2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Texans WR Johnson asks teammates to push for more

    2012-12-07 17:04

(Eds: Adds details; quotes. With AP Photos.)
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer

HOUSTON (AP) - Andre Johnson sometimes has to tell his teammates how lucky they are to be on one of the NFL's best teams.

For years, Johnson languished on terrible Texans teams. Now, the star receiver shares stories of the tough times, a reminder to appreciate this season and keep working for more.

Johnson is the only player currently with Houston (11-1) remaining from its franchise-worst 2-14 season in 2005.

``Enjoy this part of it, because the times that I went through, that's something you don't ever want to experience,'' he said he tells his teammates of that season. ``The season was super long. There were times I didn't want to get up and come to work. It's hard because you come in and you're working your (tail) off, and you just can't get the job done.''

Johnson has 1,114 yards receiving to bounce back from an injury-filled 2011 season where he had a career-low 492 yards.

He probably appreciates where the Texans are now better than anyone. Johnson joined the team after being drafted in the first round in 2003, and went through eight seasons of missing the playoffs in a stretch with just one winning season.

There were times he thought about playing elsewhere, but he forced himself to think about the big picture.

``You find out a lot about yourself, if you're going to be loyal or if you're just going to run away from it,'' he said. ``My thing was I wanted to stay. I wanted to be a part of something special. I wanted to help this organization to where it is right now and even help it achieve more.''

When Houston finally made the postseason for the first time last year, the moment was bittersweet for the five-time Pro Bowler because he missed a career-high nine games with various injuries.

``I was excited, but at the same time I was down because you're just like: `Man, I know I could be out there helping the team,''' he said. ``Those would be the times that I would kind of get down on myself and try do things and hope that I could hurry up and come back.''

Johnson had a groin injury in training camp, and that combined with his age (31) and the nagging injuries that slowed him for a good chunk of last season had some wondering if he could still be an elite receiver.

He had 119 yards receiving in Houston's opener, but didn't crack 100 yards again until Week 9. It was then that Johnson said he was finally starting to feel like himself again, and two weeks later he showed just that.

Johnson grabbed 14 passes for 273 yards - both career-highs - and the winning touchdown in Houston's 43-37 overtime win against Jacksonville. He followed that performance with 188 yards receiving a week later.

He's been so good this season than even those who have watched him for years have been left shaking their heads.

``Every day is a marvel,'' offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said when asked about Johnson. ``To me, it's amazing to see somebody work that hard and do that many things because usually you break down or a guy will ask for a day off, but he never does that. I think that's very, very impressive about Andre.''

Matt Schaub, who joined the Texans in 2007, said just when he thinks he's seen the best from Johnson, he'll outdo himself. Schaub values Johnson's leadership to the team, and said he can't overstate what he's meant to him individually.

``(He's) the ultimate security blanket,'' Schaub said. ``I know as a quarterback if push comes to shove and we need a play, I know I'm going to go his direction. We see all types of coverages. I'll still go his way because I know he's going to make a play on the football.''

Johnson is the most soft-spoken and least talkative player on the team. That hasn't stopped him from being the most important leaders of the squad. But being a leader isn't something that is all that comfortable to Johnson, although he does appreciate that younger players look up to him.

``I've just always been the guy that tries to lead by example,'' he said. ``It's crazy. You'd be surprised at who pays attention to you. I think when you go out and do the right things as a player and just be yourself and be successful at what you do, guys tend to look toward you and come to you for advice and things like that.''

Houston has already clinched its second straight playoff berth, but Johnson is quick to point out that these are not the Texans of old, and they're looking for a lot more than simply reaching the playoffs this season.

Johnson needs 86 yards to reach 1,200 yards receiving for the fourth time in his career when the Texans meet the Patriots on Monday night in what Johnson's calls the biggest game in franchise history.

``We still have goals that we have to accomplish,'' he said. ``I think as long as we keep winning, every game is going to get bigger and bigger. When you've been somewhere you've never been before, everything gets bigger.''

NOTES: Cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, was limited in practice on Friday and coach Gary Kubiak said they'll make a decision on if he'll play in the next couple of days. But Joseph said he expects to play. ``I'm good to go, I don't know a percentage, but I feel like I'm better than ever actually,'' he said. ``So I'm good to go Monday.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

Dez BryantFeb 26 09:03a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is likely to receive the franchise tag because the team is hesitant to sign him long term due to a lack of trust off [ More ]

Peyton ManningFeb 25 09:23p

The Denver Broncos and representatives for QB Peyton Manning are working on revising the veteran's contract, according to multiple league sources. He is scheduled to draw a $19 million [ More ]

Reggie BushFeb 25 05:33p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush has been cut Wednesday, Feb. 25.

A.J. HawkFeb 25 04:43p

Green Bay Packers LB A.J. Hawk was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move will save them $3.5 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Jacoby JonesFeb 25 12:33p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones was released Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Peyton HillisFeb 25 10:43a

New York Giants RB Peyton Hillis was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move saves $945,000 on the 2015 salary cap.

Dez BryantFeb 24 10:33p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant's NFL career could be in jeopardy if a video he allegedly appears is as bad as it sounds. A source said the 'incriminating video [ More ]

Jake LongFeb 24 09:23p

The St. Louis Rams are likely to release OT Jake Long this offseason for savings against the salary cap, according to beat writer Nick Wagoner.

Mathias KiwanukaFeb 24 03:33p

New York Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka has been released Tuesday, Feb. 24.

DeAngelo WilliamsFeb 24 12:23p

Free-agent RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) said he was not upset when the Carolina Panthers told him last week that he'd be released. Williams told Charlotte's WBTV that DE Greg [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's father denied a report that Peterson no longer wants to play for Minnesota. Peterson's father said Peterson is still open to a return to [ More ]

Ted Ginn Jr.Feb 23 04:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Ted Ginn Jr. was released Monday, Feb. 23.

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's situation with the team worsened during the NFL scouting combine as his agent and members of Minnesota's front office had a heated verbal altercation, [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 21 10:22a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) looks good as he continues to recover from a torn right pateller tendon in his knee, according to general manager Jerry Reese. [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIFeb 20 02:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will enter the 2015 season as the team's starting quarterback, and general manager Bruce Allen thinks Griffin's ceiling in the NFL remains high. [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 20 08:42a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman fits well in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'My first impression: I can feel the quickness,' Quinn said [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 19 07:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) may commence running shortly, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz is recovering from a torn right patellar tendon in his right knee.

Andre EllingtonFeb 19 05:12p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) remains the focal point of the offense, according to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Ellington split the injured tendon in his left foot, [ More ]

C.J. AndersonFeb 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson finished the year as the team's No. 1 running back and made the Pro Bowl, but new head coach Gary Kubiak said Anderson must [ More ]

James CaseyFeb 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles TE James Casey has been released.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group