When you talk about some of the best wide receivers in the NFL, most people immediately mention Larry Fitzgerald, Randy Moss, and Reggie Wayne among others. However, I think you would be foolish not to include Andre Johnson in that conversation. In fact I think you would be foolish if he wasn’t the second name that came out your mouth behind Larry Fitzgerald. He has everything that you look for in an elite wide receiver. He’s got great size, great speed, great strength, excellent hands and very few defensive backs can cover him one on one. Basically Andre Johnson is a beast. And despite playing a position that tends to have guys that display diva-like qualities, that’s not Andre Johnson. He is about as business-like as it gets off the field as he is on the field. However, some people overlook just how good he is because he plays for the underachieving Texans.
Remember when the Texans were 5-3 on the season and thinking about the playoffs? Well, 4 weeks later, the Texans are now 5-7 and in a tie for last place in the AFC South. They have lost four games in a row, all to opponents within their own division, and now basically have to win out and finish 9-7 to even have a chance to be included in the conversation. What once looked like a near certainty for the Texans to lock up their first playoff spot in franchise history now looks like it could be out of reach.
Andre Johnson joined KILT in Houston to talk about the Texans recent struggles, his future in Houston, his nickname for rookie linebacker Brian Cushing, and why he likes playing against Cortland Finnegan so much.
On his favorite player growing up:
“Being from Miami, being a big Dolphin fan, it was Dan Marino. I’ve got a crazy story actually. I was probably about nine years old, we were playing little league football at the time and we were fundraising and one Sunday we were fundraising by Dolphins stadium. I go up to a car; actually it was a nice car. It had nice rims on it and everything on it. You just see a guy with his head down digging in his bag and when he turns around, it’s Dan Marino and I just went crazy. I couldn’t believe it. It was my first time ever meeting him in person. I didn’t know what to say. A lot of guys were trying to run over to his care and things like that.”
On getting off to a great start and then stumbling recently:
“Yeah, that’s the toughest thing. It’s very frustrating. The past two years it’s been like this is the year. This is the year that we get over the hump and it hasn’t happened. We’ve found ways to take ourself out of position to win games and that’s the frustrating thing about it. Sometimes you’re just sitting there. Sitting there in the Jacksonville game and you’re like man, not again. That’s the toughest thing about it.”
On his long term plans with the Texans:
“Yeah, that’s the biggest thing. I do want to win. Coming to a new franchise, you know that everything wasn’t going to happen the way you wanted it to happen. This is my seventh season right now and I didn’t think it would take this long. The situation with my uncle, everyone has their own opinion about things and he is a straight up guy. He’s gonna let me know how he feels and he’s going to let people know and he has a right to his opinion. I never made a comment about it and everyone has been asking me, hey are you going to leave, are you going to stay? I haven’t even put any thought into it to be honest. (Host: And your answer is?) To be honest, I plan on being here. I plan on being here ‘till the day I retire.”
On the interception thrown by running back Chris Brown on the half back pass:
“When that play happened, it was just like, that took all the air out of the team. We only can run what’s called in the huddle.”
On the lack of a running game:
“I think that’s the biggest thing that is affecting us that we’re not running the ball like we did last year. I think that’s at times when were struggling, a lot of times we have to be one dimensional.”
On what they have to do to get over the hump:
“I think it’s more of just not doing the dumb mistakes that we do. You look at some of the games, we turn the ball over at times when we have a chance to win the game. We would be in the red zone and have two offsides penalties in a row and things like that. It’s kinda like you’re out there having mistakes that little kids would make.”