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Andre Johnson Shines In His Return To Houston

Intro: In his return to Houston on Thursday night, Andre Johnson looked like the player Texans fans know all too well from his dozen seasons with them. What did Johnson think of playing against his former team?


HOUSTON – The tribute video Andre Johnson deserved never came on Thursday night at NRG Stadium.

Instead, Johnson, the most decorated player in Texans franchise history, put together his own highlight reel, just in case anyone inside the home of the Texans forgot what he could do on the field.

Afterwards, Johnson strayed away from saying he was looking to exact any revenge against the team that released him back in March.

His play said otherwise.

"It was never personal," Johnson said after his best game in a Colts uninform happening to come against his old team. "I know the nature of this business, I always said if the greatest player of all time, Jerry Rice, can be released then it's going to happen eventually, if you play long enough.

"I never had any ill will towards the Texans. I had 12 great seasons here. I just went out (Thursday) and tried to help my team."

Johnson did more than just "help his team" on Thursday night.

From the Colts first touchdown drive in Houston, Johnson looked like the wide receiver who dazzled Texans fans for a dozen seasons.

He also flashed like the same player Colts fans witnessed at Training Camp---a big-bodied target who still caught 85 balls last season, despite playing with a revolving door at quarterback.

Johnson's two touchdowns inside the five-yard line on Thursday night were the highlights.

However, several Johnson snags were key plays.

Whether it was a fourth-and-one conversion on a first-half field goal drive or the over-the-shoulder 24-yard reception to start the third quarter, Johnson was a constant thorn against his former team all night long.

"He felt at home and looked at home," Colts tight end Dwayne Allen said of Johnson after the Colts 27-20 victory.

"People kept questioning, 'Where's Andre?' Well, I think they found him tonight."

On Thursday evening, Johnson hadn't taken more than a handful of steps off the Colts team bus before the greetings happened upon his arrival to NRG Stadium.

The man who the Texans selected No. 3 overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, shook hands with security people, stadium staffing and several others before making the trek to the foreign visiting locker room.

More greetings would come during warmups and some Texans fans serenaded their all-time leading receiver with a "Thank-You, Andre" chant.

Due to releasing Johnson in March, the Texans already have more than seven million dollars counting towards their 2015 salary cap.

On Thursday, Johnson added to that price.

"Andre Johnson coming back home, what a fabulous game he had," Chuck Pagano said after the six-catch, 77-yard, two-touchdown night for Johnson.

"Everybody knew the start that 81 had and not one word. You guys know, you were in the locker room. You can see his personality, see his mannerisms, see his character, and not one time did he ever (talk). That's why he's a Hall of Famer. He's a great player. He's a great human being. He's a great person. He's a great teammate."

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