Veteran Andre Johnson Already Fitting in with Titans

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Andre Johnson made life miserable for the Titans for 12 seasons while playing for the Texans.

Amy Adams Strunk lived in Houston during Johnson's playing days there, and heard plenty about it. Too much. When the team's controlling owner met Johnson this weekend, she told him about it.

"She was pretty much saying she was glad to have me aboard, and not to have to see me on the other side any more,'' Johnson said with a smile on Thursday. "We had a good laugh and conversation. I told her I was glad to be here, and happy for the opportunity."

Johnson wrapped up his fifth training camp practice with the Titans on Thursday. The seven-time Pro Bowler signed with the Titans last Friday.

He's off to a good start.

"He doesn't look 50 years old,'' offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie said. "When Andre came in and everybody said: 'He's an old guy, he's an old guy.' Well, he is moving very smooth. He looks good to me."

Johnson, set to begin his 14th NFL season, had a solid day on Thursday. He got open early in one-on-one drills vs. defenders on several occasions, and made some nice grabs in team drills.

"It's been fun,'' he said. "I'm just trying to learn everything with the offense, and trying to fit and learn my role here. I'm helping the young guys if they need it… I am here just trying to find my place and get better every day.

"But my body feels good. I am just out there trying to learn everything and trying to get better."

Johnson said he's been especially impressed with the team's young receiving corps, calling the group perhaps the best he's been around. Rookie Tajae Sharpe and veteran Rishard Matthews have consistently worked with the first team so far in camp, with Dorial Green-Beckham, Justin Hunter, Tre McBride, Andrew Turzilli and others also getting time. Veteran Harry Douglas has stood out on several days.

Kendall Wright got off to a great start in camp, but he's currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.

"I really like the group,'' Johnson said. "I think it's a very talented group and one of the most talented groups I've been around actually. I think the biggest thing is them being young, having that veteran guy there to show them the ropes (helps), and show them what it takes to be in the league and play for a long time. As far as talent, the talent is there, there is no doubt in my mind. Those guys can go out there and make plays with anybody."

Johnson has appeared in 185 regular season games during his NFL career and accumulated career totals of 1,053 catches, 14,100 receiving yards and 68 touchdowns.

Andre Johnson (#81) warms up for his first training camp practice with the Titans. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

He played last season with the Colts after beginning his career with the Texans, where he became the team's all-time leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns. He had enormous success against the Titans.

Johnson said he's starting to develop chemistry with quarterback Marcus Mariota, but admitted it's a work in progress.

He's also still learning to put names with faces inside the building. He said he's plenty motivated, and has been since he first arrived in the NFL determined not to be "a bust."

"It is different,'' Johnson, with a smile, said of playing for a new team. "I experienced it last year (in Indianapolis) and it was kind of shocking to me last year because I had been somewhere for so long. You never think you'll leave the place and you end up playing for another team.

"It was shocking last year, but this year it is not as surprising because I got to experience it last year… I am just trying to learn as much as I can. … (On the field) hopefully I can go out and be very successful for this team and help the team be very successful."

Titans Online looks at the NFL career of seven-time Pro Bowl WR Andre Johnson. (AP Photos)

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