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Johnson on Schaub, “schoolyard football,” Megatron and more

Posted by Nick Scurfield on October 18, 2011 – 5:56 pm

Wide receiver Andre Johnson talked at length about his hamstring injury and eagerness to return during an hour-long visit with SportsRadio 610 AM in Houston on Tuesday morning.

Johnson also touched on a wide-ranging variety of topics with co-hosts Marc Vandermeer and John Lopez, including:

  • Texans quarterback Matt Schaub: “Matt comes in and he busts his butt every day. He’s probably the first guy at the facility, last one to leave. But playing the position, being the quarterback, that’s part of it. You have to take the good with the bad because when you win, everybody’s going to praise you; when you lose, it’s always your fault. That’s just part of the game. You have to have tough skin, definitely, playing that position. Everyone’s going to criticize Matt, but as long as we’re successful, you won’t hear any criticism. That’s pretty much just part of it.”
  • How he gets so wide open: “I think it’s just more of just understanding defenses, studying film. That’s the thing I look for. I look at the players to try to pick up some tendencies, but at the same time, I’m just trying to see where they have soft spots in their defense. A lot of times, I try to tell guys just ‘cuz the route says ‘run 15 yards and break in and sprint across,’ it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do that. Don’t cover yourself up. Just run to the open spot. When I’m out there playing, man, sometimes I’m just out there playing schoolyard football. If I can find a spot, I’m going to go to it and just sit there.”
  • Texans wide receiver Jacoby Jones: “I talk to Jacoby all the time, and I tell him how I feel. I don’t hold no punches. I don’t hold nothing back from him. I just pretty much let him know how it is, and he takes it. He listens to it and he tries to go out and work at it. After the Raiders game (when Jones had one catch for nine yards on 11 targets), that’s probably the worst I’ve ever seen him look. He was just down, like he was in the tank. And after watching him practice during the week leading up to the Ravens, I told him ‘Man, you look different. You look like you’re excited. You look like you’ve got your confidence back.’ And when he went out and played Sunday, you saw it. So I just tell him, ‘Man, the way you practice is the way you go out and play, and you just have to approach it like that.’”
  • His relationship with Titans CB Cortland Finnegan and if they “exchange Christmas cards,” in the words of Lopez: “Nah, there is no communication.”
  • Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who has nine touchdowns through six games: “I think he’s a better route runner than he was in his previous years. But I didn’t realize how big he was until I met him. I see why they call him Megatron. You know, 6-5, 240/235, runs a 4.3. You can’t do nothin’ with that, man.”
  • If he’s upset that he never got a great nickname of his own: “No. On Twitter lately, everybody’s been saying if he’s Megatron, I’m Optimus Prime, stuff like that. I really don’t get caught up into that. I think that Megatron name fits him. People were asking me earlier during the season who I thought was the best receiver, and his name was the first name that came out of my mouth. I’m a big fan of Calvin. I’m a big fan of all receivers, but he’s definitely put himself on the map this year.”

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