Jacoby Jones: A Hater's Perspective

There are plenty of reasons off the football field to hate on Jacoby. You have the Drunken Driving arrest in Houston back in '08, not even being allowed to attend a game in the middle of his "breakout season" this past year because he couldn't show on time to a team meeting, or the way he portrays himself as a bumbling idiot on twitter... But i'm going to focus on the reasons to hate on Jacoby on the football field instead.

First off, lets start by forgetting everything we've heard about Jacoby Jones and take a look at what he is.  Jones was selected in the 3rd round of the '07 draft.  At 6'2 and 210lbs, he was seen as a WR with all the tools to succeed in the NFL but without the pedigree of playing for a major college (he played for tiny Lane college) and was deemed a project with major potential.. Why don't we take a look at Jacoby Jones' production in his first 3 seasons in comparison to a few other notable WRs who came into the league with Jones in '07

                                     Round      REC      Yards      TD

Jacoby Jones                    3             45           667        6

Sydney Rice                       2          129         1849       16

Steve Smith                       2          172         1857         8

James Jones                      3            99         1390         8

Steve Breaston                   5           140        1810         6

Jason Hill                            3            40           413         4

Johnnie Lee Higgins           3             47          676         4


As you can see, so far Jacoby Jones has had production on the field as a reciever more in line with a Jason Hill or Johnnie Lee Higgins than a James Jones, or Steve Breaston (who were picked after Jacoby Jones by the way).  That's not to say Jacoby's been a terrible bust, but there have certainly been plenty of recievers who came into the league with him that have enjoyed much more success so far.  You could say "But Bryan, Jacoby was a project entering the league and is just beginning to blossom"... To that I say "Hogwash!", the same folks who are proclaiming Jacoby the next big thing at WR usually have a completely different opinion regarding another project taken in the '07 draft who has very close to identicle numbers as Jacoby thus far in Johnnie Lee Higgins.  The truth is in the NFL you're not the player that you could be, you're the player that you are, and right now Jacoby Jones' production is that of a Johnnie Lee Higgins.  Perhaps he grows into more, perhaps he doesn't, but for now he is what he is and that's mediocre at best.

You have those who refuse to take the project label off of Jones and they are probably screaming at their monitor now "But Jacoby has more potential than any reciever we have besides Andre!".... To that I point out that the young project we have in Jacoby at 26 years of age is just 2 years younger than our old grizzled veteran Kevin Walter, how many years do you suppose it'll take for Jacoby to catch up to Walter in blocking ability or running clean and precise routes?  Sure Jacoby Jones has more straight line speed, but beyond that what does he have on Walter?  Walter is an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier so you can't give Jacoby the size advantage.  Walter is a better route runner.  Walter has to this point been a more productive reciever.  Walter doesn't need to have "talking to's" from the coaching staff, he knows his role on the team and he keeps his mouth shut and does it to the best of his ability.  Walter is one of the most consistent players we have whereas Jacoby is very inconsistent.

Much of the hype that has come about this offseason has sprung from Kubiak's words of encouragement in regards to Jacoby's future in the NFL at the end of last season.  I credit alot of it to people hearing what they want to and shutting everything else out.  What Kubiak actually said to begin this whole "Jacoby is God" nightmare of mine was "He makes some mistakes and he's capable of making big plays, and through my years here we must have had this conversation a hundred times.  If he ever settles down with consistency, from that standpoint this kid could be a starter and be a heck of a player in this league.".......

To me that doesn't sound so much a ringing endorsement as it sounds like a backhanded compliment.  He acknowledges his big play potential, but at the same time insinuates that lack of consistency is holding Jacoby back, and instead of saying "when" he becomes more consistent he uses "if".   He certainly doesn't sound too certain of Jacoby becoming a starter in the NFL, not to mention for the Texans.

On Kevin Walter however, Kubiak had this to say after his resigning, "You can't have enough Kevin Walters on your team. He stands for everything we are.  He's a great kid, a hard worker, a player who does everything right on and off the football field" and "It's important that he's back with us because he's a big part of what we do"...

In those comments Kubiak is very clear on what he thinks of Walter.  Not only is he a hard worker, but he does everything right on and off the field... unlike a certain project WR we know...And that it's important to have Walter on this team because he plays an important role in our offensive plans.  He showed quite a bit of commitment in his remarks regarding Walter and next to none in his assessment of Jacoby Jones' future as a starting WR.  And seeing as how there's just 2 years seperating the two in age, I doubt seriously Jacoby's "youth" is that big a factor in his going forward.. however seeing as we now have 2 more "projects" at WR 4-5 years younger than Jacoby, his lack of youth in combination with his lack of consistency and any more guarunteed money beyond this season might become a detriment as the deadline to 53 approaches later this summer.

It doesn't help his cause that David Anderson has become a reliable reciever himself this past season.   While everyone has been Oohing and Aahing over Jacoby's breakout season in which he went from 3 receptions and 81 yards in '08 to 27 receptions and 437 yards and 6 TDs, everyone has seemingly overlooked the fact that Anderson himself improved from 19 receptions in '08 to 38 receptions for 370 yards last season nearly 58% of those catches resulting in first downs.  Not to mention the fact that Anderson and Schaub seem awful chummy with eachother..., I'd wager if Jacoby were cut this season the offense wouldn't skip a beat...  The only thing we really "need" Jacoby for is as a replacement in case Andre Johnson goes down as a deep threat, but if he were gone we'd likely have a 5 foot nothing world class sprinter who could probably run a straight line and force the safeties deep if the unspeakable happens and Johnson goes down for a play or two... Not to mention the possiblility that the other Andre would still be on the team and can still be an occasional deep threat himself.

So there you have it, now maybe you can understand the mind of a Jacoby hater a little better.  Here's your chance to try to lure me to the dark side, but you should know i'm too stubborn and pigheaded to admit I was wrong even if for some crazy reason I was, which we all know would never happen anyways.

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