No. 1 target Pierre Garcon.

Andre Johnson: proCane Texans WR Andre Johnson caught 11 balls for 151 yards and a touchdown as the Texans defeated the Colts 29-17 in Week 15.
He was targeted 13 times, a game high on either side of the ball. Johnson was truly dominant against Colts top CB Vontae Davis, consistently winning 50:50 balls in the air and scoring from three yards out on a rub route deep in the red zone. Johnson has reasserted himself at age 31 as a top-five NFL receiver and likely future Hall of Famer. The past eight games have been the most productive stretch of Johnson's career, averaging 8.4 catches and 119.6 yards per game. He needs just seven receptions and 140 yards to join Marvin Harrison as the only receivers with at least 100 catches and 1,500 yards in three seasons. Andre Johnson also topped 11,000 career receiving yards this week

Honorable Mention: Travis Benjamin WR Browns, Jimmy Graham TE Saints, Frank Gore RB 49ers.

Defensive Players of Week:

Calais Campbell: proCane Cardinals DE Calais Campbell in his first game back from a calf injury played his best all-around game since Week 2 at New England despite still dealing with the lingering effects of a calf injury that sidelined him for a month. He wasn’t in pain while he recorded eight tackles, four for losses, a sack, a quarterback hurry and a pass deflection, but his calf wasn’t completely healed either.
Honorable Mention: Sam Shields DB Packers

Special Teams Player of the Week:

Matt Bosher:
proCane Falcons P Matt Bosher continued his great 2nd season though this week he only had two punts but made them count. Bosher’s two punts totaled 100 yards with a long of 61 yards, and average of 50 yards and one touchback.

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Andre Johnson answers his 'doubters' with spectacular streak

HOUSTON—At first, Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson heard the whispers. As his frustration grew, the whispers became shouts, but he kept quiet. He knew the real reason he had only nine catches for 164 yards over a four-game stretch early in the season.

Fans and media insisted Johnson’s career was coming to an end. They pointed to his puny statistics, so very un-Johnson like, as mounting evidence. Yes, Johnson had started the season with eight catches for 119 yards and a touchdown in a victory over Miami, but then, the critics claimed, Johnson hit that proverbial wall that slows so many veterans, no matter how talented they were or how much they had accomplished.

Johnson, who turned 31 in July, knew a lingering groin injury that had slowed him in training camp had not healed. Combined with the two hamstring injuries that limited him to seven games and 33 catches for 492 yards in 2011, and it was easy to see why so many thought Johnson was nearing the end of a magnificent run as one of the NFL’s premier receivers.

“You’re going to have doubters, no matter what you do, because that’s the nature of this business,” Johnson said, standing in front of his locker. “People have their own opinions. I knew what a lot of people were saying, but I also knew what was going on. I knew it was only a matter of time, a matter of getting healthy.”
And then Johnson did get healthy, and then his performance took off again. Since that four-game stretch that brought out the “doubters,” as Johnson calls them, he has averaged 8.4 catches and 119.6 yards per game.

“I’m feeling a lot better,” Johnson said. “I feel like my explosion came back. That’s a big part of my game, so I feel a lot better than I did at the beginning.”
Johnson is coming off the best eight-game stretch of his illustrious career, with 68 catches for 1,002 yards. The doubters have gone silent.

“He never ceases to amaze me,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “What I’ve seen him do has been spectacular. It just goes to show everything he’s been through with the health issues. He worked so hard to get back, and now he’s back and playing as well as anytime in his career. He’s playing with a ton of confidence.

“I’ve been fortunate to (coach) receivers like Jerry Rice (at San Francisco) and Rod Smith (Denver), and Andre’s like them. They don’t just walk on the field and make it happen without putting in a lot of hard work to get there.”

With 93 catches for 1,360 yards this season, Johnson needs seven receptions and 140 yards to join Marvin Harrison as the only receivers with at least 100 catches and 1,500 yards in three seasons. Johnson also could join Rice as the only receivers with 100 catches and 1,500 yards in their 10th season or later.
“It’s fun to be a part of his legacy, to witness it firsthand,” running back Arian Foster said. “He’s going to continue to play at a high level because that’s what he’s been doing for years. To see him work has been inspiring for me and my career.

“I’m so happy for him because I see how much work he puts into his craft. Injuries are a part of the game. They’re going to happen to everyone that plays this game. It’s about how you deal with them, and he bounced back incredibly well. He deserves everything he has.”

Just how great has Johnson (6-3, 230) been? He has averaged 5.88 catches per game, the most in NFL history for players with at least 500 receptions. Harrison is second with 5.80. Since Kubiak became his head coach in 2006, Johnson has averaged 6.5 catches per game.

“I’m glad I don’t have to go against him anymore,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. “Every week, he gets the ultimate compliment because of what defenses do to try to stop him.”

Johnson lines up wide to both sides and in the slot. He also starts in the backfield and goes in motion. There have been times when Kubiak has him shift into the backfield and run his route from there.

Johnson still runs well. He’s strong off the line of scrimmage. He runs precise routes. He can outjump smaller cornerbacks. He has amazing concentration when the ball’s in the air. His strong, quick hands allow him to snatch the ball from defenders.

“Defenses try to take him away from our offense, and we try to do some things in our scheme to get him open,” quarterback Matt Schaub said. “I always want to know where Andre is.

“He’s the ultimate security blanket. When we need a play, I’m going in his direction. We see all types of coverages, but when push comes to shove, I’ll still go to him because I know he’s going to make a play on the ball. I have the utmost confidence in what he can do.

“I’ve been watching him up close and personal for six years, but every time I think I’ve seen it all, he outdoes himself. He continues to wow me. It’s remarkable to see what he’s done this season. You can see he’s taken his game to a new level.”

Over the last six seasons, Johnson’s average of 90.2 yards per game is the NFL’s best. Detroit's Calvin Johnson is second at 83.8.

Before he became the Lions’ coach, Jim Schwartz was Tennessee’s defensive coordinator. That meant he had to game-plan for Johnson two times a season. Schwartz sees a lot of similarities between Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson, who rank first and third in yards this season. Calvin Johnson is 182 yards short of breaking Rice’s season record of 1,848, set in 1995.

“Everybody knows what great players they are,” Schwartz said. “The thing that’s similar about them other than the size and their production is the fact that they’re team-first guys. They’re willing to do all the little things that maybe get unnoticed when you’re getting 117 yards a game. They’re good team players and extremely hard workers.

“With all the stereotypical diva wide receivers, these two guys are old-school receivers. They do their job. Both of them block very well. Both of them can make you pay down the field with deep balls, but they both also catch short passes and run after the catch.”

The Lions have firsthand knowledge about the kind of season Andre Johnson is having, as he caught nine passes for 188 yards in the Texans’ 34-31 overtime victory at Ford Field. Coupled with the previous game—a 43-37 OT victory over Jacksonville—and Johnson’s two-game total of 461 yards was the most prolific in NFL history.

“He’s been doing it for a long time, and I’ve definitely been looking up to what he’s been doing,” Calvin Johnson said. “I’ve been watching him since before I came into this league. I like the physicality he brings to the game. I like the way he makes his presence known.”

Ever since he came to the Texans with the third overall pick in the 2003 draft, Johnson’s presence has been felt. He’s the only receiver to have at least 60 catches in each of his first eight seasons.

Since 1970, Johnson and Wes Welker have put up the most games with at least 10 catches and 100 yards—16. Johnson is the third-fastest receiver to reach 11,000 yards (11,016) behind Rice and Torry Holt.

“I’ve been around this league a long time, and I’ve been fortunate to be with some Hall of Fame players, and I think you’re looking at one,” Kubiak said. “He’s a special player and a special person with an incredible work ethic. He’s the ‘go’ for this team. And he’s money.

“He’s a big-time leader, a quiet leader by example most of the time. But when he talks in front of the team, everybody listens. We tell all the young guys to watch the way he handles himself in practice, meetings and the dressing room. He’s a worker, a class act. Everybody looks to him.

“I think the most impressive thing about Andre is how committed he’s been to this organization through some very tough times. He’s stuck with this organization to get into the position it is now.”

The Texans are 12-2 and AFC South champions for the second consecutive season. If they defeat Minnesota at Reliant Stadium on Sunday, they’ll earn home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs.

“It’s just a great feeling because of what I’ve been through with the organization,” Johnson said about the Texans’ quest to reach their first Super Bowl. “This is something we’ve been working for around here for a long time, to put ourselves in a situation like this.

“I didn’t think it’d take 10 seasons for it to happen, though. I’m just enjoying every moment of it.”

In his first eight seasons, Johnson was forced to watch the playoffs on television. Fans and media wanted to know why he never asked for a trade or even complained publicly about the constant losing.

“There’s always frustration, and I think that’s the thing that makes you grow as a player, as a person,” he said. “You kind of find out a lot about yourself, if you’re going to be loyal or if you’re just going to run away from it. My thing was I wanted to stay. I wanted to be a part of something special. I wanted to help this organization get to where it is right now and even help it achieve more.”

Johnson was healthy last season for the first playoff victory in team history, against Cincinnati, and the seven-point loss at Baltimore. He had 13 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown in those two games.

When the Texans begin the playoffs this season, Johnson wants to pick up where he left off.

“We’re learning as we go through this experience, but we know every game gets bigger,” he said. “Just having that experience from last year is so important because we know what to expect.”

Clinching a second consecutive AFC South title isn’t enough for the Texans.

“Last season, we’d never done it before, but we’re familiar with it now, and we have bigger goals,” Johnson said. “This is the most fun I’ve had since I’ve been here. And I don’t want it to stop.”

Johnson hopes it won’t stop until the Texans reach their first Super Bowl. And, later, membership for him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Andre Johnson, Arian Foster share the spotlight

Andre Johnson jumped to the fore and seized the lead role early, then Arian Foster took over late. Foster would call their shared co-starring role for the Texans’ offense “a thing of beauty.”

Throw in another “monster-mode” effort by the defense’s resident force of nature, J. J. Watt, and we can call the 12-2 Texans AFC South champions. The Indianapolis Colts, who were the last threat to same, went down 29-17 on an afternoon when both Foster and Johnson exceeded 150 yards, something they’d never before done in the same game.

“You want an offense that can win in the air and on the ground,” said Foster, who ran for 165 to Johnson’s 151 receiving. “I think that’s what (head coach Gary) Kubiak envisioned when he put this team together. When you’re firing on all cylinders like that (you’re) tough to beat.

“The players are making plays and the coaches are putting us in position to make plays. I think it’s a tribute to the organization’s eye for talent.”

Foster and Johnson proved to be perfect bookends on a day the Texans used to rinse their mouths after a disastrous visit to New England last Monday night. Two plays in, Matt Schaub’s already had two completions to the latter – the second for 52 yards on a spectacular catch in heavy traffic – and the Texans were perched at the Colts’ 19. Only a field goal resulted, but it provided a 3-0 lead.

