HOUSTON — Andre Johnson enjoyed his time with the Titans.
His entire NFL playing career was a blast, he said.
But when the receiver left the Titans in October and headed toward retirement, he knew it was time. Johnson said so from here Wednesday, from Super Bowl LI Radio Row.
"When you play the game for a very long time, it is kind of hard just to walk away from it, but at the same time, you know when it is time,'' Johnson told Titans Online. "I knew it was time for me to leave, and I went and talked to coach (Mike) Mularkey and he asked me if there was anything he could do to change my mind.
"I just knew I was done, and he told me when he looked at me he could tell I had made up my mind and there was nothing he could do to change it. I felt like I would give someone else a chance to go out and show their talent. I knew mentally, I wasn't in it no more."
Back in October, Johnson informed the Titans of his plans to retire from the NFL after 14 NFL seasons.
After practice, players gathered inside the locker room to Facetime with Johnson. Johnson didn't speak publicly about the decision at the time.
"I enjoyed my time there in Tennessee. It was fun, man. I enjoyed every moment of it,'' Johnson said. "The Titans are a very good football team, and I knew it then. I am not surprised the way the team turned around the season and the way they played. I knew there was a lot of talent there, and I am looking forward to what's ahead for them."
Johnson said he's a big fan of quarterback Marcus Mariota.
"He's great,'' Johnson said. "You could tell as the season went along he got very comfortable, and his play showed it. I think the sky is the limit for him."
Johnson joined the Titans on July 30 and played in eight games for the team in 2016. He scored the game-winning touchdown in the team's 16-15 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 2, and had nine catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns in eight games.
Some believe the touchdown catch in Detroit was the play that provided the spark for a 9-7 season.
"I just tried to do whatever I could to help the team win,'' Johnson said. "It wasn't about leaving a mark for me. It was about trying to make plays and do what I do."
Johnson spent his first 12 NFL seasons with the Houston Texans before playing in 2015 with the Indianapolis Colts, where he had 41 catches for 503 yards and four touchdowns.
A seven-time Pro Bowler, finished his career with 1,062 catches for 14,185 yards and 70 touchdowns. Johnson posted seven 1,000-yard seasons and four seasons with at least 1,400 yards receiving.
He said he's at peace with his decision to retire.
"I am fine, man,'' Johnson said. "I am just enjoying life, spending time with my daughter, traveling a lit bit. I am just enjoying life now."
TitansOnline.com looks back at the Titans career of veteran WR Andre Johnson, who informed team of his retirement on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. (Photos: Donn Jones Photography, AP)