Andre Johnson can relate to Derek Stingley, Jr.
Even though the two are separated by 20 years in age, and one played offense while the other is a defender, they share a common bond. Both were third overall picks by the Texans.
In 2003, Houston selected Johnson third overall out of Miami. In April, the Texans took Stingley in that same spot out of LSU. The former has been to a few Organized Team Activities (OTAs) this month, and he's spoken with the latter.
"I was just telling him how their rookie class can do something special: change the organization because of what's happened here over the past couple of years," Johnson said Tuesday. "It's just on them: putting in that hard work, holding each other accountable. It's kind of like when I came here. It was the second year of the team, and it was a challenge that I took. I wanted to help this organization get to the playoffs and accomplish other things. I took the challenge and we made it happen."
So far, Stingley's been limited in OTAs. In late May, Head Coach Lovie Smith explained that Stingley, like a few other Texans, is coming off an injury. The goal is "to get him better each day" during this time and to get him ready for the regular season. Johnson enjoyed talking with the rookie, and is mightily impressed by the game tape from Stingley's LSU days.
"From the first time I saw him play, he caught my eye," Johnson said. "I'm happy he's here and I'm sure he'll do great things for us."
Veteran defensive back Steven Nelson, along with veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks, can't wait to see Stingley fully in the mix. Nelson called the rookie a "great guy" and shared his thoughts on Stingley's future.
"Very talented, hence why he got drafted where he got drafted," Nelson said. "I think he's going to do some great things here whenever he gets rolling."
Cooks echoed those thoughts.
"What he's done in college was awesome," Cooks said. "I look forward for him to be able to come in and do that here as well."
Johnson, always on the quieter side during his playing days, was a bit surprised by Stingley's demeanor.
"I think he's a little quieter than me," Johnson joked. "So that was a little weird when we first met. But he seems he seems very humble and he seems to be up for the challenge."
The Texans conclude OTAs this week, and will begin a minicamp next week at the Houston Methodist Training Center.