Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson addresses the New England media during his conference call on Wednesday, December 30, 2009.
Q: What have been some of the keys to your successful season?
AJ: I think it's just me being on the same page as my quarterback and making the best of my opportunities. I've been fortunate to get a lot of opportunities out on the football field and I just try to make the best of them.
Q: How much of that success is due to your chemistry with Matt Schaub and how much has that grown over the season?
AJ: It's grown so much since the day he got here. This is the first year where we've been together on the field all 16 games. He's battled a lot of injuries. I was injured one year and this is our first time being together for a full season. That is something we both talked about before the season was just saying, 'I wonder how things would be if we both stayed on the field and healthy through the whole season.' So he was able to go out - I think he's leading the league in passing yards right now and I'm leading the league in receiving yards, so it's working out for both of us.
Q: There are a couple other Miami guys on the team - Vince Wilfork and Brandon Meriweather. Do run into those guys during offseason workouts?
AJ: Yeah, I always run into those guys. They are great guys - Brandon and Big Vince. I mean, those are guys that you have a close bond with because of what we accomplished together during our college days. We will always have a special bond and I always run into them in the offseason back home.
Q: Do you look forward to playing against them in games?
AJ: I'm not really into trash-talking. We're just going to go out and play the game. We won't be out there jawing at each other or anything like that. I think we'll just go out and play the game and see what happens. I know Brandon is not going to take pity on me because we're friends or anything like that. When you're in between the white lines, you can't worry about that. You have to go out and play the game. We'll be back friends afterwards.
Q: How much does it mean to you that you and Reggie Wayne are the starting Pro Bowl receivers?
AJ: Yeah, me and Reggie are really close. We spend a lot of time together during the offseason and it's kind of crazy. I was with him there at the Pro Bowl last year and back with him again. It's a lot of fun to come up under someone and someone who was able to teach you things and show you the ropes when I came in as a freshman in college. And now for us to be very successful at what we're doing in the NFL, it's a special feeling. It means a lot.
Q: Vince Wilfork said that you and Sean Taylor were the most physically gifted guys on the team, but Vince was pretty physically gifted himself wasn't he?
AJ: Yeah, I was telling some of the guys today that they will be surprised at how much of an athlete Vince is because you look at him and he's so big. You wouldn't think that he can do some of the things that he does. I remember on Friday - the day before the games - we would go out and have walkthroughs and Big Vince would be out there. He'd set up a little offense and he'd be out there playing quarterback. He was going through play-action plays and it was something he did every Friday. Those are the things that you don't forget - just seeing him do things like that - but he was a heck of an athlete. Being from Florida, I had a chance to see him play in high school and things like that. So Big Vince was very athletic.
Q: Did you ever see him dunk?
AJ: No, I haven't had a chance to see him dunk.
Q: But he can, right?
AJ: From what I've heard, I've heard that he can dunk, but I've never had the chance to see him dunk.
Q: What's the most creative thing teams have done to try to stop you this year?
AJ: I think probably...the game last week against the Dolphins was the most double coverage I've seen throughout a whole game. They pretty much double covered me almost every play of the game. I think that was probably the most double coverage I've seen the whole season.
Q: How does a top receiver beat that? What is it that's allowing you to beat whatever the teams throw at you?
AJ: I think it's just your offensive coordinator moving you around and just doing different things with you rather than just always sending you deep down the field or something like that. Or just doing little things, getting the ball in your hands quickly, trying to set up little bubble routes and screens or something like that because you can get a five-yard pass, make a guy miss and get 30 or 40. I think our offensive coordinator has been doing a good job with doing things like that.
Q: Is it fair to say that Darrelle Revis gave you the toughest time?
AJ: Yeah, they did a great job defensively. They took it to us the first game of the season. Yeah, it's very fair to say that.
Q: What makes him tough in particular?
AJ: I mean, he's a good player. There were times where they doubled me, but he's a very talented player. He's very patient when he's out there playing and he makes you work for everything, so he's very talented and he does what he does very well.
Q: What's the missing piece for you guys as a team?
AJ: Playing a full 60 minutes. I don't think we went out and played a full 60 minutes the whole season. We've always had games where we played a terrible first half and a great second half or vice versa. Either we're down and we find a way to come back and win it, or we're up and we blow it, or we had two games where we lost on the one-yard line. So I think the biggest thing for us it's just being consistent as a football team.