Following the conclusion of the final double session for the Houston Texans, former Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson appeared on ESPN’s First Take via call in from the Texans practice facility. For those able to stomach Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith for a couple minutes were treated to a nice interview where the star receiver addressed his team’s expectations, his recent injury history, and his place among the top WRs in the NFL today.
Johnson was first asked about comments made by QB Matt Schaub regarding the Texans “Super Bowl or Bust” mentality for the upcoming season. Johnson stood by Schaub’s statement and acknowledged that as the team’s leader, the rest of the Texans need to believe in Schaub’s words also.
Smith asked Johnson if there was any added pressure on the offense, particularly him, Schaub, and RB Arian Foster, to perform now that the Texans defense, led by Wade Phillips, was such a formidable unit. While Johnson wouldn’t admit there was any added pressure, he did acknowledge that the team dynamic is certainly different than in years past. While Johnson didn’t come right out and say it, he alluded to the fact that the defense was so far behind the offense for so many years that it’s refreshing to finally have a balanced team. Johnson stressed that the offense just needed to keep playing they way they’re capable of because the defense is now able to win games for them. Andre stressed, “The sky is the limit for our team.”
Johnson touched on the adversities faced by the Texans last season, injuries in particular. This prompted a question from Bayless regarding Johnson’s recent history of hamstring and groin pulls. AJ simply responded that if he had an answer, he’d give it, but at the moment he is feeling good and has been practicing for the past week and a half. As is already common knowledge, Johnson will be making his preseason debut this Saturday at home against the San Francisco 49ers.
Next, Johnson was asked where he felt he stood among the game’s top wide receivers when 100% healthy. Johnson said he of course felt he was the best as every receiver should, but admitted he is a big fan of the game and enjoyed watching guys like Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Greg Jennings, and Roddy White.
Lastly, Johnson was asked what his personal and team expectations were if he is healthy. Johnson responded by stating the goal was of course to win the AFC and that nothing is given to them. Johnson brushed off the expectations and said that what mattered was that he and the rest of the team needed to go out on Sundays and compete they way they know they can.
As always, Andre Johnson was classy if a bit quiet and reserved as a interviewee. Nothing overly surprising came out during the interview, just a reassurance that AJ is healthy and ready to kick off the 2012 season in pursuit of the Texans’ first Super Bowl.
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