Life beyond Andre Johnson
Nov 10, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) reacts during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Arizona won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s face some harsh reality. Andre Johnson might never wear Battle Red again. It’s not easy. Number 80 has been an anchor for this team, this franchise and this city since 2003. However football is a business, time is relentless and the later into the summer months we go without Mr. Johnson on the field, the more likely we never see him again.
Let’s examine that reality for a moment. Who can stand and deliver in that role? The fans will be unhappy so there is that extra pressure. The other teams will be testing you like they wouldn’t Andre. It’s going to be a not fun job for anyone, but someone is gonna have to do it.
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The obvious choice is DeAndre Hopkins.
Dec 29, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) during warm ups prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
However Coach O’Brien is quite serious about competing for position and that means no one is safe. However, outside of DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin there isn’t a lot there we can say “Yeah, I can envision it”. I can see Hopkins and Martin out there a lot with Posey or even Mike Thomas in the slot.
There aren’t a lot of free agents to get all that excited about either at the moment. Santonio Holmes? Austin Collie? Just not seeing anyone jump out at us. While we may never know how much the Texans front office knew of Johnson’s feelings prior to the draft the fact they didn’t draft a single WR says to me they didn’t know, or just didn’t care.
We all hope that as June turns to July, Andre Johnson rolls up to NRG and get’s serious about football in Houston. It can happen, we all really do hope it does. The Texans need his skills, his leadership, his professionalism. While Andre holds every Texans receiving record one could have I should think by now, there are bigger ones to fall. I know he wants to get a Ring, to play in the big game. Don’t blame him at all for not wanting to be “rebuilt” just as his career winds down. So the Texans also need to plan like he’s not gonna be there and just make do.
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