INDIANAPOLIS -- Matt Schaub. David Carr. Ryan Fitzpatrick. Case Keenum. Sage Rosenfels. T.J. Yates. Ryan Mallett. Jake Delhomme. Tony Banks. Tom Savage. Matt Leinart. Rex Grossman.
Those are quarterbacks new Indianapolis Colts receiver Andre Johnson played with during his 12-year career with the Houston Texans.
Enter Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
Johnson has only caught a few passes from his new teammate, but he’s already realized something in that short period of time.
“He throws a great ball,” Johnson said Wednesday. “Probably the best quarterback I’ve ever played with. I’m excited about the opportunity. I just can’t wait to continue to keep working with him and keep learning.”
Playing with a legitimate franchise quarterback isn’t the only reason Johnson decided to sign with the Colts last month. He wants an opportunity to win a Super Bowl, something that was unlikely with a Texans team that lacked stability at quarterback.
Johnson referred to being in Indianapolis as a “breath of fresh air” after his past couple seasons in Houston. He was told he wouldn’t start next season if he returned to the Texans.
“Being in one place for a long time, the past two years have been pretty frustrating,” Johnson said. “Just being here is like a breath of fresh air for me.”
Johnson will get two opportunities to face his former team next season. The Colts travel to Houston in Week 5 and the Texans come to Indianapolis in Week 15.
“I tell people all the time, I didn’t come here just because we play against the Texans twice a year,” Johnson said. “That wasn’t a big thing. I have bigger goals than playing against the Texans.”
The 33-year-old Johnson joins a receiving group that features T.Y. Hilton, second-year player Donte Moncrief and fellow newcomer Duron Carter.
Luck joked about Johnson’s age.
“I was in middle school when he was drafted by the Texans,” said Luck, who grew up in Houston. “I remember watching him and being excited when he got drafted. Now I get to play with him. It’s cool. It really is.”
Johnson wishes he would have been able to play with Reggie Wayne, a good friend of his. The Colts decided not to re-sign Wayne last month.
“We’ve always wanted to play together,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. I have a lot of respect for Reggie. He’s a great friend of mine. I still talk to him a lot. It’s an unfortunate situation. I really wish he was still here.”
Now Johnson will line up on the field with Hilton the same way Wayne did the past three seasons. Johnson brings a résumé to Indianapolis that features 1,012 receptions for 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns in his career.
“Looking forward to the opportunity,” Johnson said. “It’s a great group of guys. They welcomed me with open arms and guys that are very excited and that work their butts off. I’m just here finding my way and trying to fitting in.”