Johnathan Joseph has decided to return to the Houston Texans on a two-year deal per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Bringing back the veteran cornerback is a wise decision for a secondary that did not play up to their potential last season. Joseph has thrived in years past under Romeo Crennel’s defensive scheme. Crennel is returning to this role after Mike Vrabel departed for the Titans head coaching job just a short while ago.
Joseph has spent seven years in Houston and is one of the hearts on the Texans defense. During his time in a Texans uniform Joseph has intercepted 14 passes, three of which have been returned for touchdowns.
Pro Football Focus grades Joseph as average and ranks him as the 65th best cornerback. While he is not the best cornerback in the league by any means he was still a productive member of the Texans secondary. Intercepting two passes and returning one for a touchdown during the 2017 season.
The concern with Joseph is that he was part of one of the league’s worst defensive backfields. Houston struggled all season long in that respect. The Texans allowed the ninth-most yards per game through the air last season (237.4). Houston also surrendered the second-most passing touchdowns in the NFL (30). One of the more alarming statistics is that the Texans allowed the most passes of 40 yards or more (17).
Not all the blame can be placed upon the secondary however. Injuries to J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus decreased the efficiency of the Houston pass rush. This forced the defensive backs to have to cover for longer resulting in more completions for the opposing offense. With the return of Watt and Mercilus this season it is possible that the secondary improves and Joseph’s return can contribute to that.