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#ThankYouAndre: Mister Wide Open

Posted Apr 19, 2017

Andre Johnson always seemed to be wide open.

Andre Johnson was always open.
 

Wide open much of the time.
 

When he was covered, he was still open. Just ask Yeremiah Bell. Or Reed Doughty. Or any number of other defensive backs who had him blanketed but still wound up on the business end of a big gain by Johnson.
 

On the field, that’s what I’ll remember most about him: time after time after time, being wide open.
 

He was without question the greatest offensive force in team history, and everyone knew it. But despite that, and despite the attention he drew from secondaries, a few times per game he’d be all by his lonesome for a big chunk of yardage. That wasn’t because he was playing against trash defenses. It was a testament to his skills, his smarts, his dedication in the weight room, his attention to detail and his unwavering consistency.
 

Johnson finished three different seasons with 1,500 or more receiving yards. Despite the wreckage that was 2013 for the Houston Texans, Johnson managed to haul in 1,407 yards and 109 passes from three different quarterbacks.
 

You could always count on Andre Johnson to be a rock for your offense.
 

At Thanksgiving, Christmas and in the spring, you could also count on Johnson to be out and about in the community helping those in need.
 

He’d head to a church in Houston’s Fifth Ward and team up with a few of his fellow Texans to hand out turkeys to the less fortunate.
 

Before Christmas, he’d take a few dozen kids from Child Protective Services to a Toys R’ Us and give them 80 seconds to load up their carts with toys. The annual bill was usually around $20,000 for the shopping spree. Even when he left the Texans, he still held the shopping spree in 2015 and last Christmas.
 

Johnson made a dent on defensive backs throughout his career as a Texan, and the Miami native has made a very positive dent in the city he now calls home.
 

One of my favorite memories from the playoff win this January over the Raiders was seeing him in the building just before kickoff, with a big smile on his face.
 

Welcome back, Andre.

Thank you, Andre.

 

 

 

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