There are questions you know you have to ask, and ones whose answers you assume you know.
So when Texans receiver Andre Johnson was asked today during a charity event about having missed the Texans' voluntary minicamp, I didn't expect him to say much. He's one of the most honest and professional players in that locker room, but he often downplays conflict.
The question was asked -- why weren't you at minicamp? -- and oh boy did he drop a bomb:
"When you've been somewhere for a long time, nobody's been here as long as I have -- I've been thinking about things this offseason, kind of wonder sometimes is this still the place for me."
Johnson made clear he hasn't asked for a trade and said explicitly that this isn't about his contract. But he said he's told the Texans how he feels: frustrated. He said right now he does not plan to attend organized team activities or the Texans mandatory minicamp.
It's quite a statement from the longest-tenured Texan, and Johnson wouldn't have made it if his frustrations hadn't reached an apex.
Recall, last season the most visible frustration we saw from Johnson came during the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders. Schaub yelled at Johnson about stopping his route, Johnson yelled back at Schaub, and then Johnson walked off the field. After that game Johnson was asked if he still wants to be in Houston. "I'm under contract," he replied. Not exactly a warm, fuzzy endorsement of the organization.
But after cooling off from that moment, Johnson insisted that interaction was overblown. His future comments were much less biting about the organization and he's consistently maintained since then that he always had a good relationship with Schaub.
Now he's looking around at what seems like a rebuilding process to him.
"Some people say it's not rebuilding, some people say it's a quick fix," Johnson said. "Everybody has their own opinion."
Johnson turns 33 in July -- not an age when rebuilding projects are appealing. He's only been to the playoffs twice, and isn't sure when he'll get back there again.