Skip to main content
Houston Texans

Johnson, Williams talk about Pro Bowl nod


The NFL announced Tuesday that Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and defensive end Mario Williams were named as starters in the 2009 AFC/NFC Pro Bowl. Johnson and Williams spoke to the media after the announcement.

DE Mario Williams
(on how it feels to be named to his first Pro Bowl) "It feels great to finally get in there and see what its like. It's just an honor right now. It's just a lot of excitement. I'm just glad I was chosen."

(on if it has hit him that he is starting and what that says about him) "A little bit. Yeah, I'm thrilled to have the honor and have the opportunity. I just hope that it all works out, not just for myself but for everybody else and everybody who was mentioned as an alternate. Thanks to them, and I hope them the best and I just hope everything works out."

(on if he is extra satisfied because of the close call last year) "No. I've never been worried about it. It's not like it's double gratification or something like that you know what I mean. I wasn't chosen and so be it. This year I was. And I'm excited and I'm thankful."

WR Andre Johnson
(on his reaction to being named to the Pro Bowl for a third time) "It's always an honor to be named one of the best in the league. This is my third time going. I think my mom enjoys it more than I do. She's been really excited about it. Today she was asking me—we're eating breakfast at this point, and the first thing she said was, 'When do they announce it?" So, she has the good news. She's excited, and I'm pretty sure she can't wait. But it's always a tremendous honor to be announced one of the best in the league."

(on what is it like to be going in with DE Mario Williams) "Well, every time I've been I've never had a teammate over there, so I think this one will be really special for me. It feels kind of bad when you get introduced over there at the start of the game when they announce the starters and everyone else has teammates and you're the only one standing up there on the podium. I finally have someone to stand up there with me. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I think this being (DE) Mario's (Williams) first time it will be a great experience for him and he'll love it."

(on if the meaning of being named three times has hit him yet) "Honestly, it really hasn't. I just go out and play football. All of the accolades and things like that will come. I feel like if you just go out and do what you're supposed to do out on the football field, then all of the attention and Pro Bowls and those things will happen for you. So, I'm very blessed to be going to my third one."

(on how he's seen DE Mario Williams grow and he pressure on him being the No. 1 NFL Draft pick) "There's a lot of pressure. I wasn't the number one pick, but I'm pretty sure there was a whole lot of pressure on him (DE Mario Williams) being the number one pick, because people were saying that we should have taken (RB) Reggie (Bush) rather than taking Mario. But I don't think we were wrong by drafting Mario, because you have to start on the defensive side of the ball. They always say defenses win championships. Mario has grown every year. He's gotten better as a player. He's proven himself. I know he said it didn't bother him to (not) make the Pro Bowl last year, but I know it did (laughs). But it's great. I really think he deserved it. This year, he went out and showed the people that he did and he made it. So I'm really happy."

DE Mario Williams
(on if he used not making the Pro Bowl last year as an inspiration or trigger to work even harder) "The only that I use for motivation to work harder is our football team and knowing the things that we were faced with and the adversity ever since I've been here and just all of the stuff - just all of the stuff that's been said. That's the only thing I worried about. Like (WR) Andre (Johnson) said, you go out and you just try perform and do what you're supposed to do and let all of that stuff take care of itself. And in the same sense, I look at it that way and I feel like individual awards are great –yeah,for the individual person, but that's not what football is. My biggest thing is really worrying about our record and worried about us winning games and getting better."

{QUOTE}(on if his rookie year was fun and if this year was fun as well) "My rookie year—yeah, I would say it was fun. Obviously, things didn't go as well as they are going now. I had a lot of things going on personally that I was trying to overcome with a little injury or whatever and then trying to learn my position on this team. Everybody knows what happened - me going from different position to different position. It was a lot. It was a lot thrown at me. I'm thankful for it because I've seen so much stuff and I guess it kind of made me grow up a lot faster than I would expect to, but I've seen so much stuff and it's just really helped me out now to where I'm am at this point in life. So I'm thankful for it and now just being able to play, and there's nothing anybody can really say to me or there's nothing that can really happen barring something tragic because I've seen so much my rookie year. I mean really I have. So it was great for me to go through that. I'm glad I did."

(on if there was a moment or a stretch of games where he knew he had become a great player) "No, I'm still chipping at the wood. I've still got a lot of stuff to do. I still look back at things that - you know, I just know that the skies the limit, not just for myself but for this team. I just know that there's still a lot of things to be learned with experience and with maturing and time. So I definitely don't consider myself personally (a great player). I hope one day I will be a great player, but I've still got a lot of work for myself."

(on if making the Pro Bowl is a way to say he's done a great job) "I told you so (laughs). I'm just joking. Yeah, it's a great thing but it also all comes down to the same stuff of just going out there and doing what you're supposed to do and letting everything else take care of itself - going out there and playing with your teammates and fortunately I have great teammates like (WR) Andre (Johnson). We don't play on the same side of the ball, but just being able to go out there and feed off one another and know that we're all pushing one another. Then, things like that do happen. You set your standards high, but then when you have somebody like Andre and guys like that - they are pushing you and it raises your standards even higher. So, on a personal level, it's great to come out and play ball and hopefully do good."

(on if making the Pro Bowl is even sweeter because of all he went through his rookie year) "I hold grudges, but I don't hold too many grudges (laughs). I really don't because, like I said, I had a lot of stuff that I went through personally that I had to deal with, just like being so young and coming to the NFL. Then, obviously, being the first pick. It's a great honor, but then it's a lot of responsibility just for the fact that you were the first pick. Because, you know, that team, unfortunately, did have the last pick. So, there are a lot of things that are thrown in your face from the get-go. But like I said, I'm glad that it happened and I'm glad to be here. I just hope for the best and I know we'll continue to do well."

