A.J set to Make Play-Off Debut.

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by EllisUnit, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. EllisUnit

    EllisUnit Serving Koolaid

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    http://blog.chron.com/ultimatetexan...s-star-johnson-set-to-make-his-playoff-debut/

    Led by a rookie quarterback on an improbable 13-play, 80-yard touchdown drive with two seconds in regulation to spare, the Texans sprinted off the field at Paul Brown Stadium on Dec. 11 after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Once inside their locker room, the Texans huddled around a television, coaches and players alike watching the final seconds of New Orleans’ win over Tennessee. They erupted in cheers once the outcome was official, because for the first time in franchise history, the AFC South was theirs. They were headed to the playoffs, another first, and Gary Kubiak started handing out game balls.

    The first went to owner Bob McNair for obvious reasons. The second went to T.J. Yates, who engineered the winning drive. And the third? Kubiak delivered it to wide receiver Andre Johnson, who’d traveled with the Texans to Cincinnati but wasn’t dressed and didn’t play after suffering his second hamstring injury of the season a week earlier against Atlanta.

    “It’s extra special for Andre,” right tackle Eric Winston said. “We all say we’ve been here for some lean times, but he’s been here through some real lean times.”

    It was emotional for Johnson, who has been with the organization since 2003, long the Texans’ brightest star.

    As the All-Pro said before the season, he has 1,500-yard years, Pro Bowl berths and the admiration of his peers. All that was left was winning, and winning big, as his teammates were well aware. After all, what do you get for someone who has everything?

    “My goal, personally, was to make sure we got this team to a position to where we can get to the playoffs and give Dre the opportunity to play in the playoffs, because he’s been fighting for it for a long time - longer than me,” linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. “Dre is one of the best players in the league, and for him not to have not had the opportunity - I knew we had to fight as hard as we can to get it to him.

    “After the Cincinnati game, we told him to get healthy - you’re in there now. Just be ready to go when the time comes.”

    The time has come.

    Saturday will mark Johnson’s long-awaited playoff debut, and he has resembled a frisky colt during practice this week. It has been a welcome sight for Kubiak, who grinned Wednesday when asked about Johnson’s eagerness for the moment.

    Through thick and thin

    “Think about how long he’s stuck it out here in Houston,” the coach said. “A lot of guys in this day and time move along, go somewhere else, lose their patience. Andre has never done that. He’s been a rock around here, even though it’s been a very, very difficult year for him.

    “How special is it going to be to see him walk out of that tunnel this weekend and get to see him play in a playoff game? So myself, the coaches, this whole organization and his teammates, we’re all excited for him.”

    Typically, Johnson is a minimalist, guarded with his emotions and words. But he turned reflective Tuesday. He admitted it dawned on him in the morning that during his previous eight NFL seasons he’d have already cleaned out his locker and prepared to head back to his native Miami.

    He never listened when some urged him to flee the Texans. He believed in what was being built, even if the results weren’t apparent.

    So maybe it’s fitting or cruel or perhaps just odd that the Texans have finally reached the playoffs - and did so with Johnson playing in only seven games. Obviously, after 706 career receptions for 9,656 yards and 52 touchdowns, he doesn’t have much to prove.

    As Ryans said, “When he’s 100 percent, who’s going to stop him?”

    While that’s true, getting there was the issue.

    “You know, during the time I was injured, I had a lot of people around me just telling me, ‘Don’t get frustrated; don’t get down on yourself. Because when you get healthy, it’s going to be at the right time.’ And they must be psychics or something,” Johnson said. “It all worked out. I didn’t get to play much this year, but to be able to be back healthy and get ready for the playoffs is pretty exciting, so I’m going to go out there and give it all I’ve got.”

    Psyched, to say the least

    There is a sense Johnson will relish the situation, uncertain at 30 when the opportunity will arise again.

