WR Johnson attends OTA practice


Andre Johnson joined the Texans on Thursday at the Methodist Training Center for the team's fourth practice of organized team activities (OTAs). He missed the first three workouts this week because of contract-related issues.

Johnson was not obligated to attend the voluntary workouts, but his absence was notable since he never missed OTAs in previous offseasons. He reaffirmed his commitment to the organization in comments to the media after practice.

"Like I said before, I plan on being a Texan 'til the day I retire, and my feelings haven't changed," he said. "I didn't feel right being at home. I never miss OTAs and I've always been here, so I came in."

The four-time Pro Bowler said that his decision to miss three practices was out of character.

"I'm man enough to say that it was," he said. "I'm disappointed about it, but sometimes things happen. I talked to everybody upstairs and there are no grudges and I have no grudges against them, so we're just going to move on from it.

{QUOTE}"I don't really think you can really win against an organization. When you're under contract, they can hold you to that, and it's up to them to re-do it or give you an extension or whatever they want to do. They really don't have to do anything. They can sit there and hold me to that contract, and if you choose to sit out and take fines, that's what happens. But I'm past that. I'm over that. I'm here working and I'm going to continue to work and hopefully we can achieve our goal of getting to the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl."

Coach Gary Kubiak was pleased to have his star player in attendance. In fact, he found out the news last night and joked with reporters that his dinner at Pappas Burgers tasted a lot better afterward.

"For him to be here, that's him," Kubiak said of Johnson. "He's where he's at because of how hard he works and goes about the game, and that's not going to be any different this year. We're very happy to have him back."

Texans owner Bob McNair met with Johnson yesterday and shared a productive conversation with him.

"Andre came to see me and wanted to assure me that he loved being a Texan and that this whole thing had sort of gotten blown out of proportion," McNair said. "It was out of character for him. He wanted me to know that he's a team player, that nothing has changed. And I told him, I said, 'Well, I just wanted you to know that we miss having you out here. Your teammates miss you, we miss you, and we want you out there.'

"I'm sure he was getting advice from a lot of different people. He probably thought it was going to be sort of a low-key kind of deal. He didn't expect it to be played up as big as it was. He wanted to be out here with his teammates and let everybody know he's happy being a Texan, and we're happy having him."

McNair is open to discussing Johnson's contract, although Texans general manager Rick Smith handles the team's contract negotiations with players.

"With any of our players, if they have anything that they want to talk about, we're always willing to sit down and talk to them, review their situation and help them to understand what the team's obligations are, what the team's parameters are," McNair said. "There are some things we can do and some things we can't do, and sometimes players don't understand that. But I think he's fine. I'm delighted that he's back. He's happy, he's smiling, and we're happy he's smiling."

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