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Johnson's return will benefit teammates

7/22/2014

It's absolutely a positive sign for the Houston Texans that their longest-tenured player wants to learn the offense after skipping all of the team's offseason -- both the voluntary and mandatory portions.

Andre Johnson is a special player worth special consideration. The Texans don't have to give it to him and haven't seemed inclined to so far. They have all the leverage in this situation. In my view, the Texans made a mistake by taking a hard-line stance against Johnson thus far. We'll see whether that softens during the next week.

The one person in the organization who handled this exactly as he should have is coach Bill O'Brien. He talked constantly about the respect he has for Johnson and his career. It was a message to the rest of the team as much as a message to Johnson.

Johnson is one of the most respected players throughout the league and certainly in his own locker room. Having him back will be a boon for his teammates. They'll have back a guy whose work and method many have tried to emulate as they've come into the NFL.