Lonnie Johnson had been steadily racking up the interceptions in training camp this month. Now in his second season as safety, Johnson credits his experience at cornerback for his instincts in the back end.
"My skills with corner is helping me a lot with safety," Johnson said. "Being able to guard people, being able to recognize routes quicker, just pretty much knowing where the quarterback wants to go with the ball and then playing safety, I get to use my vision as much as possible now so it's just go get the ball at the end of that."
In Saturday's 20-14 preseason win at Dallas, the third-year defensive back turned an interception into a 53-yard touchdown. In the third quarter, Cowboys quarterback Ben DiNucci's pass, intended for Reggie Davis, was tipped by Tremon Smith. Johnson intercepted the pass at the Houston 47-yard line and ran it back for the score.
"I appreciate Tremon for that," Johnson said after the game. "Just seeing the way the quarterback was leaning that way, just following the ball, see ball get ball, picked the ball and then the rest was history, man. Get to the endzone."
The Texans tied the game 14-14 with 6:52 left in the third quarter.
Johnson's interception was the second takeaway of the game. On the opening drive, Jacob Martin's strip sack was recovered by fellow defensive lineman Charles Omenihu at the Dallas 23-yard line. The Texans converted the fumble into an early 7-0 lead with a touchdown run by Mark Ingram.