David Johnson was on vacation when he first heard the news.
The First-Team All-Pro running back was part of a blockbuster trade sending him to the Houston Texans after five seasons in Arizona.
"My initial reaction was I was very excited," Johnson said Friday via Zoom call with media. "I was on vacation with my family, my wife and kids, and we were very excited – a new beginning."
Johnson admits he had been following the Texans for years as a playoff team and can't wait to be a part of Houston's explosive offense.
After leading the NFL in scrimmage yards (1,239 rushing, 879 receiving) and 20 touchdowns in 2016, Johnson suffered a wrist injury that caused him to miss almost the entire 2017 season. Johnson returned in 2018 for a full season, but last year, rushed for just 345 yards and two touchdowns under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
"I think last season was just rough," Johnson said. "I had little nicks and bruises with some minor injuries – nothing major. Kliff (Kingsbury) told me that they were going with the hot hand with Chase (Edmonds) and then with Kenyan (Drake), and it was just tough to bounce back from that. But it's a new team and I'm excited, and I think the biggest thing I want to contribute to the team is just my ability to run the ball and to be able to catch."
Johnson passed his physical on Wednesday but is currently still living in Arizona amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been in contact with Bill O'Brien, new running backs coach Danny Barrett and other members of the Texans front office. He also exchanged texts with new quarterback Deshaun Watson. The veteran back has high hopes for himself in a new offense led by Watson, surrounded by dynamic playmakers.
"It was excitement from the start, and basically I have that chip back on my shoulder," Johnson said. "Ever since I've been in league, I've always had that chip. My biggest thing is I just want to get back to 2016, if not better than the 2016 season. I think the biggest thing, as everyone knows, is to stay healthy. I'm going to really hone in on everything that I can utilize with organization as far as recovery, making sure I do everything to keep my body healthy and be ready for the season."
The Texans will hold their virtual offseason program, through Zoom and Discord, from April 27 through May 15.