On the heels of new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' concerns about Kareem Jackson's deep speed, new defensive backs coach Vance Joseph has now gone on the record on Jackson, telling HoustonTexans.com's Nick Scurfield:
He (Joseph) said that Kareem Jackson is a very good zone player who needs a lot of work on his man-to-man technique.
I'd say that's quite an understatement. The Texans make a practice of not publicly criticizing their players. It's fairly-standard league-wide, with notable exceptions. I hesitate to use the word "coddling" but that's what it feels like most of the time. I suppose the thinking is that young players are impressionable and certain types of players need the carrot, not the stick.
See, I thought this was football. A sport where guys line up and knock the hell out of each other... but keeping up appearances has become a big part of the NFL experience, unfortunately.
Even as gentle as the criticisms of Jackson from Phillips and Joseph are, they're nothing you would hear in the pre-Wade Phillips era. It's always been about putting those good kids in a position to succeed as coaches, and how they work hard and show up every day at practice. Well, that's great. They show up to practice, yay! Kewpie dolls for all!
I have to admit that it's refreshing to hear Phillips (and now his staff) hold PLAYERS accountable in public, instead of all this fake self-criticism that comes off like these guys are off at some Harvard Rowing Team retreat for the summer.
Kareem Jackson was garbage in 2010. Garbage. There's no dressing it up. Did he have bad coaching? Absolutely he did. But when you're a first (or yes, second) round talent, there should be SOME signal that you can rise above the poor positions you were put in. Talent has to show through, and none of it did. None of it.
Hopefully these tepid offseason jabs from coaches are the beginning of a new culture of accountability in Houston, but I'm not getting my hopes up.