Houston is 8-0 this season when getting on the scoreboard first.

Johnson already had seven receptions for 107 yards by halftime, while Foster was off to a sluggish start, gaining only 34 on 11 rushes. But things went exactly the other way in the fourth quarter when Foster averaged 8.8 on his nine carries – despite being deprived of a 27-yard touchdown sprint that wiped out by left guard Wade Smith’s hold. Unfazed by the penalty, which Smith admitted was the right call, Foster picked up where he’d left off with four minutes left and carried on seven successive plays for 75 yards, setting up the victory-clinching field goal.

Indy quarterback Andrew Luck would be left with just 65 seconds to try to make up two scores. Even the Colts’ Comeback Kid himself couldn’t pull that off.
“We have to close out games as an offense,” Foster said. “Everybody’s tired at the end. Everybody is at 70 percent, 80 percent. But your 70 percent has to be better than somebody else’s 70 percent. You have to find a way to dig deeper. That’s my mindset. I’ve been like that since I was a kid. It’s just part of how I train . . . to be at my best when everybody else is tired and I’m tired. I take a lot of pride in that.”

So did a fellow named Earl Campbell, who closed out plenty of games following the same script for the Houston Oilers. You keep hammering away with the likes of Campbell and Foster and the most stalwart of defenses will stagger. Something has to give.

Johnson said he grabbed Foster when the Texans regained possession and told him, “Just run us home.”

The Texans’ consummate under-appreciated grunt up front, center Chris Myers, explained why the offense was able to finish like it did. Life is a lot easier when you’re not having to play catch-up, as had been the case in the 42-14 drubbing by the Patriots on Monday night.

“When it came to that last drive, we opened up some holes and Arian just took off with some breakout runs,” Myers said. “That’s how it works. You pound, pound, pound, grind, grind, grind and finally you bust out. You tap ‘em for four yards here, three yards there . . . a few no gainers. But, as long as you stay true to what you do, those bust-out runs are going to come.

“We haven’t had a run like (Foster’s negated TD) in awhile. But you can get a feel for how the game is going, when the defense is kind of back on their heels a little bit. (The Colts) were on that last drive and we took advantage of it.”

Quarterback Matt Schaub seemed to be on the same wave length.

“You just stick with the game plan,” he said. “We had some hard times finding holes with the run game early, even through the third quarter. But those 3-, 4-yard runs can turn into big ones, and they did in the second half.”

Of Johnson’s explosive start Schaub said, ‘Dre just did what he’s done his whole career. (On the second-down bomb) we had a play fake, a little ‘boot’ going on. We sold the fake really hard and he just popped wide open, got behind everybody. I was trying to give him a chance to make a play. It a closely contested ball but he came up with it.”

The Texans’ offensive players routinely talk about how much they enjoy watching Watt wreaking havoc. The second-year defensive, on everyone’s short list for NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors, repaid the compliment when asked how much pleasure he gleaning from seeing Foster hammer his way downfield, leaving Colts strewn in his path.

“When our offense can end the game on the field with a huge drive like, that’s the way we love it,” Watt said. “Watching ‘Dre starting out the game, then Arian running (at the end) . . . I love this team. We can get you three different ways – offense, defense, special teams – and there’s a love for each other (in the locker room) and a genuine team chemistry.”

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Andre Johnson Calls Blowout to Patriots an ‘A– Whipping’ As Texans Players Lament Loss

FOXBORO, Mass. — At 11-1 entering Monday night’s “game of the year,” as many had billed it, the Texans had gotten used to whipping the hind side of their opposition. This time around, though, it was quite the opposite.

The Patriots laid a 42-14 beat down on the visiting Texans on national television. It was a loss that Houston players were so embarrassed by that even team leaders were outwardly ashamed. Arian Foster was quick to admit that they had gotten out-played “in all aspects of the game.” Matt Schaub decided to express his frustrations with the old undertaker analogy, saying “we dug ourselves a hole.” But no one was more disgusted than wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Johnson knows all too well what it’s like to lose, being on five Texans teams that have finished under .500 in his nine-year career. But not like this, and especially not a game with such huge implications. “We know how important this game was to us. It was a good ass whipping and that is pretty much it,”

Johnson said candidly after the loss. Johnson’s response may seem a bit profane to some, but in reality it’s exactly right. The Texans clearly weren’t ready for the challenge of the Patriots and the end result showed it. The Texans will undoubtedly move past this loss into the final three weeks of the season. But you can bet that Johnson won’t let his teammates forget about the whipping they took in Foxboro, especially come playoff time.

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Vince Wilfork’s respect for Andre Johnson deep

FOXBORO — It’s been 10 years since Vince Wilfork [stats] shared a practice field and won a national championship with Andre Johnson at Miami, but he remembers it like it was yesterday.

Though the pair played on opposite sides of the ball, Wilfork admired the wideout. And his tune remains the same today.

“That’s a guy, when you talk about a team player, he has the heart of a champion,” said Wilfork, heading into Monday’s matchup with Johnson’s Houston Texans [team stats]. “He’s very quiet, doesn’t say much. I just remember playing with him in college, he was always quiet. But he was a fireball on the field. He’d give it his all. He’d play hurt. He’s a tough, tough football player. That’s one thing I always look back when playing with him and seeing him 10 years later in the NFL, still doing it. He has a lot to be proud of.”

Wilfork played with Johnson in the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Their teams went 24-1, beating Nebraska for the BCS National Championship in January 2002. (Johnson was named the Rose Bowl co-MVP.) As a freshman, Wilfork didn’t start but played in every game, finishing with 41 tackles, a sack and three forced fumbles. Johnson, a sophomore, led Miami in receiving with 682 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Wilfork, like Johnson, entered the NFL after his junior season and found instant success. The Patriots [team stats] defensive tackle, in nine seasons, has earned four Pro Bowl and All-Pro bids. Johnson, in 10 seasons, has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times and to the All-Pro team four.

This season, Johnson is fourth in the NFL with 1,114 receiving yards. Slowed by injuries in the first half of the season, Johnson — says Texans quarterback Matt Schaub — is playing like himself again. The past five games, he’s hauled in 40 passes for 670 yards.

“I’ve said before you know, he’s really feeling like he’s hitting his stride and he really feels like he’s getting back to the Andre of old,” said Schaub. “I think you’ve seen it the past few weeks or months, some of the games that he’s had that were against Jacksonville and Detroit. He really is continuing to play at a very, very high level.”

Though Wilfork praised Johnson’s heart on the field, the wideout is one of the league’s most caring off of the gridiron as well. This week, he donated more than $19,000 for a Christmas shopping spree at Toys “R” Us to 12 children, selected by Child Protective Services.

“They have a great, great guy in Andre Johnson,” said Wilfork. “He’s a specimen. He’s special.”

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Andre Johnson weathered rough patches in Houston

HOUSTON — There were moments, especially during the lost season of 2005 when victories were as scarce hereabouts as snowmobiles, that Andre Johnson would wonder whether there wasn’t an exit ramp for him somewhere in this freeway-happy town.

“I wouldn’t say that there was a time when I said, ‘Get me out of here,’ ” recalled the Texans’ receiver laureate. “Had I thought about it? Yeah.”

But that wasn’t what the man had signed on for when he arrived from Miami in 2003 as the franchise’s sticky-fingered future.

“I knew there would be tough times coming to a new franchise,” he said, “but you had a chance to be part of something special.”

The Texans haven’t won a Super Bowl yet but have clinched a return trip to the NFL playoffs and already are assured of their best season (11-1 and counting) since they opened shop in 2002, the year that the Patriots won their first ring.

If Houston beats New England Monday night in Foxborough — which no visitor has managed in a decade of Decembers — it would be well on its way to clinching home advantage throughout the postseason, which would have seemed a long shot even two years ago.

“This is something we’ve been working for around here for a long time, to put ourselves in a situation like this,” remarked Johnson, who has proclaimed the star-spangled showdown as the biggest game in franchise history. “I didn’t think it would take 10 seasons for it to happen, but it did, and I’m just enjoying every moment of it.”

Elite numbers
Johnson is the only man on the roster who goes back that far, and he’s savoring what is shaping up as a career campaign. He has surpassed the 10,000-yard milestone for receiving yards (10,770) and submitted his sixth 1,000-yard season (1,114).

Last month, when Houston survived overtime shootouts with Jacksonville and Detroit, Johnson set an NFL record for yardage in consecutive games with 461, piling up 273 on 14 catches against the Jaguars (including the winning 48-yard touchdown), and 188 on nine against the Lions.

“It’s been six years now I’ve been watching it up close and personal, but every time I think I’ve seen it all, he goes and does something even to outdo himself before,” testified quarterback Matt Schaub.

“He just continues to impress me and wow me as far as what he’s able to do on the football field.”

Significantly, Johnson is doing it at 31 after missing nine games last year with an uncooperative hamstring that kept him fidgeting in street clothes while his teammates were making their unprecedented run to the playoffs.

“Last year, I was excited, but at the same time, I was down because you’re like, man, I know I could be out there helping the team,” said Johnson, who returned for the playoffs.

“Those would be the times when I would get down on myself and try to hope that I could hurry up and come back.

“But at the same time, I was excited to see that it was all coming together, that we finally had a chance to make the playoffs. Now, it just makes you appreciate it even more.”

The Texans without Johnson would be like the Colts without Reggie Wayne, and his body of work rivals that of any of his counterparts in the game for consistency at a lofty level.

Johnson is the only receiver ever to have at least 60 catches in each of his first eight seasons. His 80.4-yards-a-game average is the highest in history among receivers who’ve played at least 100 games, and his receptions per game (5.82) are the most for anyone with at least 500.

“Coming into this league, I always said that I wanted to be the best that ever played, but to accomplish that, you have to try to be consistent,” said Johnson. “That’s my biggest thing, trying to be consistent year in and year out.

“I’ve battled through a lot of injuries in my career but I always thought that if I could be healthy, that I could go out and put up the big numbers.”

Hanging tough
Most impressively, Johnson put them up for a team that didn’t have a winning season until three years ago and where his Sunday stats were the sidelight to a defeat. But the 2005 season, when the Texans went 2-14 and Johnson was limited to 63 catches and 688 yards, tested his resolve.

“There were times when I didn’t want to get up and come to work,” he acknowledged. “It’s hard because you’re working your butt off and you just can’t get the job done. That’s the biggest thing I tell the guys. You don’t ever want to experience that because it’s not a good feeling.”

There were better teams that could have promised Johnson more productive outings, but he was determined to stay the course while a toddling franchise became competitive.

“There’s always frustration, but that’s the thing that makes you grow as a player, as a person,” he said. “You’ve got to find out a lot about yourself — if you’re going to be loyal, if you’re going to run away from it.

“My thing was, I wanted to stay. I wanted to be a part of something special. I wanted to help this organization get to where it is right now and help it achieve more.”

Progress came excruciatingly slowly. Houston went 6-10 in 2006, then 8-8 for two years, and then 9-7 before backsliding to 6-10 in 2010. Still, anything was better than 2-14.

