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Vandermeer's View: Dre Day

There's important work to do this weekend. The Texans are in a deep hole at three games under .500. They have lost three in a row and are in desperate need of getting their offense going to stop the bleeding.

Across the field is another struggling team in Arizona. But nothing has come easy lately for the Texans and Bill O'Brien will do whatever he can to generate some scoring to take the pressure off his injury affected defense. It's a battle of survival.

But there's also the work of honoring one of the greatest wide receivers in the history of the NFL as Andre Johnson becomes the first Texan to be immortalized by the franchise.

For over a decade, Johnson was the best player on the team and a superstar that you could count on to produce unmatched thrills here at NRG Stadium. Once he got rolling, there was no time in his Texans career that he wasn't considered one of the top three receivers in the game.
And he did it with such polish and professionalism. He often made it look easy. I've said before, the great ones often do. He was the perfect combination of strength, speed, hands and heart. He could seemingly glide through the secondary. And when there was traffic or contact, he made people pay.

We were blessed to watch him from 2003 through 2014. He had some huge catches on the road. But his favorite one happened here. An airborne, helicopter reception in the south end zone against Minnesota in 2004. My personal fave in this building was the 4th and ten catch on the game winning drive against the Dolphins to help the Texans avoid an 0-5 start in 2008.

There were countless others. Who could forget the overtime TD to beat Jacksonville in 2012? Four days later he would torch Detroit, with Calvin Johnson watching. In that two game binge he put up more yards and receptions than any receiver in the history of the game.

But it wasn't about the numbers. Or the even wins. It was about the moments, the memories. Andre Johnson was the first player for the Texans that made our jaws drop and opened conversations about Canton. He was elite as a player and as a person. And this weekend we make sure we will never forget what he did here.

The City of Houston officially declared November 19, 2017 as Andre Johnson Day.

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