Texans Legend visits team in West Virginia
Former wide receiver Andre Johnson stops by Texans training camp
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. – The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia has been home to the Texans for the first half of their 2018 training camp. The summertime showers and lower temperature doesn't exactly have the team missing their home facilities. It was a cool 83 degrees with afternoon showers on Sunday. By comparison, it was 93 degrees in Houston.
"I love coming up here and kind of being isolated with the guys, having a chance to really come together as a group," said defensive end J.J. Watt Sunday after morning practice. "I think it gives us a chance to really focus on what you need to focus on. When you’re back in Houston, especially early on in training camp, sometimes you’re focused on surviving the day because it’s 100 degrees, 105 degrees, and you just don’t want to pass out on the field. Whereas here, you’re not as making it through, you’re focused on your technique, you’re focused on your assignment."
If the cooler temperatures were not enough to keep the team excited, then a visit from a Texans legend certainly did the trick. Former wide receiver Andre Johnson spent a few days in camp over the weekend.
The seven-time Pro Bowler spent some time watching sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson as he looks to resume the magic he created last season.
"He's great, everything he's done in his college career and in the games he played last year," said Johnson Saturday afternoon. "I think the biggest thing is him staying healthy and the offensive line making sure they protect him."
Johnson became the first player in franchise history to be inducted into the Texans's "Ring of Honor" last season. Johnson had over 14,000 yards receiving in his career, along with 70 touchdowns.
Those numbers are pretty incredible considering the franchise went through so many quarterbacks, such as David Carr, Matt Schaub and Ryan Fitzpatrick. A talent like Johnson see's the potential in an athlete like Watson.
"I wish I could've played with a lot of different guys," joked Johnson. "With a talent like that, you say to yourself, 'what if I could've played with a quarterback like that.'"
The former wide receiver likes Watson's ability to extend plays and compared him to quarterbacks like Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson.
"I think those are some of the things you will see from him, when plays break down and he can find guys down the field," Johnson concluded.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins didn't miss his chance to talk to the franchise legend. Hopkins was drafted by the Texans back in 2013 and was the clear choice to replace Johnson down the road. Neither player holds any grudges and Hopkins knows he always learn a thing or two from the NFL veteran.
“Oh man, that’s always great to be able to talk to somebody I’ve looked up to since I’ve been in the NFL and still to this day," said Hopkins on Sunday. "I always gain wisdom from him – picking his brain, just seeing what he’s doing now and how life is. It’s good to talk to my brother.”
For those wondering if the Texans' fan favorite is considering coaching, Johnson stated he has no desire to be on the sidelines coaching a team and that "it's just a lot of hours - I enjoy my free time."
He's certainly earned a relaxing retirement away from the game.
The Texans will depart for Kansas City on Wednesday for their first pregame game against the Chiefs on Thursday night. The Texans will then resume their training camp in Houston on Saturday.
Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 Sports for over 15 years and is an award-winning sports producer. For story ideas, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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