“I really don’t think things could have got any worse than what they already were,” Johnson reckoned. “Things were coming together and you could just see it.”
The arrival of general manager Rick Smith and coach Gary Kubiak from the Broncos in 2006 was the turning point. When the Texans brought in Schaub from Atlanta a year later, it took a while for him and Johnson to align themselves.

“When Matt first got here, he would tell me every play why he didn’t throw me the ball,” Johnson remembered. “It got to a point where we started to see the same things out on the field.

“You just kind of know each other. In the heat of the moment, you know where the ball is going. I’m just glad that I’ve been able to make plays and come up big in games and I’m glad that he has the faith in me to take a chance of throwing the ball.”

Presence and presents
Whenever he isn’t stuffing the ball into the belly of Arian Foster, his 1,000-yard running back, Schaub usually is looking for No. 80 downfield.

“The ultimate security blanket,” he said. “If push comes to shove and we need a play, I know I’m going to go in his direction.”

After last year’s injury, the Texans weren’t sure whether Johnson could return to his customary top-of-the-line form.

“After what he went through and watching early in the year . . . I think there was some concern on his part and my part,” said Kubiak. “We were trying to work through some things, limit the reps, do all the right things to get him back.

“Then all of a sudden we come out of New York [in early October], and since then, it’s just been, ‘Game on.’ ”

The Texans are savoring the holiday season now, and Johnson spent Tuesday afternoon at a local Toys ‘R’ Us store watching a dozen at-risk children fill shopping carts with gifts for themselves and their siblings in 80 seconds as he picked up the $20,000 tab.

“It’s a great thing to be able to help people in need,” said Johnson, who established his charitable foundation when he was a rookie. “I always said if I was to make it to the NFL I would always give back to the community.”

Even if he were wearing a Santa suit, Johnson would be recognizable in Sam Houston’s town. If he didn’t leave when his team was drilling nothing but dust, he’s certainly not leaving in the middle of a gusher.

“I don’t plan on going anywhere,” he declared.

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Andre Johnson sees historic game in Foxboro

As the Texans get ready to face the Patriots on Monday Night Football, a player who has been in Houston for all but one year of the franchise’s existence has a fairly strong assessment of the meaning of the game.

“It’s big,” Andre Johnson said, via  “You know how big it is, biggest game in the history of this franchise.  It’ll be a big test for us and we’ll be ready to go.”

Some would say that last year’s playoff debut, which took a decade to earn, is still bigger.  But Johnson apparently thinks that this game is the biggest stepping stone to date on what could be a Super Bowl run.

“I think as long as we keep winning, every game is going to get bigger and bigger,” Johnson said. “When you’ve been somewhere you’ve never been before, everything gets bigger.  It’ll be a big game for us.  Everybody knows the significance of this game, so just get ready and we’ll be ready Monday night.”

The significance primarily comes from the impact of the outcome on the playoff seeding.  A win puts the Texans within striking distance of the No. 1 seed, given that they’d have at least a two-game lead (plus the head-to-head tiebreaker) over the Ravens and Broncos and a three-game lead (plus the head-to-head tiebreaker).

Let’s consider that for a second.  If the Texans beat the Pats, Houston will have beaten every other division leader in the AFC this year.  If the rematches occur in Reliant Stadium, the Texans could indeed be heading to New Orleans in late January.

Working against the Texans is the fact that the Pats haven’t lost a home game in December since 2002.  And it’s a big game for New England, since a win over Houston would put the Patriots withing a game of the Texans for the top seed in the AFC.

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Biggest game yet, says Andre Johnson

Receiver Andre Johnson was asked after practice Thursday about the importance of Monday’s game at New England.

“You know how big it is?” he said. “(It’s) the biggest game in the history of this franchise. As long as we keep winning, every game is going to get bigger and bigger. When you’ve been somewhere you’ve never been, everything gets bigger.”

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Andre Johnson drops $19K on toy shopping spree for charity

Here's an NFL story designed to warm your heart and terrify your wallet. Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, one of the league's unquestioned good guys, on Tuesday performed what's becoming an annual ritual for him: a Toys "R" Us shopping spree for at-risk youth in Houston.

Johnson's Foundation, the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation, funded the spree, in which 12 children selected by Child Protective Services had 80 seconds to fill up their carts with as many toys as they could. And oh, could they fill those carts.

"You hear a minute and twenty seconds, and you don't think that's a long time, but you'd be surprised by what these kids can put into their buckets," Johnson said afterward. You can see his gargantuan receipt in the photo at right.

The children, ranging in ages from 8 to 16, have all suffered parental abuse in some form and now live with extended family members. But each child made sure to purchase toys for siblings and other relatives as well.

Johnson's foundation performs several works throughout the year for children in both Houston and Johnson's Miami hometown. But he told the team's website that it's the Toys "R" Us event that he enjoys the most.

"I think it's probably the best one because you get to see the kids really enjoy it," he said. "That's what this season is about.  It's something I look forward to. The kids are happy, they get what they want for Christmas, and that's all that matters."

After the spree, Johnson also joined the Houston Police Department's Blue Santa program to surprise 800 students at Houston's Bastian Elementary School with Christmas presents.

Johnson stressed that he had traveled the path many of these kids were on, and he hoped they could learn from his example: "I grew up in a single-parent home and I was fortunate to achieve my goals," he said. "So, whatever goals you have, just keep them out in front of you, don't let anybody distract you away from them, because there will be distractions that try to detour you away from your goals. That's the biggest thing."

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Top 2 NFL WRs Are proCanes According to


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Andre Johnson named AFC Offensive Player of the Month

Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for November.

Johnson led the AFC in receptions (35), receiving yards (614) and yards from scrimmage (614) in four November games. He averaged 153.5 receiving yards per game, second in the NFL behind Calvin Johnson (154.8) and first in the AFC by a 57-yard margin over A.J. Green (96.5). Johnson set an NFL record for a two-game stretch with 461 receiving yards in the last two games.

Johnson, 31, set franchise records in Week 11 with 14 catches for 273 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He scored the game-winning touchdown on a 48-yard catch-and-run in overtime. He followed that with a nine-catch, 188-yard performance in the Texans’ overtime victory at the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Johnson had eight catches for 118 yards in a Week 9 victory against the Buffalo Bills.

Johnson’s big month vaulted him from ranking 18th in the NFL in receptions (34) and yards (444) to sixth (69) and third (1,058), respectively. He is on pace for his third-career 1,500-yard season, which would tie Marvin Harrison for the second-most in NFL history behind Jerry Rice (4).

This is the second AFC Offensive Player of the Month in Johnson’s 10-year career. The five-time Pro Bowler previously won the award in October 2008. This is the second time this season and eighth time in franchise history a Texan has won Player of the Month honors. 

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Andre Johnson’s 2-game haul for Texans is second to none

A slight smile peeked through on Andre Johnson’s face, but only briefly as he dismissed too much talk of the record he set Thursday.

In his last two games, Johnson put together the best back-to-back outings by a receiver in NFL history. His 461 yards over two games topped his friend Chad Johnson’s 2006 total of 450, John Taylor’s 448-yard back-to-back in 1989, and Jerry Rice’s 442 over two consecutive games in 1995.

“It’s great; you can’t downplay it,” Johnson admitted. Then he struggled to find the right words to explain his thoughts on the record. “I just don’t … for some reason, it just doesn’t really … I guess with me it’s different.

“When you’re still playing, it means something, but you just have bigger goals. It’s great to accomplish it. Maybe when the season’s over, I’ll look back and be like, ‘Wow I did something nobody else has done.’ ”

The bigger goals he spoke of were the team’s aspirations to win home-field advantage and a Super Bowl championship, team success Johnson has never tasted in his 10-year career. But as the Texans are nearing the end of a season that began with lofty expectations, Johnson’s record-setting play has helped the pursuit of those team goals and the achieving of a 10-1 record.

“It’s remarkable to see what he’s done not only this season but in the past couple weeks,” quarterback Matt Schaub said. “It’s something that we see all the time in practice. It’s just him being Andre. You can really see he’s taken it upon himself to take his game to a new level. It’s pretty remarkable to watch.”

In the past two weeks, Johnson went from 21st in receiving yards to third behind Detroit’s Calvin Johnson and Indianapolis’ Reggie Wayne.

Silencing the critics While Johnson did start the season with a 100-yard game against the Miami Dolphins, he didn’t have another one until Week 9. In Weeks 2 through 5, Johnson caught a total of nine passes, and whispers of how much he had left arose.

Then his production began to quiet those questions.

“There was some concern early in the year,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “I think there was some concern on his part and my part. We were trying to work through some things, limit the reps, do all the right things to get him back.

“Then all of a sudden, we come out of New York (in Week 5), and since then, it’s just been, ‘Game on.’ He’s been exceptional. He’s been exceptional in practice. All of his confidence is back. Andre is a worker. Andre plays well when he’s working well during the week. That’s just the way he is. It’s fun to watch right now. He’s exceptional. I couldn’t get it to him enough.”

Johnson has had more than 100 yards receiving in three of the last four games. The exception was the Texans’ win in rainy, sloppy Chicago three weeks ago.
And while his career-best 273-yard performance two weeks ago came against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that ranks 28th against the pass, his 188-yard performance — only four days after another overtime game — came against a Lions pass defense that ranks 12th.

Still going strong Johnson’s 31-year-old legs did not tire in either game. He caught most of his passes in the fourth quarter and overtime.

“I don’t know. When I was drafted into this league I just wanted to come in and be the best I could be,” Johnson said. “You don’t know what can happen. You can suffer an injury, and your career can be shortened. I’m very fortunate to be able to play for 10 seasons.

“I always just say when I came out, I wanted to be the best at my position. So far, I think I’ve been doing a very good job of it.”

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Andre Johnson produces best back-to-back in NFL history

There has never been a receiver in the history of football to do what Andre Johnson has done in the past week.

There has never even been a receiver in the history of football to do what he’s done in two games.

Johnson caught an astounding 461 receiving yards in back-to-back games, a feat that’s never been accomplished before. He did it within a five-day span, just weeks after cries of his aging body and questions about whether he was finished circulated.

This wasn’t just among spectators and reporters. After his slow start, there were personnel people around the league who wondered if his decline had started.
This week, in two spectacular games, Johnson answered with a resounding, “No.”

On Sunday against the Jaguars, he caught 14 passes for a career-high 273 yards, including a walk-off 48-yard touchdown catch in overtime. Then, after playing five quarters and only getting three days of rest, at a time when another 31-year-old’s body might feel the strain of fatigue, Johnson caught nine passes for 188 yards. Six of those catches and 101 yards came in the fourth quarter and overtime.

“Andre is rolling right now,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “He’s got confidence, he’s playing his tail off, he’s healthy and he’s back in the best condition I’ve seen him in in three years.”

Two games have catapulted Johnson from 21st in receiving yards to second, behind only Calvin Johnson who got upstaged on Thursday.