(on this being a little bit of redemption after being booed on draft day) "That's life. Yeah, I guess. But you can't satisfy everybody. If you're going to go through the world saying, 'I hope they don't boo me,' or whatever, or worry about what people are going to say, you're not going to make it too far. So my whole thing is that whatever is going to be said is going to be said, whether it's good or bad. Everybody has there own opinion and there's always two sides of it. So no matter how good you're doing, there's always someone saying how bad you're doing."

(on how he heard he had made the Pro Bowl and who was the first person he called) "What, the Pro Bowl? (Head) Coach (Gary) Kubiak, of course. He was the first person who told me. I don't know if I'm supposed to say that. I don't know; it's my first time. I don't know if I'm supposed to leak that out. But anyway, he told me. He called me and when he called me, it was pretty much the same tone in the same voice as last year. I was like, 'Oh man, here it goes again.' And he was just like, 'You know, Mario…,' and he just had a little pause. And I was like, 'Oh my goodness, it happened again.' And he was like, 'I want to be the first to congratulate you.' And I was like, 'Oh, thank goodness.' Then we started talking or whatever, and it was great."

(on who he told first) "My mom. I called my mom. I told my mom and she was like, 'Yahoo.' I don't know where she got that from but (laughs)—because we don't say that from we're I'm from. But anyways, so after that, everything was good. You know, today is her birthday too. So, happy birthday Mom. We're going to go out. We might go shopping."

WR Andre Johnson
(on how he thinks DE Mario Williams feels today) "I think he's probably trying to downplay it a little bit. No one likes to seem cocky. But I think that—I was here in this stadium when we drafted him. I didn't boo, but there are a lot of things that you yourself can't control. I'm pretty sure, him walking up there on that stage being the number one pick and people booing and having the fans here boo, and me just sitting there listening to it. I was just like, 'Man, they never even gave this guy a chance to go out on the field and prove himself.' Of course, (Saints RB) Reggie (Bush) had all the highlights and every time you turned it on SportsCenter, you know you see Reggie Bush and USC, and they were calling him the president and all of that. Of course, he has all the hype so everyone is going to want him. But (DE) Mario (Williams), if you ask anybody or ask anybody that was at that game on Sunday, who would they want on this team, I bet you they'd say Mario Williams. So, I think he's proved himself."

(on what it's like to come back and make the Pro Bowl after injuring his knee last year) "Just after last season, having the injury and missing those games, I always said the way we started - I always said that I wanted to get back out on the field and just show people what I can do. I think that's what I did this year. It was very frustrating just going through the injury, and then this year started off frustrating. But we all worked through it and we got through it. So, it has all worked out. We do have another Pro Bowler here, Ashley."

Texans Cheerleader Ashley
(on going to the Pro Bowl along with WR Andre Johnson and DE Mario Williams) "It's a pretty incredible feeling. Obviously, they're awesome, phenomenal players and they definitely both deserve to be here, but also I'm very excited myself. For those of you who don't know, the Texans Cheerleaders are just an amazing group of girls, some of the most talented girls that I've met in my entire life. And it truly is an honor to have been selected to go to the Pro Bowl, so I'm very, very excited."

(on when she knew she was having a Pro Bowl season) "Well, I didn't exactly know that I was having a Pro Bowl season. This is my third year as a Texans Cheerleader, and every year, we select one girl. Our teammates actually vote on it. Last year, we sent Crystal, and Crystal's amazing. I mean, Pro Bowl isn't something you exactly expect to receive. If anything, it's just icing on top of the cake because dancing and performing and cheering is something that I'm truly passionate about. It's something I would do anyways without any award or accolade or notoriety or any of that, so this really is just icing on the cake. And it was a little bit unexpected because there are girls that have been on the team longer than I have."

(on who told her that she was going to the Pro Bowl) "My coach actually announced it at practice last Monday. So I found out a little earlier than these guys did and I've been I guess just keeping it to myself. I've shared it with family and friends and they're all absolutely thrilled. I've never been to Hawaii, so it's going to be a good time."

(on if she gets to take someone) "Do I get to take someone? Not to my knowledge. I'm going to try to see if I can get my mom and my sister to go with me, so we'll see."

WR Andre Johnson
(on if he feels bad for RB Steve Slaton not making the Pro Bowl) "Well, you definitely feel bad for him because when you looked at all the stats and everything coming in to when we did the voting for the Pro Bowl, I think (RB) Steve (Slaton) was second in the AFC in rushing and things like that. So you would think that a guy being second in the AFC in rushing as a rookie, that guys would vote him in, but it's hard when you're a rookie because guys, they really don't want to vote rookies in to the Pro Bowl. But I really think Steve has come in his rookie season and proved himself as a football player."

DE Mario Williams(on where this honor stacks up among all of the honors he has received) "It's a big honor. It's hard saying where it stacks up. I really can't say, I can't just point it out, because I honestly say that being the number one pick was. I mean, obviously, I wouldn't be doing this now if I wasn't even selected or whatever. It's just a great honor and just a great feeling. I just hope that not just myself and Andre and the other teammates as well, (RB) Steve (Slaton) and all the other guys on the team, I hope they get a shot. I wish them the best and I hope everybody gets many more opportunities to be in this position just playing ball and just playing hard and doing what you're supposed to do, and I just wish everybody the best."

(on if his mother will be making the trip with him) "Yes, I'm sure she will be. Yes, she will."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content