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ATTN Mainstream Media: Losing Dunta Robinson Is Not The Reason The Texans Can't Cover Anyone

Predictably (how predictably? I called it earlier this year) the Falcons have been good this year, and the Texans pass coverage has continued to be bad. What does this mean? Why, it means that letting Dunta Robinson go was the worst decision in franchise history!

There's a problem with that: it's called logic.

Last year, Robinson was burned many-a-time, and also spent time getting quite lucky that balls thrown over his head by stalwart QBs such as Keith Null were also thrown past the man he was covering. It was clear to anyone who watched him play that he just wasn't back from the leg injury, nor was he worth franchise tag money or the big contract extension he wanted.

Instead of tying up a lot of cap space on a cornerback without the speed to defend anyone deep, the Texans let him go and replaced him with cornerback Kareem Jackson

Jackson has been, well, terrible. Abysmal. Perhaps the least NFL-ready cornerback I've ever seen play football. The fact that the Texans were dumb enough to plug this guy into the secondary, watch him go through training camp getting beaten day after day, and think he'd be good enough to cover anyone this year, is reason No. I'velostcount that Frank Bush should be tarred and feathered.

So, put two and two together and people who don't follow the Texans have said: "Wow, Dunta Robinson got a lot of money, he was clearly holding that secondary together!" Or, as John McClain put it in his chat today: 

[Comment From Ricky ]
General, if there was only 1 reason why the Texans had a season like the one they have, what would you say?
John McClain: Because Smith, Kubiak and the coaches misjudged Robinson's value and made a terrible mistake of going young at cornerback. The secondary has cost them so many games.

Here's the thing: the secondary was awful this year. That's correct. Jackson is a big part of the reason they've been terrible this year. But that also doesn't mean Robinson has been the reason the Falcons are flying high on the rest of the NFC. Atlanta's defense has been below average according to DVOA, and the reason is that the Falcons' pass defense has been 7% worse than the average team. Dunta Robinson, defensive savior, surely has nothing to do with that below-averageness, right? 

Nope, the Falcons are 22nd in DVOA at passes thrown to No. 1 WRs. The kind that Robinson supposedly covers well.

You can knock the Texans for going into the season with Jackson as a starter all you want, and lord knows I have, but they evaluated Robinson correctly. Not giving Robinson an exorbitant salary  was not the problem. Not getting someone cromulent (like say, Josh Wilson for a 5th round pick, or signing Leigh Bodden) to start over Jackson was.

Well, that and ghastly safety play by two horrendous coverage safeties, neither of which are particularly young. But that's another topic.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.