Andre Johnson’s total topped Chad Johnson, who had 450 yards in two games in 2006. And Chad Johnson didn’t do it in the same week.

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Texans report: Andre Johnson blows away critics, foes

HOUSTON—Texans receiver Andre Johnson, 31, had read and listened to accusations that he'd lost a step or two, that hamstring and groin injuries last season and in training camp this year had taken a toll on a player who had been considered one of the two best at his position.

Over the last five games, Johnson has answered his critics with a terrific stretch.

In the Texans’ 4-1 run that has elevated their record to 9-1, Johnson has 43 catches for 589 yards and one touchdown. That’s an average of 8.6 catches and 117.8 yards. Johnson was at his record-setting best in Sunday’s 43-37 overtime victory over Jacksonville. He established career highs with 14 catches for 273 yards. The touchdown came in overtime. He caught a quick screen pass from quarterback Matt Schaub near the right sideline and picked up two blocks before sprinting 48 yards down the right sideline for the winning touchdown.

The victory allowed the Texans to remain tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the best record in the NFL entering Thursday’s game at Detroit.

Johnson, in fact, may have lost a step, but he’s strong, smart and knowledgeable about every trick of the trade. He continues to run routes all over the field. He’s fearless over the middle. The offensive coaches move him around. He can be found lining up wide or in the slot. He can start in the backfield and go in motion. He also switches into the backfield and runs his route from that point.

If Johnson continues his outstanding performance over the last six games, he’ll finish with 111 receptions for 1,558 yards.

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Andre Johnson goes 14 for 273, and he was not playing Madden

An amazing Sunday in Houston. This is modern football at its Monopoly-money best: Justin Blackmon and Johnson became the first two receivers in a game ever to each go over 200 yards. They combined for 21 catches and 509 yards, for a 24.2-yard average reception. I'm incredulous just writing that sentence. Where will it all end?

"It's crazy,'' Johnson told me from the Texans' locker room. "I don't know what to say. I didn't know something like that would ever happen.'' Heck, it may never again. The story in Houston's 43-37 overtime win was the crazy overtime. Houston kicked a field goal. Jacksonville kicked a field goal. Schaub threw an interception. Jacksonville -- correctly, I thought -- went for it and failed on 4th-and-10 from the Houston 47? (Really, what do you have to lose when you're 1-9 and there's two and a half minutes left to play and you're tied against the top team in the conference? Go for the win.) On the second play after that, Schaub threw a wide receiver screen to Johnson on the right side of the formation, and Johnson ran 48 yards for the winning touchdown.

Johnson said he's fully healthy for one of the first times in recent years, and he's able to practice and go through the normal drill work he's had to miss because of two knee scopes and a bad hamstring injury over the past two seasons. "My stride is opening up,'' he said. "I feel like I have my legs back, my explosion. I can't tell you how many OTAs, how many training camp practices, how many regular practices I missed. I feel like I've been battling so many injuries the last two or three years.'' Schaub threw to Johnson 19 times Sunday, and look for numbers like that to be the rule, not the exception, down the stretch.

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Breaking Down Andre Johnson’s Winning Catch

It has been a while since Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson dominated a game the way he did in Week 11 against the Jaguars. Actually, with 273 yards on 14 receptions, he bested his career high in yards by 66. It was his final catch of the game — a 48-yard touchdown that came on a screen — that was Johnson’s most impressive.

In many ways, the Texans were lucky to be in position to win. Tied with Houston at 37-37 with 2 minutes 36 seconds remaining in overtime, the Jaguars faced a 4th-and-10 at the Texans’ 47-yard line. Sitting with a record of 1-8, Jacksonville decided to go for it in a situation when a team fighting for a spot in the playoffs might otherwise punt and play for the tie. The Jags really handed Houston an early Christmas present when Chad Henne failed to connect with Justin Blackmon.

Texans quarterback Matt Schaub found Kevin Walter on a 5-yard out on the next play for Houston, and the clock was ticking inside of 2:20. With no timeouts, Schaub dialed up a play at the line.


Going no-huddle, it took Schaub only 14 seconds to get his offense lined up after the completion to Walter. With a Shotgun 5 Wide formation, the Texans spread the field. The Jaguars showed blitz before the snap, with six defenders — four linemen, a linebacker, and a defensive back — lined up as if they’d rush.


The Jaguars had blitzed on the previous play in an attempt to force the issue on defense. Knowing their only real shot to win was with a takeaway, Jacksonville rightfully played with a high-risk/high-reward defensive strategy. But knowing a blitz was almost certainly on the way, Schaub called the perfect play for the situation: a screen to Johnson.

Interestingly, the Texans actually had a double-screen called. Both Johnson and receiver Lester Jean (lined up closest to the sideline on the three-receiver side of the formation) ran the same route — three steps up before coming back to Schaub. It appeared as if Schaub had his choice of where to go with the ball, choosing Johnson for obvious reasons; in addition to Johnson’s being a bigger threat with the ball, the Jaguars were also out of position to the boundary since they blitzed their slot defender on that side. Further, the Texans released three of their five linemen toward Johnson.


By the time Johnson caught the pass, center Chris Myers, guard Ben Jones and tackle Derek Newton were all in prime position to block. Myers peeled back to catch any trailing defenders, Jones made his way to the second level, and Newton headed out to take care of the cornerback covering Johnson. Jones was particularly useful on the play, acting as a wall between Johnson and the last man to beat: safety Dawan Landry. Jones ran with Johnson for just about 25 yards, paving the way for the receiver’s game-winning score.


In what was probably the most thrilling game of Week 11, the Texans stormed back from a seemingly insurmountable 14-point fourth-quarter deficit. After Blackmon’s 81-yard fourth quarter touchdown, the Texans’ chances of winning were around 4 percent. With a little luck and a few well-timed plays, Houston showed why they could very well be the team to beat in the A.F.C. come January.

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Andre Johnson completes rally with clutch TD

HOUSTON — These 10 seconds will not define this year for the Texans. These 10 seconds will not alter the path of their historic season in any substantial way.

These 10 seconds simply showed the connection between Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson and, even more so, between Johnson, the fans' favorite, and those fans.

Johnson turned a screen pass from Schaub into a 48-yard touchdown — each capping one of the best statistical games in NFL history — as the Texans survived perhaps their worst game of the season and escaped with a 43-37 overtime victory over the 1-9 Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium on Sunday.

“I love him,” Schaub said of Johnson. “I love the way he plays. ... He gives me a chance to look good. And that's what he did today.

“It was special. That's just Andre.”

Johnson had 14 catches for a career-high 273 yards — the ninth-most in NFL history.

Schaub finished 43 of 55 passing for a career-high 527 yards — tied with ex-Oilers quarterback Warren Moon for the second-most in NFL history — and five touchdowns.

The Texans rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and improved to 9-1 — tied with the Falcons for the best record in the NFL.

They entered the game as 151/2-point favorites, the largest spread in the NFL this year.

“We struggled today,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “But we kept battling, and we found a way to win a game another way.”

The Texans now get three days of rest before playing at Detroit (4-6) on Thanksgiving Day.

And they are going to need all of the rest they can get after this wild, entertaining affair.

The Texans finished with a franchise-record 640 total yards but allowed 458 yards to the Jaguars.

The teams traded field goals to start overtime, setting the stage for the most memorable play (so far) in this most memorable Texans season.

Schaub took a shotgun snap. He waited a split second and fired a pass to Johnson, who had turned straight toward Schaub for a screen pass.
Johnson sprinted down the right sideline, not even having to weave between defenders.

Ten seconds after the snap, Johnson, the longest tenured Texan, sprinted through the end zone and into the waiting arms of delirious fans.

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Andre Johnson and Blackmon make NFL history

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston's Andre Johnson and Jacksonville's Justin Blackmon both had more than 200 yards receiving Sunday, marking the first time two players reached that mark in a single game.

Johnson had 14 receptions for 273 yards, both career highs. Blackmon, a rookie, had seven receptions for 236 yards, also career highs.

Blackmon had an 81-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. Johnson gave the Texans a 43-37 win in overtime with a 48-yard touchdown catch.

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Andre Johnson credits new practice regimen for health, production

Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson only played seven games in 2011 because of injuries, a number he topped Sunday by playing in his eighth game of the season.

Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle reports that Johnson credits a new between game routine for keeping him on the field this season. Johnson is taking fewer reps in practice, doing more stretching and getting regular massages in hopes of being as fresh as possible on Sundays.

It didn’t look like the approach was working all that well through the first five weeks of the season. After catching eight balls in the opener, Johnson had just nine catches in the next four games and looked like a less dangerous receiver than he’s been at earlier points in his career. Things have turned around since then as Johnson has 25 catches in his last three games, including eight for 118 yards in Sunday’s win. The Texans had stretches of ineffective play on offense Sunday, but Matt Schaub found Johnson to keep the chains moving on several occasions during the 21-9 win.

Johnson’s burst of productivity has him closing in on the top 25 in NFL history in receptions and the top 30 in receiving yardage, numbers that he said don’t mean as much to him as the fact that the team is 7-1 halfway through the 2012 season.

“The only time I find out about stats is when I talk to the media,” Johnson said. “It’s an accomplishment, a great accomplishment, but winning is the thing.”

It felt at times on Sunday that the Texans were doing just enough to come out of the game with a victory. That won’t be enough to win against the Bears next Sunday, which makes it a good thing that Johnson is riding a hot streak into the marquee matchup of Week 10.

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Andre Johnson silencing critics with production

HOUSTON—In the Texans’ first five games, receiver Andre Johnson caught 17 passes for 283 yards. He heard and read criticism that he was slowing down at 31, that hamstring injuries last season and a groin injury in preseason had taken a toll, and he couldn’t run the way he used to.

Johnson has turned those jeers into cheers over the last three games in which he’s caught 25 passes for 279 yards.

In the last two victories over Baltimore and Buffalo, Johnson has 17 receptions for 204 yards. Of those 17 receptions, 12 have produced first downs.

Johnson says he feels better than he did in camp and at the start of the season. Coach Gary Kubiak takes it easy on him in practice, preferring to save Johnson’s best for games.

Basically, Johnson says he’s getting more opportunities, and he’s taking advantage of them. Johnson usually attracts double coverage. Corners play on or off coverage, and there’s usually a safety over the top. If the defense is playing one safety, he’ll shift to Johnson’s side. Unless it’s a gifted cornerback like Antonio Cromartie of the New York Jets, defensive coordinators seldom put one player on Johnson.

In the victory over the Bills, Johnson caught eight passes for 118 yards. It was the 40th 10-yard game of his career. He’s played a key role in the Texans’ 7-1 record that’s the best in the AFC.

Johnson’s on a pace for 84 catches for 1,124 yards but only four touchdowns. His two touchdown receptions are three fewer than tight end Owen Daniels’ team-leading five. The one thing quarterback Matt Schaub has to do better over the second half is to get the ball to his best receiver in the red zone.

