Despite missing seven games in 2007, Johnson led the Texans with a career- and franchise-best eight receiving touchdowns.
Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson had his left knee scoped last Thursday. He and head coach Gary Kubiak addressed the injury and more following Monday's practice, while two of the Texans' running backs spoke with the media as well.
Head coach Gary Kubiak
(on WR Andre Johnson) "We scoped his knee Thursday, went in and just cleaned it up. Had been bothering him; wanted to make sure there was nothing wrong. It was fine, so he just did some cleanup work. He'll basically just be in rehab and he'll be ready to go for training camp."
(on if it was the same left knee Johnson injured during the 2007 season) "Yeah, same one."
(on if they could see this operation coming ahead of time) "Yeah, we were kind of heading in that direction. We felt about three weeks before camp that we may do it, but we said, 'You know what, let's push him over the weekend; let's see how he responds.' We came out of the weekend, he just didn't feel good about it. you would never know watching the film because he was tremendous, but that's him. He's a perfectionist, so we said, 'Let's go take a look and make sure you have the peace of mind that everything's OK and we can move forward.' So that's what we did."
(on any players not at practice) "Fred's not here, Bennett. He's not feeling well, so we just told him to stay at home. Hopefully, he'll be in here tomorrow and everything will be OK."
(on if anything jumped out at him today) "No, just getting back in the work. We had a good mini-camp and then we gave them a break last week, so you could tell just them getting back going again. But what we're trying to do is get started early in the morning and push them 'til lunch. We've just got to get a lot of teaching in. We've got 14 opportunities to get better as a football team and to look at a lot of these young guys, so we're just trying to get as much accomplished as we can."
(on LB Zac Diles) "Well, I think he's swimming right now. He's a starter; he's out there trying to win a job and trying to be consistent. I think he's kind of all over the place right now, but that's not nothing negative. That's OK. He's just got to lock in the defense, because all the physical traits are there. He's just got to get comfortable with what we're doing, and it's going to be a good battle because the (Kevin) Bentley kid's a very smart player, too, so he can really push him."
(on LB Zac Diles playing every linebacker position) "Yes, I think he has to when it's said and done. If you keep five linebackers or six, some guys have to be interchangeable, so between him and Chaun (Thompson), Zac (Diles) and (Kevin) Bentley, they're going to all have to play a bunch of spots."
(on wishing he had played LB Zac Diles more last season) "Yes, I really do. I wish I'd have played him the last few games and got him some experience, all those snaps as a starter, but that is what it is, so it's time to we've made the decision now to move forward. It's kind of like one of those deals, we're not waiting. It's yours; go prove to us that you belong there. He's got a tough gig ahead of him here, but we've got a lot of confidence in him."
(on the possibility of a healthy QB Matt Schaub, RB Ahman Green and WR Andre Johnson) "Well, it means a great deal. Y'all saw how we played offensively when Ahman was available because he just brings a new dimension, and I think what we're doing running the ball with Alex (Gibbs), I think Ahman's really a nice fit with that and I think he's gaining confidence in what we're doing. The health of the football team's important across the board, not just those three, but those three are pretty darn important."
(on WR Jacoby Jones) "Well, you've heard me say it before: If guys are going to be great players, they usually make a big step from year one to two. So it's nice to watch him what he's doing right now, because he's starting to make a lot of plays. The fact that Andre (Johnson) won't be working during the OTA's is going to open up the door for a guy like him to get a lot more reps, so hopefully he makes a lot of improvement."
(on WR Andre Johnson) "Andre, basically what happened is we kind of went back and forth with the knee throughout the offseason. It wasn't feeling the way he wanted it to feel and so we tried to do some things, some rest and those type things to get it better. He wasn't real comfortable coming out of camp, so we said, 'Hey, let's go scope it and see if there's any issues. (We) want you to feel comfortable.' Everything was fine. They cleaned it up (and) now, he feels good about it. He's not going to be hurt by missing some of these reps, so we'll just get him back to 100 percent and get him ready to go."
(on if WR Andre Johnson will be healthy for training camp) "Yeah, he should be fine. He should be fine for training camp. Y'all see him out here walking around today. Actually, it's a peace of mind for all of us, to be honest with you."
(on DT Travis Johnson) "Well, I'm concerned. He's missed a lot of time. He's got the inflammation in the pelvic area, is the best way I can describe it. He's way behind the team from a physical standpoint. Nothing he can do; they've had him resting. Before I put him on the football field, I want to make sure he catches up with his teammates conditioning-wise, so you'll just see him conditioning at the time."
