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Vance Joseph talks Kareem Jackson, young CBs

Posted by Nick Scurfield on April 4, 2012 – 9:31 am

This time last year, Texans defensive backs coach Vance Joseph had no idea what he had in a secondary full of young players. With no OTAs and no mini-camp because of the lockout, he had no offseason in which to work with the players who comprised the league’s 32nd-ranked pass defense in 2010.

Bolstered by the signings of Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning and a greatly-improved pass rush in Wade Phillips’ new 3-4, that pass defense ranked third in 2011. On SportsRadio 610’s “Texans All Access” on Tuesday afternoon, Vance Joseph answered some of the key questions about the secondary going forward:

On No. 2 CB Kareem Jackson’s 2011 season: “God, he made wonderful strides. I mean, his first year, as a rookie coming into the league, most guys play too soon at corner anyway. You draft ’em first round and you expect ‘em to play instantly, and most guys, they develop bad scars. But from his first to second year, he changed his body, first of all. His first year, he played about 195, almost 200 pounds. Came back this year at 185. So that helped his long speed to at least be up to par where he can stay with NFL receivers. Then, his technique every week got better and better. He’s always been a tough, smart football player, but he was lacking the long speed and lacking the technique stuff, and that got better. Now, he’s in the spots to make the plays. He’s got to make the plays now. So from his first year to his second year, we’ve got him in A-plus position, we call it. Now, he has to make those plays more consistently.”

On what he told Jackson after his much-maligned 2010 rookie season: “I told him, ‘Just trust me, first of all. I’m going to help your technique, I’m going to help your body change.’ And pass defense, just like run defense, it’s a team thing. So as the pass rush got better, he got better. Because for 15-20 yards, he was a lockdown corner this year. His issues came when the fade ball came with large receivers. He didn’t finish the plays. But if you watch this kid on cut-ups in the offseason right now, for 15 yards, man, he was a lockdown guy. Comebacks, out routes, curl routes, he’s all over the receiver. OK, now he has to get better at finishing deep balls. But he’s so resilient, guys. He’s a tough kid. He’s gone through so much, but you wouldn’t know it being with the kid. He’s not bitter at all. He worked hard every day. He has no ill will towards anyone. He’s positive. He’s confident again. So it was a fun thing to watch him grow as a pro.”

On CB Brice McCain: “This kid, last year, he was probably one of the best nickels in the league last year from a man-to-man perspective. We watched the cut-ups here last week, and out of all the third downs, he may have only lost probably two or three man to man coverage reps the entire season. He’s got great quickness and great cover ability.”

On 2011 rookie CBs Brandon Harris [a second-round pick who played sparingly] and Roc Carmichael [a fourth-round pick who was injured in training camp]: “Brandon Harris is going to be in the same boat as Kareem. He’s got to change his body. He was probably almost 200 pounds all season this year. He’s got to get down about 185 again, so he can have consistent long speed. But Brandon Harris is a bright, bright football player. He’s got a high football IQ. He’s got ball skills. He’s got great quickness. When he played last year in the slot versus Oakland when Brice got hurt, he did a hell of a job. So, I’m expecting great strides from him. Now Roc Carmichael, he’s a kid that got hurt in camp, but when he did practice with us, he showed great explosion. He’s a tough kid. He’s got ball skills. So, those two kids should make great strides to help us.  We lost Jason Allen in free agency, so those two kids should step up and help us and win some games this year.”

On CB Sherrick McManis: “Sherrick is a good young player. He’s a tough guy. He’s got great speed. He was probably one of our best special teams players last year for Joe [Marciano], but he has to get better technique and has to become a better cover guy if he’s gonna play for us, because our defense is really based on guys playing man-to-man coverage. Even if it’s quarters coverage, that’s your guy when he runs vertical. But he’s got a bright future because he can run and he’s tough, so I’m excited about him.”

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Posted in Nick Scurfield | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Vance Joseph talks Kareem Jackson, young CBs”

  1. By Tom Quinty on Apr 4, 2012 | Reply

    Great, encouraging comments from Joseph….makes me feel better about losing Jason Allen. The biggest difference with The Texans defense;it`s being “coached up”.

  2. By Megatron4000 on Apr 4, 2012 | Reply

    I’m glad to hear that about Kareem Jackson. I thought he got a bit of a raw deal in his first year. I saw some changes in the second season, but I expect him to turn around and try to make more plays for the ball than just knocking it down. He got flagged too many times last year for not getting turned around. But he sounds like a winner. His character sounds like that of a Texan.

  3. By Joshua on Apr 4, 2012 | Reply

    i agree with both previous comments. That statement did encourage me alot after losing Allen. Kareem gets a bad wrap because he lost a couple of “Big plays” last year, so thank you coach Joseph for addressing that and hopefully you can work with Kareem to refine his deep ball defense. Message to Kareem- Dont listen to the B.S. from the fans true football fans saw your improvement and see what you will be able to accomplish in the future!

  4. By Labjr on Apr 5, 2012 | Reply

    I must say like the guys previous to me I do like what the coach had to say and its good to know he does see what we all saw Jackson can cover short.(that’s true but also a joke/ he gets in they way til they outrun him ) coach gave more credit than I would in saying 15-20yds Its more 5-10yds he can lock WR’s down with his physical play. But, he is slow and seems to lack instinct for were the ball is even when the man he’s covering is starring at it(thus he gets flagged). Can you teach speed? NO, technique? Yes, but the kid is slow and coaching will most likely not fix that. Hey I’m a die-hard fan I’ll ride or die with my Texans but real is real we need better overall speed and talent at corner, or a 360lb defensive tackle to allow better QB pressure so corners don’t have to cover for as long and Jackson’s 5-10yrd skill’s will do.

  5. By hourob on Apr 5, 2012 | Reply

    Just remember Namdi’s career started alot like Kareems…. Just sayin…

  6. By Labjr on Apr 8, 2012 | Reply

    Dude (hourob) Namdi is 6’2 and fast, Kareem is 5’9 and slow? what brought on that comparison?….Just askin?…obviously You like me like Namdi’s game (wasted on Eagles) but I blame Jackson being a #1 pick on Texans lack of wanting to get a better guy becuse that would mean admitting they blew that pick when most fans questioned it from day one anyway? Ego will make them keep him and give him PT over potentially better guys who were lower picks. I’m a Texans fan so I wana be wrong and I hope he pans out but slow is slow and he is?

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