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Andre Johnson racks up 8 catches in win

Andre Johnson caught eight passes for 118 yards in the Texans' Week 9 win over the Bills.

Johnson says he's finally feeling back to his old self and it showed today. He was open at will, eating up both Aaron Williams and rookie Stephon Gilmore. If the Texans needed to throw more, the numbers would have been much bigger. As it was, Johnson came within three yards of a touchdown and a truly massive game. He's now on pace for 84 catches, 1,124 yards and four touchdowns. Johnson is a good bet to top that pace when it's said and done despite a brutal matchup in Chicago next week.

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Andre Johnson goes off for 86 yards

Andre Johnson racked up nine catches for 86 yards in the Texans' Week 7 win over the Ravens.

Although Johnson isn't yet hitting big plays down the football field, he's now racked up 17 receptions and 75-or-more yards in his last two games. He's certainly still an imposing presence out wide, even if Johnson has lost a step or two in terms of vertical route running. The Texans have a Week 8 bye, and Johnson should have no trouble roasting the Bills' defense in Week 9.

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Andre Johnson's production down, but why?

HOUSTON—Andre Johnson has heard the speculation.

Six games into a season in which the 31-year-old receiver has 25 catches for 358 yards and two touchdowns, fans and media want to know why he’s not getting the ball more. Is he open and quarterback Matt Schaub can’t find him? Is he not getting open because of double coverage? Is he not getting open despite being covered by only one cornerback?

The Texans say it’s because they’re running more, and Johnson is being doubled most of the time. As the play caller, coach Gary Kubiak says he has to do a better job of getting the ball to Johnson. But Schaub, who has only eight touchdown passes, is throwing the ball away more than in the past. Too often, he gets good protection but can’t find an open receiver.

Johnson is on a pace for 66 catches, which would tie his career low if he plays 16 games. He’s on a pace for 954 yards, which would be the fewest of his career when he plays 16 games. Johnson says he has to take advantage of the opportunities he gets, and when they’re running so well and winning, he’s not going to complain about his role. Johnson says he’s healthy. He participates in every practice. He had eight catches for 75 yards against the Packers to reach 10,000 yards (10,014) in his career, but he couldn’t enjoy it because of the 42-24 Green Bay victory.

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10,000-yard milestone bittersweet for Andre Johnson

Everybody knows Andre Johnson is one of the best. Now the Texans wide receiver has a big milestone to add to his resume.

Johnson surpassed 10,000 receiving yards for his career during the fourth quarter Sunday night. He became the 38th player in NFL history to do so, but he said he does not plan to celebrate.

“It’s a big accomplishment, but the way things played out (tonight) it doesn’t feel good,” he said.

It took Johnson 128 games to reach 10,000 yards. That makes him the sixth-fastest player to get to 10,000.

Johnson now has 731 receptions for 10,014 receiving yards in his career. Johnson has led the NFL in receiving yards twice and in receptions twice. In 2008, he led in both categories.

Sunday night was Johnson’s best game since the season opener against. He had eight receptions that day but had nine combined in the four games that followed. On Sunday, he had eight receptions for 75 yards.

Johnson said he has been living a dream for the last decade.

“You don’t know what you’re going to do when you get into this league,” Johnson said. “The life span of this league is four years. I’ve been fortunate to be here for 10 seasons.”

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Is Andre Johnson declining for Houston Texans?

The Houston Texans' offense is known for its "Big Three" ... but is that really the case anymore?

Quarterback Matt Schaub is playing at an All-Pro level, and Arian Foster is entrenched as the NFL's preeminent workhorse back. Wide receiver Andre Johnson is supposed to complete this trinity. He hasn't carried his share of the weight through five games.

Johnson was largely neutralized Monday night by the New York Jets' Antonio Cromartie, a good, but not great, cornerback. and NFL Network's Michael Lombardi wrote in his latest "Front Office View" column that Johnson "does not look like the same player."

Wrote Lombardi: "Johnson cannot run, burst or make sharp cuts, which has been the case since his hamstring injury."

Johnson's decreased production supports Lombardi's opinion. Through Week 5, Johnson has 17 receptions for 286 yards and two touchdowns. By way of comparison, here was Johnson's statline through five games in 2009, the last time he played 16 games: 28 receptions, 437 yards and four touchdowns.

Johnson still can produce, but at 31, it's fair to wonder if his best days are behind him.

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Kubiak wants Andre Johnson more involved

Coach Gary Kubiak said he's "got to a better job of getting [Andre Johnson] involved."

Over the last four games, Johnson is averaging 2.2 catches for 41.0 yards with one touchdown. His 31 targets on the season rank 50th in the league, a reminder that the Texans run to win now and often take the air out of the ball while nursing leads. "Other guys are making plays because of Andre, I can tell you that, because they're paying so much attention to him, but still need to get him more involved with what we're doing, so that's my responsibility," Kubiak said. The Texans figure to need some extra scoring against the Packers this Sunday night.

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Andre Johnson quietly nears milestone

HOUSTON — Larry Coker, the former Miami Hurricanes' coach, admits Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson was “a little hard to get to know.” That was because, and it remains the case today, Johnson doesn't say a whole lot ... with his mouth.

As Coker came to realize, though, Johnson's attitude, attention to detail and unwavering accountability — in the classroom, too, not just on the practice field — were sufficiently eloquent.

“I still hold him up as an example when I'm talking to my kids today,” said Coker, now in his second season of building a football program from scratch at UTSA. “Andre's size, speed and athleticism set him apart, but it's the other stuff you remember. You want all your players to take care of business like he did. He hasn't changed any, has he?”

No, coach, he hasn't.

“Every day, ever since I've been here, it's hard to get Andre to say anything, let alone complain,” Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. “He never complains. He just works.”

Johnson is a full decade into his Texans career and likely just one ordinary — for him — game shy of 10,000 receiving yards. He goes to New Jersey to play the Jets on the cusp of becoming the sixth-fastest player in NFL history to get there.

Johnson needs 76 yards Monday night. Over the 126 games he has played, his average is 77.5. That's the second highest behind Marvin Harrison, who spent his career catching passes from Peyton Manning.

Johnson's quarterback for his first four pro seasons was David Carr on a talent-thin, confidence-shy expansion team. It took him until the end of that fourth year as a Texan before he could celebrate as many pro victories as he enjoyed in two seasons at Miami. Still, he calls himself “fortunate” to have remained a Texan, to have been an integral “part of building something.”

“In this day and time, for a player to stay the course with an expansion franchise like he did through some very tough times tells you what he's all about as person,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “His career has been excellent, but we're all happy we finally gave him a good football team to work with.”

Johnson admits he's proud of his prodigious statistics.

“(They say) I've been able to do something very productive since I've been here playing,” he said. “That means a lot.”

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Andre Johnson limited on Wednesday

Andre Johnson and Arian Foster were limited for rest purposes in Wednesday's practice, and will return to full sessions on Thursday.

The engines of the Texans offense needed a breather after Sunday's physical tilt with the Broncos. Foster's 294 rushing yards are sixth in the league through three weeks, while Johnson's 212 receiving yards are 26th. Johnson could be in for a breakout week against the Titans' 30th ranked pass defense.

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Andre Johnson lights up the Broncos

During the Texans’ 31-25 win over the Broncos on Sunday, Matt Schaub used boot action to target Andre Johnson down the field for a 60-yard TD. Today, let’s look at the “All-22” coaches film to breakdown the route, coverage and get into some coaching points.

Texans vs. Broncos Personnel: Ace (2WR-2TE-1RB) Formation: Bunch Route scheme: “Swap” Boot


- Before we get into the Xs and Os of the route, check out the field position. 1st and 20 situation (following a penalty) with the ball on or near the 40-yard line. This is prime field position to take a vertical shot.

- WR Splits always tell you a story from a defensive perspective. Look at Johnson to the open (weak) side of the formation. He is in a “reduced” (or “nasty&rdquoWinking split. With the bunch to the closed (strong) side, this is an automatic alert for a boot concept.

- In a “Swap” Boot, the offense will bring a player back under the line of scrimmage to work to the open side flat. With “Ace” personnel on the field, the Texans use closed side run action and roll Schaub weak.


-This is multiple breaking route from Johnson. The WR will take a hard inside release, push up the field, stem to the 7 (create separation vs. the CB playing with an outside shade) and then work back to the 8 (post).

- The technique (and depth) of the FS is crucial. It’s tough when you are a middle of the field defender to stay away from the “bait” underneath (TE on intermediate crossing route). However, with No.1 (Johnson) working up the field, you have to keep your depth and only drive downhill on the throw from the QB.


-The open side CB, Tracy Porter, is beat. Because of the stem from Johnson, we now see Porter stuck low and to the outside in a “trail position” vs. a deep inside breaking route (Post). 

- Focus on the FS, Mike Adams. If he maintains his depth and uses a “open angle” technique (open hips to the receiver), he can turn and run to match Johnson down the field. However, when Adams breaks downhill to the TE on the underneath crossing route, Porter is hung out to dry.

- This is an easy read for Schaub off the boot action. With Adams now removed from the deep middle of the field and Johnson stacking on top of Porter, the Texans’ QB can target the WR on the post. Another example of why the discipline of the FS is key to seeing success in any single high safety defense.


Champ Bailey Talks About Andre Johnson

Edged by his opponent on the scoreboard for the second straight week, Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey knows full well that his defense desperately needs to tighten things up going forward in order to win games. The 11-time Pro Bowler made it quite clear to that big plays in the passing game continue to serve as the team's Achilles' heel at the moment.

"We’ve got to start faster," Bailey said. "I felt like the first five minutes, we were good. Then all of a sudden, they throw two balls over our head. We can’t live with that."

Although Bailey and company were able to limit Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson to just two receptions on the afternoon, a key catch by the superstar wideout over the outstretched hand of Bailey ultimately allowed the Texans to kill much of the clock late in the fourth.

"I was right there," Bailey said. "It’s just two good players making plays. Once I started following [Johnson] around, he didn’t have a catch in crunch time. He made it happen. I’ve got to give him a lot of credit for that."

While it's hard to believe that leaders like Bailey and quarterback Peyton Manning won't find a way to turn their respective units around in the coming weeks, Bailey is spot-on in his assessment of how debilitating Denver's slow starts have been this year. Eager to claw their way back to .500 with a win, the Broncos should have an opportunity to turn things around in Week 4 against an Oakland Raiders team still trying to find its identity despite a last-second win over the Steelers on Sunday.

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Andre Johnson goes for 72 yards, TD in win

Andre Johnson caught two passes for 72 yards and a touchdown in Houston's Week 3 win over the Broncos.

Johnson schooled Broncos RCB Tracy Porter on the game's second drive, getting behind the entire defense for a 60-yard touchdown. Johnson was targeted only four times, but came within inches of another long score early in the second half, barely losing a one-on-one battle with Champ Bailey in the end zone. Johnson has now been limited to two catches in back-to-back games, but it's been primarily a function of the Texans taking the air out of the ball as they nurse big leads. With 212 yards and two touchdowns through three weeks, he's still locked and loaded as a WR1.