    “I’ve got some slack I’ve got to make up,” he said. “I’m not going to sit here and say that somebody is going to pay for it, but I’ll be playing at a high level - I can promise you that.”
    Johnson will have help, but the brightest star of the Texans franchise has earned the stage during this moment.

    “He’s a special player and a special person,” Winston said. “I hope he looks at us like a bunch of little brothers and he sees us holding the mantle for him. When he went out, I think it was in the back of all our minds - not just for him, but this whole organization. No matter what adversity we go through, we can’t let this thing falter.

    “Everyone gave it up for each other, and this season has been special for so many reasons.”
     
  2. b0ng

    b0ng Ooops

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    I hope he breaks records on Saturday.
     
  3. ThaJokaa

    ThaJokaa True Texans Fan

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    This
     
  4. SheTexan

    SheTexan Site Contributor

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    Wow!! Brings tears to my old eyes!

    Please football gawds above! Let my dream come true!!
     
  5. EllisUnit

    EllisUnit Serving Koolaid

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    They owe us for all the hell they have put us through this season.
     
  6. SheTexan

    SheTexan Site Contributor

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    amen!!:)
     
  7. Say Watt

    Say Watt Site Contributor

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    That gave me goosebumps. AJ is the man. I can't wait to see him out on the field!
     
  8. Hardcore Texan

    Hardcore Texan Magnet Man

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    Me too!

    Remember the show Fitz put on with the Cardinals a few years back in the playoffs.......I am ready to see AJ put his stamp on the offseason with even more impressive fashion!

    I can't wait, I think he's primed and ready for a huge game. :texflag:
     
  9. Playoffs

    Playoffs Subscribed Contributor

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    [​IMG]

    Let's do it for Andre! Do it for Andre!

    Ready, break.
     
  10. BullNation4Life

    BullNation4Life Hall of Fame

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    AJ - Shmajay....

    this game isn't for him, what about me? I am the one who drafted him....

    Charlie Casserly....



    I want a Larry Fitzgerald esq performance this Saturday....
     
  11. austins23

    austins23 All Pro

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    I sure hope the Offense gets introduced Saturday, and AJ being the last one out of the tunnel! Man, can you imagine the roar in Reliant???? I am so ready to be there!!
     
  12. clutch

    clutch Rookie

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    i hope to see him and foster in the endzone atleast twice..
     
  13. Malloy

    Malloy Site Contributor

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    Each! :)


    AJ's the man, I could not imagine a better player or teammate. The definition of good :)
     
  14. TimeKiller

    TimeKiller Guest

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    It's awesome that the team has that much reverence for AJ. Like "He picked us up and put us on his back for so long, now it's our turn to pick him up and carry him where he belongs." They returned the favor Andre. They put you among the stars, so go shine brighter than ever before!!

    Did anyone else see that special last night? Where they showed how generous the man is? How humble and down to earth he is? For christmas he had like idk...50 kids? It was too many to count, took them to a toy store, told them to grab everything they wanted and he would pay for it. That's beyond the call of an athlete. We're getting to watch greatness on a different level.
     
  15. amazing80

    amazing80 Site Contributor

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    :clap::clap:


    The man is IMO the best athlete and the off the field guy in the league. I wish we had 52 Andres playing for us.
     
  16. Texan_Bill

    Texan_Bill Subscribed Contributor

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    How loud will Reliant erupt when AJ is the final player introduced before the game??

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. _Dre

    _Dre Rookie

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    I'm so hyped for Dre, he deserves all of it and more. Love how to players rally around him and mention him when talking about our first playoff berth.
     
  18. BigBull17

    BigBull17 Hall of Fame

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    After this season, you are going to make demands of the football gods? If something happends, I'm comming for you :survivor:
     
  19. machineo

    machineo Rookie

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    Don't get frustrated Pacman Jones, you know AJ's gonna tear yo azz up. You know that!
     
  20. Say Watt

    Say Watt Site Contributor

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    This was an awesome article.

    At Long Last Andre Gets A Taste of the Playoffs

     

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