Johnathan Joseph may be the Houston Texans all-time leader in career interceptions (17) and the NFL leader in passes defensed (118) since 2011, but he will also be remembered for his football knowledge, offering his observations and help to anyone who asked or needed it, his calm demeanor and just being one of the most well-liked in the locker room among teammates and media alike.
On Wednesday, the Texans mutually parted ways with the 14-year veteran cornerback and two-time Pro Bowler. Here are some of our favorite moments from Joseph while covering him for the past nine seasons here in Houston.
Deepi Sidhu, Texans Insider and Lead Writer
Favorite moment: Beating the Patriots on Sunday Night Football
My favorite Johnathan Joseph moment has to be last year's Sunday night win over the New England Patriots. Joseph finished the game with four total tackles (four solo) and two passes defensed. He passed Ronde Barber (49) for the most career games (50) with multiple passes defensed in NFL history.
The best part about that game was that Joseph had talked about it being a meaningful win to him earlier in the week. Most players say all wins are important, and they are, but Joseph's competitive streak wanted to win against Tom Brady, something he hadn't yet accomplished.
"We've been close, close, close, but that doesn't get anything done, and I don't want any moral victories," Joseph said. "I want to win the game at the end of the day."
Joseph then told a story in the locker room about the first time he faced Brady as a rookie when he was with the Bengals. As a young corner he was lined up as a nickel getting ready to blitz. Before the snap, Brady yelled out, "22 is coming! 22 is coming!"
"I thought I was doing everything to disguise that I wasn't coming and in my head I knew I was coming," Joseph said, laughing. "So, I was all over the place like 'what's going on here?'"
So naturally, when the Texans and Joseph got their long-awaited win AND Joseph made NFL history, that was my favorite moment for No. 24.
Drew Dougherty, Texans TV Host
Favorite moment: Joseph's pick-six vs. Buffalo Bills in 2018
My favorite Johnathan Joseph moment was an easy choice: the pick-six in the win over Buffalo in 2018.
He's one of my favorite Texans to deal with, and a great guy.
But in October two seasons ago, Houston was 2-3, coming off back-to-back overtime wins. With 1:34 left in regulation, Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked a field goal to tie things up at 13-all. But the Bills had the ball back and just needed to get into field goal range.
With 1:23 remaining, Joseph changed all that. He jumped a route and intercepted Nathan Peterman, and waltzed 28 yards into the end zone for the deciding score.
I'd come down to the southwest tunnel with about five minutes remaining in the contest, and the Texans were trailing 13-10. Joseph's score happened right in front of me, and I'll never forget the dual sensations of joy and relief as he picked off the pass and zipped across the goal line.
Needless to say, it showed up on my Instagram feed a few days later.
John Harris, Texans Analyst and Sideline Reporter
Favorite moment: Also that 2018 win over Buffalo, but for different reasons
In 2018, Week 6, one week after one of the most memorable wins in team history (Dallas on a Sunday night in overtime), the Texans took on the Buffalo Bills at home. On the surface, it had all the makings of a letdown, sort of trap game, if you will. The win over the Cowboys was unbelievably intense and grueling and a trip to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars for the top spot in the division loomed the week following. The Bills did not lack for confidence to say the least, but they did lack something offensively. Rookie quarterback Josh Allen started the game, but an injury on a hit in the backfield sent him to the bench early.
Enter Nathan Peterman, the Bills oft-intercepted backup. Down by four, Peterman hit a throw that left everyone in NRG Stadium a little nervous. He threw the best ball of his career to Zay Jones for a touchdown to take a 13-10 lead. The Texans offense had struggled all game long, facing a fierce Bills defense. But, Deshaun Watson led the Texans down the field to the Bills one-yard line. Unfortunately, the Texans couldn't punch it in and kicked the game-tying field goal.
On the ensuing drive, well, Johnathan Joseph happened. Peterman threw to Joseph's side on the first play of the drive and missed his receiver for an incompletion. In the huddle following that play, Joseph told Tyrann Mathieu if Peterman went to that well again, he was going to go get a pick.
Then, he did.
Peterman never saw Joseph and threw in that direction yet again. Joseph stepped in front and took the pick to the house for an improbable 20-13 lead. NRG Stadium erupted on Battle Red Day and it's one of the craziest endings in team history. It was also an amazing scene in the locker room - the celebration was on and Joseph and the players high fived and hugged each other, basking in the great win. I picked J Joe as our player of the game, in large part just so I could talk/interview him after the game. When he got to down to where I was, he was as cool as ice. You would've never known he literally just won an NFL game with his late-game pick six. It wasn't as if he wasn't happy or something else happened, he just had a way of being professional at all times. Had that been me, I would've been on such a football high that I would've never been able to do a coherent interview or keep my emotions in check. Yet, he was brilliant, breaking down the play in complete detail and giving me insight into what he and Mathieu had discussed in the huddle. It probably didn't seem like a big deal to him, but, to me, it just reminded me why he was so respected in that locker room. The thing was, though, that he also joined me for Player of the Game interviews after some gut punch losses as well throughout his career as well and never ever changed his ways - he was just awesome. Quite frankly, he was the best. The absolute best.
Marc Vandermeer, Voice of the Houston Texans
Favorite moment: Signing day in 2011, wins against his former Bengals and his interviews
Johnathan Joseph will go down as one of the most beloved and productive Texans in the history of the franchise. I'll never forget the night he was signed, in the hyper-fast free agency period following the 2011 lockout. The Texans landed a top flight corner, who would become one of the four best in the history of the team along with Aaron Glenn, Dunta Robinson and Kareem Jackson.
The interceptions he made against his former team, Cincinnati, stand out to me as top memories. And the pick sixes against the Ravens in 2012 and Buffalo in 2018.
Perhaps my favorite times with JJoe was the media visits. Not only with him but with teammates who talked about him with such reverence. When guys like Deandre Hopkins talk about asking his opinion on routes and defense, you know you're dealing with someone special.
He's a great man and a great player. And he's forever a Texan.