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VanderBlog: The Goat, the ROYS and a COTY Rant 


He's in – so I don't need to sell you on why he deserves this.

I will just point out a couple of key facts on why Andre Johnson is a Hall of Famer and why it probably shouldn't have even taken this long.

For a five-year period from '06-'10, Johnson was first in the league in either yards per game, yards on the season or receptions. That's FIVE consecutive years!!!

In seven of eight years (he missed portions of 2011) he was top three in at least one of those categories.

Case closed.

Now to the sentimental part.

Because I was the Voice of the Miami Hurricanes from '99-'01, I got to call 200 of Andre Johnson's 234 games as a college and pro receiver.

The night he put up 199 receiving yards in the 2001 National Championship game was one of the best performances in a title tilt in college history.

That was my last game for the Hurricanes. He would play one more year with the Canes while the Texans were in their inaugural season. He was drafted in '03. Ten years later he'd register the best two-game stretch for a receiver in NFL history, with monster games against Jacksonville and Detroit.

I'd like to think that, in addition to being the ultimate honor for Andre, this induction serves as huge recognition for those Texans teams from the 00's and early teens. They didn't win a title, but they can share in this.

I work with Andre Ware in the broadcast booth and I can tell you that his teammates from 1989 consider his Heisman season to be THEIR Heisman season. And Ware agrees and still does share the glory with them.

This feels like that. While there weren't quite as many wins as we wanted back then, we have this – our very first Hall of Fame player.

For 12 seasons, Johnson thrilled Texans fans by executing unthinkable, unforgettable plays and making the superb look like a daily habit.

That's what the great ones do – they relentlessly make play after play, contributing to win after win. You almost have to remind yourself to not take it for granted.

There was no doubt in my mind that we were seeing an all-time great on a weekly basis. It was obvious. I remember after one big game in his rookie year, a couple of Houston media stalwarts told me 'He will be one of the greatest players in the history of this city.'

That's high praise in a town that's peppered with hall-of-famers - from Earl Campbell to Warren Mood to Bruce Mathews – Houston has seen some incredible talents.

For as long as I've been calling big time football, he's been a part of it. Even after his playing days have concluded, he's around, as a Legend and now as a Hall of Famer.

And to think, this crowning moment was the capper to another magnificent day in the history of this franchise. We've seen several in the last year.

We were all blown away on draft night when the Texans took C.J. Stroud and then moved up to select Will Anderson Jr. Nine months and change later they, were picking up rookie-of-the-year hardware. Please don't wake me up.

The only thing that didn't make sense was that DeMeco Ryans, an obvious choice for coach of the year, didn't win it going away.  

Kevin Stefanski did a great job. But everyone talked about him having to battle without Nick Chubb. Well, Chubb ran for over 2,700 yards in '21 and '22 and the Browns won eight and seven games, respectively. Maybe he should have won 'comeback coach of the year.'

He won COTY in 2020 with Baker Mayfield, who they got rid of after an 8-win '21. There's Baker sitting in the audience last night as a comeback player of the year candidate. What happened!?

And, yes, winning with four different QBs is hard. But he had two healthy ones last season (and 1,500+ yard Chubb) and produced seven wins.

OK, I'll stop.

In any case, the Texans organization is soaring to new heights with outstanding young talent and a Hall of Fame induction to celebrate.

Is it training camp yet?

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