Bob Levey - Getty Images
I know. I'm just as surprised as you are. Moreso, even. Nevertheless, let's celebrate Kareem Jackson on Battle Red Blog.
Hopefully, you read the title to this post as it was intended (warning--there's immediate audio on that there link).
Many of us (and I most certainly include myself in this group) have given Kareem Jackson a plentiful helping of grief since he first took the field as a Houston Texan. Thrust into the starting lineup as a rookie, Ice Kareem was excreable in 2010 on a defense that was truly abominable in nearly every measurable way. He looked totally overmatched and could well have been the worst starting cornerback (worst defensive starter?) in all of football.
In 2011, he was better. I wouldn't say good, or even average, but better. He was still a noticeably weak link on what turned out to be an excellent defense last year, but he did not seem to be as consistently overmatched, smoked, or clueless as he did as a rookie. Was that Kareem naturally progressing from Year One to Year Two? Was it primarily due to Wade Phillips' genius and scheme? Did Vance Joseph figure out how to get through to Kareem where David Gibbs could not? Did Johnathan Joseph make K-Jax better by osmosis? Or was the ferocity of Houston's pass rush responsible for the perceived improvement? The answer to all those questions is likely yes.
Now, in 2012, we live in a world where Kareem Jackson is identifying routes, jumping them, picking off passes, and high-stepping into the endzone. As one wistful scribe noted, it's enough to make you wonder if we're living in an alternate universe. The Kareem Jackson of 2010 surely gives up a catch there. The Kareem Jackson of 2011 probably gets hit in the back of the helmet there. So for 2012 Ice Kareem to pick one off and take it to the house? That's cause for celebration.
And silver bullets. And by "silver bullets," I mean "beer." Not actual ammunition. You can't drink ammo.