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Veteran WR Andre Johnson Wants to Practice, and Perform, for Titans


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Andre Johnson joined the Titans for the first day of training camp, and he hasn't slowed down since.

The veteran receiver has turned down free passes from his head coach, because he wants to catch passes from the team's quarterbacks instead.

"I am feeling pretty good,'' Johnson, who's 35, said after practice on Monday. "As far as days practicing, this is the most consecutive days I have practiced in a few years. My body is feeling good. I am just doing what I need to do to be ready for opening day."

In two preseason games, Johnson has just two catches for 15 yards. He played just 15 snaps in Saturday's preseason game against the Panthers, a week after playing 11 snaps vs the Chargers.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said the team wants to keep Johnson fresh. Mularkey planned to give Johnson a practice off one day last week, but it was on a day when the team went bowling, so everyone got a break.

"I have seen him every day,'' Mularkey said of Johnson. "I can promise you, in the last five years he hasn't practiced every day in training camp like he has here, and he hasn't blinked.

"I told him: 'It's up to you. It's your body, you know it better than I do.' And he's been very (competitive). He doesn't have to do anything more for me to know he can play."

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

With the Titans, he's been getting reps behind starters Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe. It's a new world for Johnson, but in a new city, and on a new team, he's embraced it.

"It is just the nature of the beast,'' he said. "There was a point in time where I was the No.1 guy, and as your career goes on things change. You get older and your body responds differently and you learn throughout your career and you just have to adjust to it. … I just embrace it as a challenge.

"I don't live off what I have done in this league. Every time I am out there I am trying to make plays. I'll live off (the past) when I am done playing."

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

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