HOUSTON — Andre Johnson was honoured by the Houston Texans on Wednesday for his stellar career, and the star receiver had plenty of people he wanted to thank.
The list included teammates, coaches and family. But special praise was reserved for his mom, whom Johnson said made numerous sacrifices to raise him.
"Everything I did on that field was because of you," Johnson said. "A lot of people don’t know, but when I played the game of football I played the game very angry, and the reason I played that way was just because of where I grew up. I just never wanted to go back to living that lifestyle again."
Johnson was released in 2014 after spending his first 12 seasons with the Texans. He spent one season with the Colts before retiring last season after spending the first eight games with the Titans. He signed a one-day contract so he could retire with the Texans.
The third overall pick in the 2003 draft, Johnson left Houston as the franchise’s leader in receptions (1,012), yards receiving (13,597), receiving touchdowns (64) and 100-yard games (51).
He said his biggest career highlight was helping Houston to its first playoff win against Cincinnati in 2013.
Johnson started 169 games for Houston and had seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons, including a career-high and franchise-record 1,598 yards receiving in 2012.
"When I played I didn’t do it to be measured up against anybody," Johnson said. "I just wanted to play and win and I just wanted to do whatever I had to do to win."