If you’ve watched the Houston Texans’ defense at all in the past two seasons, you’d suspect a lot of change going on, under the hood. And you’d be right. The front office has had their hands full with re-tooling the secondary that must hold up against three first round quarterbacks, who call the AFC South home. But with all of this adjustment and re-vamping underway, the lynch pin that holds it all together for the looming 2015 campaign, will be cornerback Kareem Jackson.
Jackson himself, personally symbolizes the turn around that the Houston coaching staff is looking for. His biggest stat line that supports this statement is his three interceptions he picked up last year, one in which he returned the pick, 65 yards. This, compared to the zero tosses he snagged in 2013. But you’d have to actually watch Jacksons’ demeanor in 2013, in order to truly fathom the difference No. 25 has accomplished.
Imagine a sluggish, deflated, whimsical piece of string cheese, straggling behind threatening wideouts and you might as well be watching game film from that disheartening season. 2014 quickly became a banner cry for renewal, the new coach, Bill O’Brien spearheading it with the defense in particular. It’s one thing for Houstons’ offense to sputter, just look at the money that’s spent and it’s pretty clear, defense is king in the Texans’ philosophy.
Since being drafted 20th overall in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, there has always been high expectations for Kareem but this year, he must find a way to re-establish that chip on his shoulder and make it clear, he’s out to earn his keep.
The recent contract extension (4 years, $34 million) Houston rewarded his hard work in 2014 with, should go a long way in giving the corner the needed mental foundation for him to peak this year.
The Texans’ front line on defense is feared by all, but it’s fairly clear, for Houston to become a dominant postseason contender, the secondary needs to be lit with wildfire and Kareem Jackson must be the spark.