Matt Schaub on Andre Johnson injury impacting the Texans offense: “We’ve got guys that can fill in and fill that void.”October 3, 2011 – 11:00 am by Steven Cuce
Well there was some good news and bad news for the Houston Texans on Sunday. We’ll start with the good. Houston drove the ball down the field on the first possession against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday eating up 11 minutes of the clock and was able to hold on to a 17-10 victory at Reliant Stadium despite a scary moment in the 2nd quarter. All-Pro receiver, Andre Johnson, suffered a hamstring injury while turning upfield after catching a pass. Considering he was hurt without anyone touching him, it sure looked like a knee injury. Arian Foster was able to shoulder the load yesterday carrying the football 30 times for 155 yards and scoring the go-ahead touchdown after the Johnson injury occurred.
Life without Andre Johnson means Arian Foster will be the go-to guy as long as he can stay healthy. The Texans moved to 3-1 with the victory, tied atop the AFC South with the Tennessee Titans. Houston takes on Oakland this week in what could now be a match-up of two teams that are going to run the ball early and often.
Matt Schaub joined KILT in Houston with Vandermeer and Lopez to discuss the opening drive of the game against the Steelers spanning 95-yards in 11 minutes, what he saw on the play that Andre Johnson got hurt on, preparing for life without Andre Johnson, Arian Foster handling 30 carries against the Steelers and taking on the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.
To start the game off with a 95-yard drive that ends with a touchdown and eats that much time off the clock you can’t do much better than that?
“It was a great way to set the tone for the game. We’re backed up against a very good team and we were not only able to get it out from being backed up, but we were able to convert some third downs and overcame some penalties, which actually hurt us on that drive. The penalties actually were the reason why that drive was 11 minutes and 19 plays. I think it covered 115 yards, which is a little odd when you think about it. It was great tone setter. We were able to run the ball. We were able to complete some balls through the air. We had a big 3rd down-and-11 conversion I believe to Owen Daniels, which was huge for us getting it into scoring territory and it was a great drive that really set the tone for the game to keep their offense off the field and keep our defense fresh and wear them down a little bit.”
How did you see the play that Andre Johnson got hurt on? The whole stadium was scared and holding their breath:
“Rightfully so. We had a little keeper on the play and he was my ‘hot’ throw. Troy Polamalu came off that edge and was just coming up field at me, so I just tried to give ground and put it out for Andre to go get it. He made a nice play on the ball and had some room to run and I was just watching. You could just tell that his leg just went limp and he just fell to the ground once he got the first down. That’s a scary type of thing because you really don’t know what happened and to see your top player, the face of the organization, for all of these years go down like that and what he means to our team…it’s just tough to look at. You’re not sure and you do not know the extent of it and hopefully it won’t be too bad.”
What about life without Andre Johnson? You have to expect him to be out at the very least one game. Who steps up in his role?
“Yeah. It’s not that uncommon. There have been times in the past few years where we have been without Andre Johnson for a game or two or whatever the case may be at the end of last year in the last few games. He had a knee thing a few years ago and his ankle thing. For whatever reason we will be fine. Do we have guys that can step up? Jacoby Jones filled in nicely. Bryant Johnson will probably be asked to do a little bit more. David Anderson is here to help us out. Our tight ends are playing exceptionally well right now. James Casey can spread out and catch some balls, so we’ve got guys and we’ve got weapons. Maybe it is not to the caliber of Andre Johnson, but we’ve got guys that can fill in and fill that void.”
What are your thoughts on Arian Foster bouncing back and handling 30 carries against the Steelers? What was the plan with Arian Foster in terms of the amount of carries he was suppose to get?
“To be honest with you I don’t really know what the plan was as far as play count or anything like that or carries type of thing. That’s a question for the head football coach. Whoever is back there I give the ball to or throw it to him or whatever happens. Obviously when Ben Tate got nicked up a little bit we were down to Arian Foster and Chris Ogbonnaya, so Arian had to pick up his workload yesterday a little bit from that standpoint. It’s just a matter of feeling the flow of the game and seeing how it goes. He felt good and didn’t show any signs of wear and tear on the hamstring, so as long as he is good to go it is full speed ahead.”
The Raiders are up next and they are a much better football than they have been in the past when you have faced them. They are capable of beating anyone in this league. What are your thoughts?
“You know they are. You look back two games ago when they beat the Jets at home and ran wild on them. Their defense is playing really well. They have a big physical front and it seems like we play them each year, so we’re developing our own little rivalry of such, so it’s going to be a physical game, much like the Steelers game, just lining up and who’s going to win the line of scrimmage battle and we are excited for that challenge and to be here at our home stadium with our home crowd behind us.”