The Houston Texans have endured several punches from former players lately, but few have the ability to land knockout blows like Ring of Honor inductee Andre Johnson. One of the single most revered players in Texans history, Johnson has a public persona as a quiet man who only speaks when something really needs saying.
Well, he’s saying a lot these days.
When the Deshaun Watson turmoil began, Johnson was one of the first to step out and defend the phenom quarterback.
If I’m @deshaunwatson I will stand my ground. The Texans organization is known for wasting players careers. Since Jack Easterby has walk into the building nothing good has happened in/for the organization and for some reason someone can’t seem to see what’s going on. Pathetic!!!— Andre Johnson (@johnson80) January 12, 2021
Recently, the future Hall of Famer appeared on The HD Connection podcast and shared more of his thoughts.
If you needed any more information that something was way off in the bowels of NRG Stadium, here it is.
I’ve been around the organization for a long time. I worked there last season. It’s just certain things you see. Being able to be on that side of it, it’s just certain things that you see that you know are not right.
While that comment is both damning and very vague, Johnson goes on to elaborate.
Us as players, we’re in the locker room every day. We know what goes on with this team. So, we’re not telling you things to like, take over your organization. We’re just trying to do things to help. I think, sometimes, top people in the organization, they just don’t listen to players. And that’s something that I felt like I had to deal with a lot when I was here.
Essentially, Johnson is pointing out a pattern of behavior that speaks to... yep, the Texans CULTURE. A culture that was bad before, but since the arrival of “character guy” Jack Easterby has gone off the cliff in flames.
When pressed about his above tweet, here’s what the all-pro had to say:
For [Deshaun] to be told that he was going to be involved in the coaching hire and the GM hire, and not receive a call, that’s BS to me. This is your franchise quarterback. How can you not involve him in it?
Notice that Johnson isn’t saying Watson should have had a say in those hires, but that since owner Cal McNair told Watson he would, then he should have.
Nothing destroys organizational morale worse than leadership creating expectations and then failing to meet them. That’s business leadership 101.
Case in point:
Sometimes it makes you feel like the team doesn’t have your best interests.
But, before anyone gets the idea that Johnson is now anti-Houston, he added:
Do I really want Deshaun to leave Houston? No. Because I want to see the organization do well. But at the end of the day, I want him to do what’s best for him, and if not being here is best for him, then he don’t need to be here.
Over the last several years, the Houston front office and coaching staff has managed to land, and run off, multiple top tier players. From former first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, to DeAndre Hopkins, and now J.J. Watt—this isn’t a good look for any franchise.
Other major losses include PR rockstar Amy Palcic, and former team president Jamey Rootes. And, let’s not forget Johnson himself, who resigned his position with the Texans last August.
When any organization loses that much talent without replacing it, you can consider comments like “certain things that you see that you know are not right” verified by the evidence at hand.
Regardless, one thing is for sure. Something needs to change immediately in Houston. Clearly the game plan the McNairs are running is just as effective as Bill O’Brien’s 4th and 1 play calling in the playoffs...