(on where DT Travis Johnson's injury came from) "Well, it's kind of been something's that bothered him before and then it crept up again back in February, early March. And we've tried a few different scenarios. He had an injection the other day that we're waiting to see how he recovers from. He has felt better. He ran Friday, he ran today, so we'll see."
(on the physical conditioning of RB Chris Brown) "I think he's fine. I thought in mini-camp he looked really good the first day. I thought he wore down a little bit the last two days, but he knows what he's doing. We've got enough backs to go around right now so we don't have to run any of them into the ground, but I think he's very comfortable in our scheme and I know he can help us."
(on what a bigger back like RB Chris Brown does) "Well, let me answer that a little different. I think the fact that we may have a changeup back now helps those big backs. Ahman (Green) gives you the ability for the big play, but if the young kid (Steve Slaton) that we drafted can do the same thing, then I think big kids like Chris (Brown) and then Darius (Walker) is a big, thick kid; they're hard to tackle. You would like to have a little bit of both, and I think if we can keep Ahman and Slaton healthy, we have an opportunity to have a changeup player."
(on RB Ahman Green's knee) "He's been working excellent. He's really into what we're doing. He's having a good offseason. He's fine. Y'all can see how he's working out here. That's him. He's one of those players that has to get the work in to feel like he can go be successful, so I'm just glad to see that everything's holding up so fine. So far, so good."
(on if T Charles Spencer will join group drills before training camp) "Well, what we're going to do this week is kind of take him in the same pattern we did during mini-camp. He'll do a little bit. At some point here, we're fixing to turn him loose. I'll let y'all know when that is, and then we'll see how he responds."
(on the challenge for FB Jon Abbate to make the roster) "Well, I tell you what, it's a tough situation all across this league because if this 80 (player) limit roster holds, which it looks like it's going to hold, there's some tough, tough cuts for coaches to make going into camp. Do you take three fullbacks to your camp? What do you do? So that's a battle now. Other than that, he's battling against two good football players. He has shown the ability. He's very physical. Catching up with all our offensive schemes has been the tough thing, but he's working hard."
(on the demeanor of assistant head coach/offense Alex Gibbs) "Well, he's demanding. He doesn't just coach his offensive linemen, he coaches everybody. He coaches the backs, the quarterbacks, he coaches me, he coaches the running back coach. He's demanding on everybody for his run game to work, and that's why it's been successful."
(on if he has considered moving RB Chris Taylor to fullback) "No. I think you need a player that you think can maybe play a little bit of both spots when you go to game day because it helps you just suit so many players, but at this point we've got enough guys, so we'll leave him where he's at."
(on WR André Davis) "He's been excellent. He's got a lot of confidence as a player coming off of last year. He's getting a ton of reps right now because when 'Dre (Andre Johnson) is out, he's the starter, so he's getting plenty of reps and I'm excited about the direction his career is heading. I think he's very comfortable here in Houston and he deserved that contract he got, and I just think he's a kid with a lot of confidence right now."
RB Chris Brown
(on if he feels comfortable in the offensive system) "Oh, definitely. In mini-camp, it wasn't too big of a learning process for me. I've run the offense before. I just had to learn the new terms and stuff, but I feel real comfortable now."
(on his previous experience with the zone-blocking system) "I ran it in Colorado, and it was similar in my first two years in Tennessee. It's relatively similar, so I'll be alright."
(on if his knowledge of the offense helps his transition to the Texans) "Oh, yeah. Definitely. Knowing that I ran this sort of offense, I know most of the reads and where they're supposed to be, so it helps me get everything down."
(on how he's trying to establish himself) "I'm going to come in and work hard every day, just set the tone and show the young guys how you're supposed to work. Between Ahman and I, we'll go out there and work hard every day and everything else will come easy."
(on if there's uncertainty with his role because there are so many running backs) "I'm just coming in here and doing what I can do best, which is run the ball, know the offense and play fast. Everything else will take care of itself."
(on if he thinks he'll eventually be the starting running back) "I don't really know. I haven't even thought about it. I'm just coming out here working hard."
(on if the offense is headed in the right direction) "We've got the right pieces to the puzzle. Now, you get everybody to work hard, stay healthy and we'll be alright."
