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

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:33a

Buffalo Bills QBs Jeff Tuel and Thaddeus Lewis are alternating series with the second unit in team drills Tuesday, July 22.

Tyler BrayJul 22 09:13a

Kansas City Chiefs QBs Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel are likely to compete for one roster spot with QB Aaron Murray likely to make the team behind starting QB Alex Smith.

Navorro BowmanJul 22 12:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will likely return to action in Week 9 after the team's Week 8 bye, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Jacques McClendonJul 21 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars OG Jacques McClendon is the frontrunner to start at right guard heading into training camp, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. OG Brandon Linder is the other candidate for the starting job.

Aaron ColvinJul 21 10:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Aaron Colvin (knee) will begin training camp and the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate [ More ]

Jeromy MilesJul 21 10:03p

Baltimore Ravens S Jeromy Miles has seen some reps with the first-team defense this offseason and is a dark horse candidate to win the starting free safety job, according to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley.

Brandon MosleyJul 21 09:43p

New York Giants OT Brandon Mosley will be given the first chance to start in place of OG Chris Snee when the first-team offensive line takes the field Tuesday, [ More ]

T.J. GrahamJul 21 09:23p

Buffalo Bills WR T.J. Graham had a pass fall through his hands after beating his defender on a deep route in camp Monday, July 21.ESPN.com's Mike Rodak believes Graham [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsJul 21 09:02p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins made several big plays in practice Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. Watkins beat CB Leodis McKelvin deep, hauled in a pass [ More ]

Marvin JonesJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder), WR Marvin Jones (ankle) and CB Onterio McCalebb (knee) have been placed on the Non-Football Injury list.

Devon StillJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Clint Boling (knee), LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring), P Kevin Huber (neck), WR Colin Lockett (hamstring), DT Zach Minter (back), DT Devon Still (back) and WR Ryan [ More ]

Cordy GlennJul 21 06:53p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) does not have a timetable for his return at this point, according to head coach Doug Marrone. 'I don't know that. It's a [ More ]

Mike CaussinJul 21 06:43p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent TE Mike Caussin (Bills). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived LS Kyle Nelson.

Cheta OzougwuJul 21 06:32p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) and DT John Jenkins (pectoral) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Brennan WilliamsJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans OT Brennan Williams (undisclosed) has been waived with a failed physical designation.

Brian CushingJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans DT Louis Nix (undisclosed), LB Brian Cushing (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Eric HaggJul 21 06:13p

Denver Broncos SS Eric Hagg has informed the team that he has decided to retire from professional football.

Dominique EasleyJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots DT Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and OT Chris Martin have been placed on the team's non-football injury list.

Alfonzo DennardJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), WR Aaron Dobson (foot), WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed), DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and WR Matthew Slater (undisclosed) will begin training camp on [ More ]

Leon HallJul 21 05:12p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and CB Leon Hall (Achilles') will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

Jon BeasonJul 21 05:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

John JerryJul 21 05:02p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (leg), OG John Jerry (knee) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) will be limited when training camp starts.

Kraig UrbikJul 21 04:33p

Buffalo Bills OT Chris Hairston and OG Kraig Urbik saw first-team repetitions at right guard Monday, July 21.

Dezmon BriscoeJul 21 04:03p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent WR Dezmon Briscoe (Redskins), according to his agent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phillip HuntJul 21 03:12p

Former Philadelphia Eagles DE Phillip Hunt (knee) has recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and should begin workouts with teams in the near future.

Chris ConteJul 21 02:12p

Chicago Bears FS Chris Conte said he feels good as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but is unsure of his availability for the start of training camp. He could [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuJul 21 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals DT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) and FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) are candidates to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

David WilsonJul 21 01:42p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) should be able to help the offense if he is able to stay healthy this upcoming season, according to former offensive coordinator [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 21 01:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OG Chris Snee has officially announced his retirement from professional football.

Garrett CelekJul 21 01:22p

San Francisco 49ers TEs Derek Carrier and Garrett Celek will compete for the No. 3 tight end spot during training camp.

De'Anthony ThomasJul 21 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB De'Anthony Thomas spent most of his time with the running backs during practice Monday, July 21. Thomas run a lot of passing routes out of [ More ]

Christopher OwensJul 21 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee), WR Kyle Williams (knee), WR A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (hamstring) participated in practice Monday, July 21.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group