Johnson a bright spot for terrible Texans
Andre Johnson is having another great season for the Houston
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
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
”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.”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org