Owen Daniels (Marco Garcia/AP)
Although the AFC team fell short on the scoreboard, the Texans three Pro Bowlers represented themselves very well in Sunday’s Pro Bowl. Although he only had two passes thrown his way, Owen Daniels made his first Pro Bowl a memorable with a diving 21-yard reception followed by a nine-yard touchdown.
“Kerry Collins made some good throws to me,” Daniels said. “One was just a seam route and I made a pretty good catch on that. The other one I beat my man on an out route. I was just out here trying to make some plays and I had a lot of fun.”
As Daniels scored the first-ever touchdown in a Pro Bowl by a Texan, he was congratulated by teammate Andre Johnson who ran all the way out on the field to greet him.
“I was very excited for him, it was his first time here,” Johnson told Battle Red Nation after the game. “He really wanted to be here and he really deserved to be here. He had a great season, and as you can see I ran out on the field and gave him five.”
Daniels appreciated the reaction from Andre.
“It was great to be here with Andre,” said Daniels. “He’s been here a few times and for him to be so happy for me was really cool.”
Johnson was more of a decoy than a target, as many throws went the way of Pro Bowl teammates Brandon Marshall and Tony Gonzalez. Still, Johnson caught two passes for 29 yards and talked about the overall Pro Bowl experience.
“It was a lot of fun,” Johnson said. “It’s something that never gets old and it’s just great to be around these players. They’re a great group of guys. It helps to have a couple of your teammates here as well and that’s great.”
Johnson caught lots of praise all week from teammates and opponents. The “Pro Bowl Mayor,” Peyton Manning spoke about the Texans top target.
“These guys had great years, this is the first time I’ve played with Brandon and I’ve played with Andre over here before a few times and he’s just an outstanding player,” Manning said. “Those guys have such great size and speed to go along with it.”
Raiders star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, a man that has several letters in his name, speaks few words. He shared a few of them about Johnson.
“He’s a great receiver and it’s a challenge every time you face him.”
Texans star defensive end Mario Williams started the game and finished with two tackles, including one tackle for loss.
“This whole thing has been pretty much a vacation,” Williams said when asked if he enjoyed himself in the 50th state.
Williams, being the consummate team player decided to fly out an entourage.
“I brought the whole D-line out here. It was really important for me to bring my guys out here. I also brought some of my coaches, and it brings up morale,” Williams explained.
The former first-overall pick in the draft spoke about the backing of his teammates and family.
“They’ve meant a lot to me,” Williams said. “Just having somebody out here to give you a lot of support and to back you up.”
The Texans Hawaiian vacation is now over and soon it will be back to work in OTA’s and mini-camps. We have a feeling this year their workload may not be quite as strenuous.