Texans Reach the Breaking Point, Andre Johnson Walks Off
"Me and Matt are fine." -- Andre Johnson, after Sunday's 28-23 loss to the Oakland Raiders
Photos by Groovehouse Andre Johnson deserves better.
You're Andre Johnson.
You get drafted in 2003 by a one year old expansion team, still in its infancy stage. You're excited, you're eager, and you're hoping to be the foundational building block of something great.
But as it turns out, it's not great. Far from it.
You endure three years of Dom Capers and four years of David Carr and still somehow manage to go to two Pro Bowls and become one of the elite receivers in the game, which in retrospect is the football equivalent of becoming a world class chef using only a spoon, a cheese grater, and a Zippo lighter.
Three years in, you get a new head coach, a new general manager, and eventually a new quarterback, and things are better, but far from perfect. In years the offense is good, the defense is wretched. In years the defense is great -- well, the one year the defense was great -- you're injured most of the season.
Yeah, sure, the team gets better, you win a couple playoff games, but it turns out to be fool's gold.
And six games into 2013, you're right back where you started. It's bad.
The team slides dreadfully backwards, largely due to said quarterback, who commits such heinous, unspeakable acts of football self-mutilation that sending the authorities in with a strait jacket was probably advisable. 2013 unraveled, and 2-0 quickly became 2-4.
You're Andre Johnson. You're 32, and the clock is ticking. You deserve better. At the very least, you deserve hope. Finally, it appears, hope knocks.
A second year quarterback, forgotten by 31 other teams, gets an opportunity. Yes, 2-4 became 2-7 in his first three games, but the team was at least competitive (which qualified as progress, at that point) and the lifeless carcass of an offense suddenly had a heartbeat, and for you, something funny happened. The second year quarterback, a gunslinger if nothing else, threw you the ball -- he threw it to you repeatedly, often, and everywhere on the field.
And like a superhero finally discovering his super powers, you realized this is what it should have been like along. Deep balls, contested jump balls, red zone throws, end zone throws, all the throws that for some reason every other NFL quarterback who ever threw you a ball was afraid to throw....these should have been yours for the last ten goddamn years.
YOU ARE ANDRE FUCKING JOHNSON.
And this kid knew it.