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Andre Johnson has his way with Dolphins defense.....again

HOUSTON– Sometimes the margin of error for a cornerback is so small it is barely noticeable.

Its turning his head around a second too late; an outstretched hand in a defender's face; or jamming a receiver's inside shoulder instead of the outside. Sometimes it is those missteps that lead to a big reception -- or touchdown.

Against elite NFL receivers those mistakes get magnified. That was the case for Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith who allowed Andre Johnson to score a 14-yard touchdown in the final 12 seconds of the second-quarter of Sunday's 30-10 loss.

Smith, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, was so bothered by his performance on Johnson's score he punched his locker upon leaving the Texans locker room.

"On that touchdown I turned my head back way too late," Smith said. "When I turned my head back late the ball was behind me."

And placed in a beautiful spot by quarterback Matt Schaub, where only Johnson could have caught the first down pass, which came two plays after the Dolphins' third straight turnover in that quarter's final five minutes.

Johnson, whose average yards per game (79.5) is the highest in NFL history, hawked down the pass and tiptoeing inside the edge of the end zone to give Houston a 24-3 lead.

"I know what I'm capable of doing," said Johnson, who caught eight of the 10 passes thrown his way for 119 yards and a score. It was his 39th 100-yard game in his 10 seasons.

The former University of Miami standout's biggest reception came on a 29-yard grab in the third quarter, where he beat safety Jimmy Wilson, who was filling in as Miami's fourth cornerback.

"I just go out and make the most of my opportunities," Johnson said.

Smith didn't have many opportunities to cover Johnson, who primarily works on the opposite side of the field. But coach Joe Philbin was critical of the one instance where the team's top cornerback was on duty.

"I'm disappointed on the last play of the half. They scored with 12 second left on the clock, they didn't have any timeouts," Philbin said. "You know the ball is going into the end zone. That's not good football."

Johnson wasn't the only Texan doing big things against Miami's defense, which allowed 337 yards. Tight end Owen Daniels caught four of eight passes thrown his way, contributing 87 of Schaub's 266 passing yards.

"This film is going to be tough to watch," Smith admitted. "The first half we came out on all cylinders. We were stopping the run and getting them off the field. Then we dug a hole for ourselves and it went downhill from there."

Smith's referring to the three back-to-back turnovers that closed the first half. The Texans turned thought three turnovers into two rushing touchdowns from Arian Foster and then Johnson's 14-yard score.

"You have to get your hands on him early," said new Dolphins safety Troy Nolan, who spent the past two seasons practicing against Johnson as a member of the Texans, and passed on his tips to his new teammates. "Andre can't get a free release on the ball. You have to get your hands on him and disrupt him any way you can.

"Watching film doesn't tell the whole story. He's been doing great things in this league for a long time, playing at a high level. There is nothing a player like that can hide."

And also nowhere a defender covering him one-on-one can hide. That's certainly been the case for the Dolphins considering Johnson's caught 45 passes for 638 yards and scored five touchdowns in the six games he's played against the Dolphins, all of which have resulted in wins.

"If you're a competitor you definitely want to go against a great receiver," said Smith, who was on Johnson the two times he didn't bring in balls thrown his way. "I'll see him again."

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Andre Johnson Entering 10th Season

HOUSTON (AP) — Andre Johnson got to make his NFL debut in his hometown when the Houston Texans opened the 2003 season in Miami.

Big underdogs, the Texans upset the Dolphins 21-20 that day and Johnson made six catches to begin what now seems to be a Hall of Fame career.

Houston opens with Miami again on Sunday, this time at Reliant Stadium. The Texans are the heavy favorites now and harbor Super Bowl aspirations, like the Dolphins did that year. But Johnson has seen too many bad things happen to the franchise to take anything for granted.

"You just can't get caught up in what people say," Johnson said. "When I think about this game, I think about my rookie year, when we went down there and played them and everybody was saying they were going to win the Super Bowl. We didn't have a chance. One article said it was going to be like a scrimmage game. We went out and beat them."

"You can't overlook anybody in this league," he said. "I know that and we know that as a team. We're going to go out there and play the way we know how to play. That's basically it."

Johnson is entering his 10th NFL season since Houston drafted him with the third overall pick. He's the only player on the roster who was here when Gary Kubiak became the coach in 2006, so he's been around for just about all of the Texans' darkest days.

But Johnson never lost faith, signing a contract extension before the 2010 season that could keep him here through 2016. The five-time Pro Bowl selection has nothing more to accomplish individually, and the only goal left is playing long enough to see the franchise win a championship.

"The window is not as big as it used to be," he said. "As time goes on, you definitely feel a sense of urgency, but it's nothing you really can rush. You just have to take care of the task at hand. I would love to win a Super Bowl before I hang up my cleats, but you know, it's not going to just take me. It's going to take everybody in that locker room to get it done. We all have the same goal in mind and we're going to do our best to try and accomplish it."

Johnson topped 1,500 yards receiving to lead the league in 2008 and '09. He played most of the 2010 season with a badly sprained right ankle, then missed nine games last season with hamstring injuries. He underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery in the spring and turned 31 in the summer, but he long ago tuned out talk about his durability.

"I said that coming into camp, that everybody is saying that I'm old and I probably can't play anymore and that I'm injury-prone," he said. "Things happen. That was out of my control. I can't control that. I can't control what happens. I think, as players, if we could control that, there wouldn't be any injuries. It happens and I move on from it."

He seemed to be back to his old form in his limited action in the preseason, making four catches, including a 43-yarder in which he wrestled possession away from two defenders.

"When I'm out on the field," he said, "as you see in preseason when I was able to play, I went out and made plays. People can say what they want. I really don't care."

The Texans are grooming undrafted free agent Lestar Jean and draft picks DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin as some of the franchise's receivers of the future. Johnson has been happy to mentor them during training camp, while he nursed some minor injuries.

The real games are here now, and Johnson is healthy and ready to return to what he does best.

"I think the older you get, the more ready you are to play games, just ready to hurry up and get the preseason games over with," he said. "You pretty much know what to expect. This is my 10th season, so you just want to get training camp out of the way. The real games are finally here. I'm excited about it and I'll be ready to go on Sunday."

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Houston concerned about injury-prone WR Andre Johnson

The Houston Texans won’t say it publicly, but they’re entering the season concerned about receiver Andre Johnson’s health.

They know their best chance to challenge for the Super Bowl is to have quarterback Matt Schaub’s favorite target in the lineup for 16 games. The problem is that Johnson hasn’t played 16 games since 2009.

Knee and hamstring injuries have limited him to a total of 20 starts over the past two seasons. Johnson turned 31 in July and missed organized team activities and minicamp because of arthroscopic knee surgery. He was 100 percent entering camp but suffered a minor groin injury that kept him out.

In the third preseason game, he came down on the point of the football and had to leave the game for X-rays on his ribs that were negative. However, he missed a couple of days of practice and sat out the preseason finale. He ended up playing about one full game in preseason.

What frustrates the team the most is that Johnson still is outstanding—when he plays. He averaged 19.4 yards on four catches in preseason.

There’s no doubt Johnson still can be one of the league’s top receivers when he’s on the field, and his health remains the single most important issue for a team hoping to reach its first Super Bowl.

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Chris Myers, Andre Johnson sit out of Texans practice

Andre Johnson did not participate in Monday’s light practice.

Johnson landed on part of the football Saturday while attempting to make a catch in New Orleans. He lost his breath for a second and left the game to have precautionary tests run.

Johnson said after the game that he did not have soreness in his ribs, but that might have changed.  Gary Kubiak said Johnson was sore today.

Chris Myers, who was feeling ill and didn’t finish Saturday’s game, did not practice and neither did Brian Cushing, who bruised his ribs against the San Francisco 49ers. Kubiak said all three will be available week 1.

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Andre Johnson got his wind knocked out

Andre Johnson exited the Texans' third preseason game early in the first half after having the wind knocked out of him.

Worry spread across Twitter and fantasy land Saturday night when Johnson exited against the Saints, but he's fine. Johnson will not reenter tonight. The 31-year-old had two catches for 30 yards in the Superdome, following a two-catch, 49-yard second preseason game. We like Johnson as a top-five WR1 for 2012.

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Andre Johnson being sued by ex-girlfriend

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- One of the Houston Texans' most popular players is dealing with domestic and legal trouble.

We're hearing from attorneys for the mother of Andre Johnson's child, and they're telling her side of the story. She's asking for more child support and wants to move out of state with their daughter. The Texans spokesperson says they haven't seen a lawsuit and aren't commenting right now.

The lawsuit was filed in Harris County court on Tuesday but attorneys for the Texans star wide receiver's longtime girlfriend say the two have been separated since January.

"This case is really about accountability. Accountability both with respect to doing the right thing as a father, as a parent, financially and addressing the many promises that were broken to her," attorney Robert Hoffman said.

Dionne Reese hired high-profile attorneys Robert Hoffman and Earle Lilly, who also represented Cynthia Rodriguez in her divorce against NY Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

"I don't think you're going to find any physical violence. No one's claiming it and I don't think it's an issue in the case but you're going to find a lot of emotional issues," Lilly said.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Reese asks for custody of their three-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Reese also claims she's been the subject of "intentional infliction of emotional distress." She's also suing Johnson for "breach of fiduciary duty" resulting in "damages exceeding millions of dollars."

"I think there is no question celebrity status will be a part of this case because that's who Mr. Johnson is," Hoffman said.

Attorneys for Reese say this isn't the first filing, that an earlier document was filed by Johnson's attorney in a parent/child case but the filing used only the initials of the parties involved, leading Reese's attorneys to say in the court documents, "There are no secret lawsuits."

"We have now brought the names out and we have filed an amended petition," Hoffman said.

Reese also claims Johnson recanted "reasonable child support" and has "earned millions of dollars in income as a professional football player," suggesting "$1,500 per month is sufficient" for his young daughter.

"We're trying to keep this down to a mild roar for the benefit of this child. If they want peace, they can get peace," Lilly said.

We made calls after the end of the business day but have not heard back yet from his attorney or his agent.

Again the Texans say they have no knowledge of the legal documents so do not have a comment at this time.

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Andre Johnson looks recovered

Though Texans WR Andre Johnson played just a couple of series, he looked great, hauling in two catches for 49 yards, 43 of which came on a play where he beat double coverage. Good news for Johnson, who is recovering from a groin injury.

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Andre Johnson looking
 for some action in Saturday’s preseason home opener

Receiver Andre Johnson, who was kept out of the Carolina game to protect what had been a sore groin, hopes to play against San Francisco on Saturday.

“If the coaches want me to play, I’ll play,” he said. “If not, I’ll be sitting on the sideline. It’s not my decision.”

