RTC: Columnists on Andre Johnson's plight

November, 19, 2013
11/19/13
7:47
AM ET
Reading the coverage of the Houston Texans...

Couldn't find this on the site in time for yesterday's links, but give the Houston Chronicle's Jerome Solomon's clever column a read. He writes a fictional letter from Andre Johnson to Texans owner Bob McNair. Here's a snippet: "Let me go, Bob. Set me free. I've served a 10-year sentence for a crime I didn't commit. I didn't hire all those failures. I didn't draft all those scrubs. I didn't sign all those bad contracts. I didn't call all those horrible plays. I didn't make mistake after mistake while learning how to be an NFL owner, or mistake after mistake while learning how to be an NFL general manager, or mistake after mistake while learning how to be an NFL head coach. Yet I'm still here paying the price for mistakes made by you, Rick Smith and Gary Kubiak."

Sean Pendergast of the Houston Press makes this point, among others, about what was wrong with Matt Schaub approaching Johnson to critique his route-running: "Matt Schaub, with millions watching and in the middle of his worst season, thought it was okay to critique and engage argumentatively with Andre Johnson publicly over screwing up. I don't know that Matt Schaub has ever had the equity to make what happened on Sunday acceptable, but if he did, he forfeited that equity several pick sixes ago this season."

It's worth noting here that the gravity of what happened on Sunday with Johnson is not lost on anybody locally. Johnson downplayed his sideline argument with Matt Schaub, which stemmed from Schaub saying Johnson was stopping his routes. Johnson doesn't like to be the center of attention or controversy, so he said reporters were making too big a deal out of the incident. But it was a big deal precisely because Johnson just doesn't do this often. He's not a diva. He's not selfish. Nothing he did Sunday changes that fact. He's earned the capital, through his elite play and his demeanor for the past decade, that he is correctly not being criticized for the argument and for walking off the field before the game officially ended.

Despite the state of the organization right now, Texans defensive end Antonio Smith "definitely" wants to remain part of the Texans, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNHouston.com. Smith's contract expires at the end of this league year. That often means goodbye.

Case Keenum, still the Texans' starting quarterback, has a knack for improvising. He admitted Monday that he sometimes leans on that too much, writes John McClain of the Chronicle.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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