As a guest on the new “Texans All Access” show on SportsRadio 610 on Tuesday afternoon, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was asked about the Texans’ No. 2 cornerback situation heading into next season.
The question from “All Access” co-host/former Texans defensive end N.D. Kalu went like this: With Brice McCain, Sherrick McManis and 2011 second-round pick Brandon Harris all on the roster, does Phillips plan for an open competition opposite Pro Bowl corner Johnathan Joseph, or does he feel like Kareem Jackson is the starter?
“I think Kareem’s the starter,” Phillips said. “He started most of the games [last season]. Jason Allen played a lot for us. Of course, Jason went to Cincinnati. So, Kareem had a good year. Part of it was we had a good year defensively, but he had something to do with that. He played physical like we thought he would and he obviously played better than he did previously, and that was a big plus for us.”
Jackson started 13 games in 2011 in his second season out of Alabama. Allen, who signed with the Bengals this weekend as an unrestricted free agent, rotated with Jackson and started four games.
A first-round draft pick in 2010, Jackson gets more criticism from fans than any Texans player this side of Jacoby Jones. Much of it stems from his rookie season, when he was victimized on numerous big plays as a 16-game starter for the Texans’ 32nd-ranked passing defense.
“I mean, you could be on him, but we were, what – second in the league in pass defense or third?” Phillips said [the Texans ranked third with 189.7 yards allowed per game]. “He’s part of a secondary that all works together, and he did his part. He didn’t let us down. I thought I think certainly everybody can improve, including Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning and those guys and myself. We can all improve some, but I thought he improved a lot last year. He made a big step forward and he became a starter and played good enough to play with a team that did well pass defense-wise, and that was really the big difference in our team last year, defensively, certainly, after giving up so many yards the year before.”
Tags: Brandon Harris, Brice McCain, Jacoby Jones, Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Sherrick McManis, Wade Phillips
Posted in Nick Scurfield | 11 Comments »