Johnson was replaced by Keshawn Martin, the fourth-round pick from Michigan State. He had two catches for 24 yards and ran once for 12 yards.

“Keshawn is a guy that doesn’t say anything,” Johnson said. “Everybody has always said that I’m quiet. He’s quieter than me. You have to really pull things out of him to get him to talk, but he has a lot of talent. Since he’s been here, he’s been making lots of plays.”

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Andre Johnson gives young Texans receivers something he never had

Andre Johnson’s rookie year was a long, long time ago, but he still remembers his very first practice when he was thrown into a role as a starting receiver.

The first-team offense huddled. Johnson stood and watched them.

“I was just standing around looking,” Johnson said. “Coach Kippy Brown looked at me and I was like what the hell are you doing? Get in there.

“I really didn’t have a veteran guy to look up to when I first got here. It was kind of tough at first. You have to learn a lot of things on your own. I was able to see veteran guys during the offseason and talk to them a little bit. Talk to guys I played with.”

The four-time All-Pro selection did just fine on his own, but he’s able to pass along some of what he learned to the gaggle of young receivers on the Texans’ roster. That means their transition will be easier than his was.

He feels comfortable letting them know when they mess up.

“I think when you tell people the truth, I think they respect you for it,” Johnson said. “I don’t have a problem with them telling me the truth just because they’re a rookie. I tell them that if you see me doing something wrong, tell me. I want to know because I want to get better as a player. I think that’s the only way you get better. I think that if you don’t tell them the truth and if you tell them they’re doing something good and they’re really not, then they’re not going to get better as player. That’s one thing we do around here. We tell each other the truth about what’s going on.”

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Kubiak expects Andre Johnson active against 49ers

Last night’s game led to plenty of talk about how the Texans defense was ahead of its offense right now.

It’s true, but a big part of it involved the personnel. You didn’t see much of running back Arian Foster, and receiver Andre Johnson wasn’t active.

That is expected to change this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers.

“It’s Sunday, but yeah, he should play,” Kubiak said of Johnson. “If everything goes according to schedule, he should play this week.”

In the Texans’ second preseason game, Kubiak plans to play the first team for a quarter and a half. Johnson won’t get quite that much time.

Johnson said during a sideline interview in Charlotte that he could have played Saturday night. Kubiak concurred, but said it just didn’t make sense to risk playing Johnson given that he’s behind in practice reps. Add to that the fact that Kubiak is already having difficulty getting enough reps for his evaluations of the young receivers and you have more reasons to sit Johnson than play him.

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Healthy Andre Johnson needed for Texans to take next steps

HOUSTON—Andre Johnson waited nearly a decade before he could dip into the NFL postseason pool, and now that he’s made his initial splash, he’s determined to dive a lot deeper.

Since the Houston Texans drafted Johnson No. 3 overall in 2003, the wide receiver has stuck it out through the team’s inconsistency and his own injuries to endure as the face of the franchise for nine stellar seasons. Because of two hamstring injuries that caused him to miss nine games a year ago, he didn't add to his five Pro Bowl appearances, but the end of the season brought a much more desired reward.

“That was a goal of mine to get this organization to its first playoff berth,” Johnson said. “We did that, won our first playoff game, and we played a great game in Baltimore (in the divisional round)—just came up a play short.

“It definitely makes you hungry. It was a great experience. You want to not only experience that again, but experience more, keep winning and hopefully accomplish that ultimate goal.”

The big question for Johnson going into 2012 is his health. At 31, he’s had a lot of wear and tear, missing 12 games over the past two seasons with leg injuries. After undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in May, he wasn't able to participate in the Texans’ organized team activities and minicamp. Early in training camp, he fought through a groin injury to get back on the field.

Not surprisingly, the Texans are being cautious with their offensive difference-maker. After returning on Monday from the groin injury, he was limited to 20 plays per day in practice—and he's not expected to play in Saturday's exhibition opener at Carolina. The Texans need Johnson at full strength to start the regular season, and he's working to get there.

While he's been busy rehabbing for most of the offseason, he has kept one thing in the back of his mind—a return to the postseason.

“Every year, the goal has been the Super Bowl. I didn’t think it would take this long,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we will get it done this year.”

The small taste of playoff success hasn’t spoiled Johnson or changed his approach toward what he likes to do more than anything—strive to stand out at wideout.

“He’s still the same guy. He’s going to come here, week in and week out, and put in the work, and that’s why he’s the best receiver in the league,” said Texans center Chris Myers, a college teammate of Johnson’s at the University of Miami and has played with him in Houston since ’08. “Going back to college—and I played against him in high school (in Miami), too—he’s been that way his whole career.”

While it could be natural for there to be an emotional letdown after the high of the Texans’ first division title, Johnson remains even-keeled.

“That’s the one thing great about having a guy like that, a franchise receiver—he’s going to be here no matter what,” Myers said. “Win, lose or draw, he’s going to be that same person.”

Matt Schaub has spent five years throwing to Johnson as his primary receiver with the Texans. While Johnson has helped Schaub settle in as one of the league’s better starting quarterbacks, he has impressed his passer with the most underrated part of his game.

“I don’t know if it’s overlooked because people don’t see it every day, but it’s his work ethic,” Schaub said. “He is one of the hardest workers I’ve been around. He doesn’t talk or say a lot, but he just goes out and plays. It’s all about the team for him. When your No. 1 guy is like that, it makes everything work that much easier.”

Not that it should be a surprise, but expect Schaub and the Texans’ passing game to continue to lean heavily on Johnson in ’12. After Johnson, fellow starting wideout Kevin Walter and tight end Owen Daniels, there is big drop-off in experience within Houston’s receiving corps.

Consider that rookie Keshawn Martin, a fourth-round pick, is leading the training camp battle over several other youngsters for the No. 3 wideout job. Martin has been praised by coach Gary Kubiak for his combination of explosiveness and surprising maturity.

Johnson, with his experience and big-play history, is also doing his best to serve the Texans’ youth with his knowledge, knowing that Martin and others will be called upon to help the team move closer to its goal.

“You never think that you’re going to be the old guy, and right now I’m the oldest guy in the room,” Johnson said. “I try to go out and teach those guys everything I can because those guys have to be out there Sunday making plays to help us win.”

After enduring the two hamstring injuries last season, Johnson showed just how much pop he had left by coming back strong in the playoffs. He had a 40-yard touchdown catch in the wild-card win over the Cincinnati Bengals and was effective in defeat (eight receptions for 111 yards) against a good Baltimore secondary.

Even though it might seem like he’s reached the peak of playing wide receiver, he won’t be satisfied with his individual game until it factors into more sustained playoff success for the Texans.

“I’ve always been motivated to get out here and get better as a player,” Johnson said. “Football is a game I love, and whenever I’m out here, I’m going to do whatever I can to make the team become better. “

Johnson has the same football drive he’s always had. A postseason trip has just accelerated that mentality.

“Andre’s always been that quiet guy, but you could get a sense last year, when we got to the playoffs, he was that much more anxious,” Myers said. “He wants to build upon that.”

With the championship window of opportunity starting to shrink for the Texans’ best all-time player, Johnson is aware his time needs to be now—and that feeling is shared by his teammates.

“With him going into Year 10 in the league, his years are getting a little slimmer now, so he wants to be able to produce and get this team back where it’s supposed to be,” Myers said. “He’s the most tenured guy on this team, and everyone wants to win for him as well.”

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Andre Johnson has Hall of Fame credentials, but durability an issue

If you listen to a lot of fans and some members of the Houston media, Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson sounds like a cinch to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The truth is that Johnson is on the right path, but he has a long way to go if he wants to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, when his eligibility begins five years after his NFL career ends.

A survey of some members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the weekend shows that Johnson has everything it takes to be inducted, but the one question involves his durability.

“Andre’s a great, great player, but there’s the question of injuries,” said former defensive end Howie Long, an NFL studio analyst for Fox Sports. “If he stays healthy, I think he can (make it).”

Johnson is entering his 10th season. He has missed 12 games the last two seasons, including nine in the 2011 regular season. Hamstring injuries limited him to 33 catches for 492 yards and two touchdowns, but he bounced back in the playoffs. In the victory over Cincinnati and the loss at Baltimore, Johnson had 13 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown.

Best at position Former tackle Dan Dierdorf, a color analyst for CBS, has seen a lot of Texans games. He was reminded of something his mentor, the late Jack Buck, told him years ago.

“Talking about the prerequisites of being a Hall of Famer, Jack said you can’t get caught up in numbers,” Dierdorf said. “Jack said at one point during your career, you should have been considered the best in the league at your position.

“When you’re looking at receivers, I think you have to ask that question rather than just focus on numbers. Because some have big numbers but were never considered the best at their position.

“When you ask that question about Andre Johnson, the answer is affirmative. He has been and may still be considered the best receiver in the game. I think that makes him an automatic.”

Former Oilers quarterback Warren Moon is a game analyst for the Seattle Seahawks’ radio network. He has special affection for the league’s best receivers.

“For the last five, six years, he’s been one of the best in the league,” Moon said. “When he’s healthy, he’s as consistent as anybody. And he can do everything you want in a receiver.

“He got some playoff exposure last year, and he did well. Now he needs to do more of it on the playoff stage and in national TV games. Getting that kind of consistent exposure will increase his chances.”

Numbers no guarantee Johnson is the only receiver to have at least 60 catches in each of his first eight seasons. He has 706 catches for 9,656 yards and 52 touchdowns.
In recent years, it has been difficult for receivers to be elected. Cris Carter (1,101 catches for 13,899 yards), Tim Brown (1,094 for 14,934) and Andre Reed (951 for 13,198, four Super Bowls) are among the great receivers who have been passed over.

“There are a lot of great receivers who have put up big numbers, but they’re still not in it,” said Johnson, who is supposed to return to practice Monday after missing time with a minor groin strain. “All I can do is to play as hard as I can for as long as I can and help us win, and the rest will take care of itself.

“It (induction) is a goal, definitely something I’d like to be part of, but right now, I don’t think about it much because I don’t plan on retiring any time soon. I plan to keep playing at a high level for as long as I can.
“When that time (Hall of Fame eligibility) comes, hopefully, I’ll make it.”

Winning helps cause Former cornerback Mike Haynes, who works for the NFL, believes Johnson is headed in the right direction but isn’t guaranteed of enshrinement.

“Andre needs to keep doing what he’s been doing,” Haynes said. “I don’t see that he needs to do a whole lot more. He’s got a great track record for coming up with plays when they need them the most. He’s got to keep putting up those kinds of numbers. Even if the team doesn’t win, I think he’s got a shot, but if they continue to win, it’ll help him for sure.”

Texans’ system good fit Bill Parcells, a finalist this year who fell short of induction, presented Curtis Martin, his former running back, on Saturday.

“Durability’s the key,” Parcells said about Johnson. “He just needs to stay on the field. He’s got a good situation with his quarterback (Matt Schaub) and coach (Gary Kubiak). They know how to use him, and that system is good for him because they throw the ball a lot.”

