Veteran WR Andre Johnson Embracing His Role with Titans


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Andre Johnson isn't used to being a spectator.

During his 14-year NFL career, he's caught 1,057 passes for 14,139 yards.

That's 8.03 miles.

Yet these days, the Titans receiver finds himself in a different role, one which requires him doing his best to stay warm, and loose, on the sideline.

"I try to just move around," Johnson, 35, said with a smile on Monday. "Kendall (Wright) always teases me about doing high knees and stuff like that. Maybe I'll add some bike (work) to it this week. I just try to do different things, just moving around, trying to stay loose. Because you never know when you'll be called on."

Johnson was called on to make a big play on Sunday, and he delivered.

On a fourth down play from Detroit's nine-yard line with just over a minute remaining, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota threw the ball to Johnson, who found himself in between two defenders. Johnson came down with it, of course. It gave the Titans a dramatic 16-15 victory over the Lions.

It was Johnson's only catch of the game. He played in just 15 of the game's 67 plays (22 percent).

"It was actually kind of funny after the game because I had so many of the people that work (for the Titans) and some of my teammates (come up to me) and they were just like, 'We're glad you're not doing it to us anymore,'" Johnson said Monday. "It was kind of funny, just hearing that. But at the end of the day, I'm a Titan now.

"I'm here to try to go out and make plays like that to help win games. That's what I'm here to do."

Johnson said he puts Sunday's catch up there among the biggest of his career. It was his 69th touchdown catch.

A seven-time Pro Bowler, Johnson has embraced his role with the team. Johnson played 12 seasons with the Texans before playing last season in Indianapolis. He signed with the Titans prior to the start of the season.

"It's a challenge," Johnson said. "It's something different, but it's something you have to get used to because as a competitor you always want to be out on the field to try to help the team. At the end of the day, it is what it is.

"I think the biggest thing is, being older now, is I have to try to stay warm on the sidelines. Other than that, I just try to make the best of every opportunity."

The Titans have embraced Johnson as well.

Titans cornerback Jason McCourty said he told Johnson in Detroit he's glad he's a Titan.

"I said that to him as soon as he got to the sideline,'' McCourty said. "When we got on the bus, (teammate Daimion Stafford) said, "I got so used to seeing you do that on J-Mac, it's nice to see it on a different team."

Teammates say they had little doubt Johnson would come down with it.

"You had two guys all over him and the way he caught the ball and came back with it, I was amazed,'' tight end Delanie Walker said. "I ran over there as fast as I could, because I was excited. That was a great catch.

"But I never had a doubt in my mind. When he threw it to Andre, I knew he was going to make the catch. I'd seen him do it before."

Added McCourty: "A guy who has done that week in and week out, a future Hall of Famer, those are the type of plays you expect him to make, and that's the reason why he's in the game at that point, so you have him in that position to make a play like that."

Johnson said he'll continue to do his part to help the team, when needed.

In two games, Johnson has four catches for 39 yards.

"It's a new role for me,'' Johnson said. "In the beginning, it could be a little frustrating because it's something you're not used to. But when you're able to go out and make a play like that to help your team win a game, it makes it all worth it."

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