Friday, August 6, 2010

The Andre Johnson You Don't Know

You know Andre Johnson is the only wide-receiver along with Jerry Rice to lead the NFL two consecutive seasons, and the only wide-receiver along with Marvin Harrison to lead the NFL two consecutive seasons with greater than 1,500 yards.

You know he's the only wide-receiver to do both. You know he's the NFL's best at what he does. And you now know he's the highest paid, at $10.5 million per year over the next 7 years.

What you may not know is how hard working, grounded, humble, and generous he is. The Houston Texans hosted the Minnesota Vikings with Brett Favre, who had been with the team all of about 5 minutes, for a pre-season Monday Night Football game last August.

All the media were covering the Vikings and Brett after their victory. Long after the commotion, Andre was the only player...the only PERSON left in the Texans locker room. As I entered the home team's lair, I approached Andre not sure of the demeanor with which he would respond.

He had me pull out a chair, sit with him in front of his locker, and after we spoke briefly about the game played, we just talked route-running for 15 minutes. How to get off the line, how to cut, how to separate from the defense, how to find the soft spots in the zone.

As a frustrated football player that loves running routes and still playing football, it was an awesome experience. Andre Johnson makes it very easy to celebrate his success and rewards, and root for great things this season for him and the Houston Texans.

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