RB Ahman Green
(on how he feels) "I'm feeling good. Just trying to get through this, because this is more getting used to the new plays that (Alex) Gibbs is putting in the run game and trying to learn what he wants us to be and some of the new changes that coach (Kyle) Shanahan made, too, to the passing game. That's what these OTAs are for, and for all the rookies to get broken in a little bit and for us to get to know them and for all the veterans to get to know them and each other once again and start to build that glue between every teammate so we can make a good run in the midseason."
(on wearing a pad on his left knee) "I've got to listen to my body. The body's feeling great now but the pad on the knee is just for precaution, because it was just a bang on the knee that nagged me on the whole year. So I want to protect that to the best of my ability and continue to practice hard and run hard."
(on if his injury was a bone bruise) "Honestly, to this day I still don't know, but I just know it hurt like hell. It's something I never had pain-wise, like I told coach and some of my teammates. I said, 'If it ain't broke or cut off, I'd be out on that field,' but this type of pain I had was unbearing and I didn't want to make it any worse. I had to swallow a big pill and not finish the season, which frustrated me and of course my teammates and the coaches, but right now it feels pretty good."
(on if he wants to prove he can play 16 game season) "I'd say I don't have to prove that. I just want to prove to myself what I still do, what I still want to do, and help this team get just maybe two more wins and we have a chance to get in the playoffs. That's it. But right now, all I've got to worry about is tomorrow's practice."
(on if he is pain-free) "Right now, yes."
(on if he is apprehensive about taking a hit) "No, not at all. I've been hitting since I was six, so that ain't nothing new."
(on if he, WR Andre Johnson and QB Matt Schaub are all healthy) "Oh, it means a lot. It'll make a team's preparation for us during the regular season more critical, because then they'll have three guys they've got to worry about that can make plays at any time at any moment on the field."
(on if he's had any conversations with Johnson or Schaub about that) "Yes. Me and Andre had that talk probably about two or three weeks ago, right before the first mini-camp. It was crazy. We kind of just joked around and just said with myself and then he went down basically the same week, and it was weird that we still were able to fight and get eight wins and (imagine) if we could've possibly been healthy. And that's our plan now this year. Hopefully, if we can stay healthy, we can do some things."
(on what RB Steve Slaton adds to the team) "Speed. He's not a big back, but you don't need to be a big back in the NFL. You've just got to find your niche and basically make it better, hone it in, and he has the speed. (When) he gets on the corner, I think 9 times out of 10, the guys on our schedule, the teams that we face, not many guys can catch him."
WR Andre Johnson
(on his knee) "I'm just taking care of myself and rehabbing it, doing things like that."
(on if he is concerned) "Yes, it's a concern but at the same time, injuries happen but you just have to do what you have to do to make those injuries better."
(on if he got his knee scoped because it wasn't feeling better) "No, it was just something we talked about and decided I'm doing."
(on if it the pain was remnants of his injury last season) "Yes, it's all from the injury I had during the second week of the season."
(on if he feels relieved now that this is out of the way) "I feel good right now. The knee didn't swell up or anything. It has a little bit of swelling, but nothing major. If you looked at my knee, you wouldn't really even be able to tell anything is wrong with it. Other than that, I am feeling fine, just rehabbing every day doing what I need to do to get back on the field."
(on the possibility of having he, QB Matt Schaub and RB Ahman Green healthy) "Yeah, I am excited about it…just to have all of the guys back, not just me and (Ahman). We showed what we can do when we're a healthy team. Unfortunately, we had injuries last year. It's not an excuse. Those things happen. We just have to have other guys step up. We had some guys do that. We know what type of team we have. As long as we go out and do what we need to do, we should be fine."
(on his injury) "Like I said, things happen. I've had it done to my shoulder when I was in college and I came right back and didn't miss a beat. So I'm just doing what I need to do to get myself ready."
(on when his knee bothered him) "When I ran, period. It bothered me in the inside of my knee. It was just something that just got real aggravating."
(on if it bothered him last season after he came back) "It did start bothering me at a certain point after I came back. But during the week, during practice, I really wasn't practicing much. I pretty much was just taking reps here and there, resting and then getting ready for the game on Sunday. I came back out during offseason workouts and it kind of flared up on me again, so we just took it from there."
(on what he's doing now) "Just trying to do what I have to do to get ready for training camp. We don't play any games any time soon. Once training camp comes around…I mean, I've been through this (OTAs) before. This isn't my first time through this, so I know what to expect."