Former safety Ken Houston, who resides in Houston, watches the Texans as much as he can.

“I think Andre’s right there,” Houston said. “He’s got size, speed and talent. He’s gotten national recognition for being the best or one of the best receivers in recent years.

“Now that the Texans are winning, he’s going to get even more recognition. If he can continue to play at a high level for another three or four years, he can make it.”

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Andre Johnson on play count, may hold him out of preseason game

Eight days after suffering a groin injury in practice, Texans receiver Andre Johnson is back.  But he’s still not really back.

Coach Gary Kubiak said after practice on Monday that the Texans will be using Johnson sparingly, for now.

“We put a play count on him, so we’re going to do that as the week goes on,” Kubiak said, in comments distributed by the team.  ”It’s about getting him going again and not expecting him to go the full bore on the first day out.  I thought he held up well, and we’ll move forward tomorrow.”

The magic number seems to be 20.

“They just wanted to work me in,” Johnson said.  ”I took probably about 20 reps today, but they were kind of mixed in.  Sometimes I went in for two or three plays in a row.  They did a great job of mixing it up.  The practice went fine.”

Kubiak said the team will decide on Thursday whether Johnson will participate in Saturday’s preseason opener at Carolina.

The Texans should rest the oft-injured Johnson now, because they need Johnson later.  Beyond him and Kevin Walter, there’s no receiver on the roster with any regular-season experience.

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Andre Johnson set to return Monday

The Texans finished their first full week of training camp on Saturday morning at the Methodist Training Center. When they return to practice on Monday morning, three injured starters will likely be back on the field.

Wide receiver Andre Johnson (groin), left tackle Duane Brown (ankle) and cornerback Kareem Jackson (hamstring), who all suffered injuries this week, are on track to return as the Texans prepare for their Aug. 11 preseason opener at Carolina.

“I expect all three of those guys back,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said on Saturday. “Obviously, we’ll have a plan for them for how they come back, but I expect them all out on Monday.”

Johnson, a five-time Pro Bowler who’s entering his 10th NFL season, was the Texans’ first major injury scare of camp. After missing nine games with hamstring injuries in 2011 and having arthroscopic knee surgery in May, he pulled his groin on the second day of practice. He has been running with Texans head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan since Thursday and said that his recovery is going well.

“I expect him to be on the field Monday,” Kubiak said. “It’s my job to put the plan together to how we bring him along next week, but I expect him to be out here.”

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Andre Johnson could return Monday, Kubiak says

Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday that he hopes injured wide receiver Andre Johnson could return to the field next Monday.

Johnson pulled his groin while making a catch during Sunday morning’s training camp practice at the Methodist Training Center. An MRI revealed it to be a minor injury. The All-Pro receiver has been able to jog lightly at practice as he moves with the team from period to period.

“I would say next week,” Kubiak said of Johnson’s targeted return date. “I’d love to tell you that’s Monday. I hope it’s Monday, but I would say next week.”

With Johnson out, second-year receiver Lestar Jean has been practicing as a starter along with veteran Kevin Walter. Rookie third-round draft pick DeVier Posey has stood out in practice with several nice catches over the last two days.

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Andre Johnson strains groin, will miss 'a week or so' for Texans

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson said Sunday that he'll miss "a week or so" after sustaining a minor groin injury in the team's second morning practice.

Johnson fell awkwardly while running a route Sunday morning and had an MRI exam later in the day that showed a "mild strain." A team source told and NFL Network's Charley Casserly that Johnson would miss “a few practices.”

"It just tightened up on me," the five-time Pro Bowl receiver said. "I had hit the ground pretty hard, stretching out for a ball. That was pretty much it."

Johnson missed nine regular-season games last season with hamstring injuries and was sidelined from the first organized team activities in the spring after arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

"Nothing that I'm not used to, doing rehab," Johnson said. "It's very frustrating, but it happens, man. I wish I had some control over it. Unfortunately, I don't."

Texans coach Gary Kubiak said Johnson wanted to continue practicing, but Kubiak took the cautious route. Johnson watched the rest of the outdoor half of the workout with a towel wrapped around his head, then went to Reliant Stadium when the practice moved indoors.

"I felt pretty good, because he wanted to go back out there," Kubiak said Sunday afternoon. "When a guy is telling you that, I don't think it's too bad."

On Sunday afternoon, Johnson wasn't even walking with a limp. He said he'll know "in a few days" when he'll be able to return to practice.

"Everybody's just saying, ‘Just be smart about it,’ " Johnson said. "You don't want to rush in, come back out here and have something happen again. We'll be smart about it, and see what happens."

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Matt Schaub: Andre Johnson and I all clear for Texans

We learned last week that Matt Schaub has been cleared for training camp by the Houston Texans.

The quarterback missed his team's final eight games after suffering a foot injury in November. Schaub underwent surgery and was held out of OTAs and minicamp as a precaution, but he's been working with Andre Johnson and other Texans receivers at the University of Houston.

"I'm 100 percent, ready to go, with no restrictions," Schaub said Monday, via the Houston Chronicle. "Andre looks great. He's also 100 percent and ready to go."
This is great news for the Texans, who were without Schaub, Johnson and running back Arian Foster at various points last season. When The Big 3 is on the field, the Texans can beat opponents in multiple ways.

"Our expectation level is higher than it's ever been, and all of us couldn't be more excited about getting back on the field," Schaub said.

Schaub told the Chronicle he's not worried about entering the final year of his contract, which makes sense. If he can stay healthy and lead the Texans to another AFC South crown, he'll have more leverage than ever.

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Andre Johnson, not Calvin Johnson, NFL's top receiver?

NFL Films tape guru Greg Cosell still believes one receiver stands above Megatron. Here are Cosell's top five wideouts, according to a Monday blog post:

5. A.J. Green
4. Steve Smith
3. Larry Fitzgerald
2. Calvin Johnson
1. Andre Johnson

At first glance, Green sticks out, considering his lack of experience, though Cosell builds a case around Green's ceiling as an evolutionary Randy Moss. Arguments can be made for guys like Brandon Marshall, Victor Cruz, Wes Welker, Kenny Britt, Vincent Jackson, Greg Jennings and Roddy White.

As for the No. 1 spot, Cosell says a 2011 hamstring injury -- and the relative low profile that comes with playing for the Houston Texans -- makes it easy to forget how special Andre Johnson is. Cosell calls the difference between Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson "microscopic," but says the Texans' Johnson is "more purely athletic and explosive."

"When you watch him on film, you see the quickness, lateral agility and short-area burst of a much smaller man," Cosell wrote. "... Talk to many receivers and defensive backs in the league, and they will tell you that his combination of size, speed and sheer athleticism is off the charts. They have never seen another receiver like him."

For our money, Calvin Johnson now is El Hombre when you factor in his resume, age and durability. But Cosell is right not to sleep on the other Johnson.

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Weighting wins for WRs Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson

Chase Stuart is doing some interesting stuff at

The most recent entry of note looks at career weighted winning percentages for the 100 wide receivers with the most receiving yards in NFL history.

Of the 14 active players on the list, the top guy and the lowest-ranking guy both belong to the AFC South.

And they should come as no surprise.

Reggie Wayne is at No. 7, with a weighted winning percentage of .698. Thanks, Peyton Manning, Bill Polian and the Colts.

Andre Johnson is at No. 95, with a weighted winning percentage of .433. Thanks, expansion situation, Charley Casserly and David Carr.

Interestingly, Wayne and Johnson are friends, linked by the University of Miami.

They hold each other in high regard and hang out together when they can. They share relatively low-key, workman-like personalities.

Johnson’s “suffering” came to an end last season as he played in his first two playoff games. If he can stay healthy, the Texans may finally be in position to help him move up this list before he’s done.

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Four proCanes in Spots 20-11 In NFL Top 100

Four proCanes are ranked in the NFL Top 100 poll in spots 20-11. proCane Saints TE Jimmy Graham points himself out at Number 14.

Additionally, Frank Gore was ranked at Number 28, Devin Hester 48, Jon Vilma 58, Vince Wilfork 81, Willis McGahee 98.


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Keeping Andre Johnson healthy is the key to a happy ending

When the Texans report for training camp in late July, they will have three areas of concern, and none is a surprise.

We know the Texans lack experience at backup wide receiver. We know they have new starters on the right side of their offensive line. And we know they’ll have a new kicker, punter, kickoff returner and punt returner.

If you ask me, though, the most important thing they can accomplish in camp and preseason, as well as the regular season, will be keeping Andre Johnson healthy.

Collectively, the Texans have put on a happy face about Johnson, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and missed organized team activities and the minicamp. Everyone insisted Johnson will be 100 percent and raring to go when the Texans report for camp.

But the sight of Johnson watching practice with a towel over his head – a sight the Texans saw too much last season when he missed nine games – has to worry the coaches and players.

Johnson, who turns 31 in July, is vital to what the Texans hope will be their most successful season, a season that would lead to the Super Bowl.
Johnson suffered hamstring injuries in both legs and missed nine starts last season, when the Texans finished 10-6 and won the AFC South for the first time. He was limited to 33 catches for 492 yards.

But Johnson was healthy in the playoffs. He had 13 catches for 201 yards in the victory over Cincinnati and the loss at Baltimore. If he did that with rookie T.J. Yates at quarterback, imagine what he could have done if Matt Schaub had been healthy.

Since Gary Kubiak became the Texans’ coach in 2006, Johnson has started 16 games three times (2006, 2008, 2009). He had at least 101 catches in each of those seasons, amassing career highs of 115 receptions and 1,575 yards in 2008.

If his knee hadn’t forced him to miss the last three games of the 2010 season, Johnson was almost guaranteed of a third consecutive season with at least 100 catches and 1,500 yards. In 13 starts that season, he had 86 receptions for 1,216 yards.

The Texans are hoping last season was an aberration for Johnson and not a sign his career is starting to decline. In 2003, his rookie season, he was a hit from day one, so there’s a lot of wear and tear on his wheels.

This is a time for Johnson to make his run for Canton. For several years now, he’s been acknowledged as one of the two best receivers in the NFL with Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald. With the Texans playing five nationally televised games this season, including four in prime time, Johnson has an opportunity to regain his spot at the head of the receiver class.

If Johnson can stay healthy, the inexperience of Lestar Jean, DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin won’t be as troubling.

If Johnson stays healthy, new starters on the offensive line and the rebuilt special teams won’t be as worrisome.

If I’m Kubiak, I’m telling Johnson to work on his conditioning but to take off in the preseason. I wouldn’t let him go full speed in practice until two weeks before the regular- season opener vs. Miami.

But Kubiak won’t do it. And Johnson wouldn’t accept that strategy, anyway, because that’s not the kind of player he is. He’s a competitor, and he knows he’s better on Sunday when he practices on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Since they became teammates in 2007, Schaub and Johnson have been as productive as any twosome in the league. Their health is paramount for the Texans to be a genuine Super Bowl contender for the first time.

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