Matt Schaub, who joined the Texans in 2007, said just when he thinks he's seen the best from Johnson, he'll outdo himself. Schaub values Johnson's leadership to the team, and said he can't overstate what he's meant to him individually.
"(He's) the ultimate security blanket," Schaub said. "I know as a quarterback if push comes to shove and we need a play, I know I'm going to go his direction. We see all types of coverages. I'll still go his way because I know he's going to make a play on the football."
Johnson is the most soft-spoken and least talkative player on the team. That hasn't stopped him from being the most important leaders of the squad. But being a leader isn't something that is all that comfortable to Johnson, although he does appreciate that younger players look up to him.
"I've just always been the guy that tries to lead by example," he said. "It's crazy. You'd be surprised at who pays attention to you. I think when you go out and do the right things as a player and just be yourself and be successful at what you do, guys tend to look toward you and come to you for advice and things like that."
Houston has already clinched its second straight playoff berth, but Johnson is quick to point out that these are not the Texans of old, and they're looking for a lot more than simply reaching the playoffs this season.
Johnson needs 86 yards to reach 1,200 yards receiving for the fourth time in his career when the Texans meet the Patriots on Monday night in what Johnson's calls the biggest game in franchise history.
"We still have goals that we have to accomplish," he said. "I think as long as we keep winning, every game is going to get bigger and bigger. When you've been somewhere you've never been before, everything gets bigger."
NOTES: Cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, was limited in practice on Friday and coach Gary Kubiak said they'll make a decision on if he'll play in the next couple of days. But Joseph said he expects to play. "I'm good to go, I don't know a percentage, but I feel like I'm better than ever actually," he said. "So I'm good to go Monday."
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