Andre Johnson likes where the Texans are going.
Johnson and several of his former teammates took in Tuesday's Organized Team Activity (OTA) at the Houston Methodist Training Center. He enjoyed being with his old friends, and was glad to see a new one in Head Coach Lovie Smith.
"Lovie's just a straightforward guy," Johnson said. "He's going to tell you what you need to know. He does a great job of putting his guys in the best position to be successful."
Johnson, who starred at wide receiver for the Texans from 2003 through 2014, suited up against a Smith-coached Bears squad three times. Houston won each of those contests, and Johnson caught a combined 16 passes for 214 yards and a pair of scores. He stood out to Smith.
"A special player," Smith said. "As a defensive coach, you knew that you had to know where he is and the offense was going to go through him. There's only so much you can do to help a corner out. He's a tough guy."
As tough as he was to defend on the field, Johnson and Smith have connected smoothly off it a decade later.
"Since he's gotten the head coaching job, we've had a great relationship," Johnson said. "I could always reach out to him. He always can reach out to me. So I'm excited about where the organization is headed."
Joining Johnson at Tuesday's practice were former Texans Wade Smith, Chester Pitts, Kailee Wong, Fred Weary, Amobi Okoye, Earl Mitchell, Tim Jamison, Jonathan Wells and Mike Quinn.
Having those 10 former players at Tuesday's work was extra-special for Smith.
"Whenever we get a chance to see some of our all-time greats come here, it's big," Smith said. "We had a lot of our former players out here today, and it's always good to see them. Some I know well, some I don't know as well and am looking forward to those relationships growing. But practice always picks up a little bit when you've had guys that have worn the uniform watching what you're doing."
For Johnson, it was good re-connecting with his former teammates.
"It's cool," Johnson said. "It's always a great time when we get together. To be out here and talk about some of our stories when we were out here practicing and different things. It's always great just to be back around the guys."
The Texans will conclude their third and final week of OTAs, and begin minicamp next week at the Houston Methodist Training Center.