Kareem Jackson, you had better come to play or else.
Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak didn't say this exact quote to the Houston media after Tuesday's practice, but he also didn't not say it either.
Per Nick Scurfield's Twitter, Kubiak gave some praise to Jason Allen, the forgotten man in the cornerback mix. Kubiak said "there's absolutely no doubt" that Allen, who was a mid-season free agency pick up from the Miami Dolphins, could push for a starting spot opposite Johnathan Joseph. He's not the only one who thinks that either.
As if losing a starting spot could get worse, Kubiak made note that fellow sophomore Sherrick McManis, the even more forgotten man after being picked in the fifth round last year, is pushing for more playing time, potentially at Jackson's expense.
Even with new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips holding the defensive power, I still have a hard time thinking Kubiak would pull the plug on Jackson. For years, we have seen Kubiak show loyalty to his guys and not make the necessary move. Heck, we saw it last year with Eugene Wilson, who continued to play even after Troy Nolan outplayed him while he was out with an injury.
And yet...Kubiak saying things like this through the media is already a bit out of character. We've never seen the Houston head coach motivate or speak through the media. He's an in-house guy who, at most, uses the depth chart during training camp to poke and prod a guy.
In Jackson's defense, multiple camp tweeters have noted that he has looked better than the weeble-wobble 2010 rookie version, but that's not saying much - especially if Kubiak's opting to praise other guys and saying they're pushing for his spot. Has Kubiak learned to get rid of the kid gloves when dealing with an underperforming player or does this move stem more from him feeling some heat on his seat to produce a winner? Better yet, will Jackson step up and respond to the pressure, or will fans continue to cry for Jason Allen and Brandon Harris? That's why there is the poll and comments, dear reader, but allow me to get the opinionated ball rolling here.
After nine seasons ranging from bad to mediocre, it is win-now time in Houston. It is why fans have moved past being happy for football's return to The Space City and are clamoring for winning moves. It is why you have seen the front office change how they do business over the past few months. If someone is performing well and gives you a better chance to shore up a potential hole, make the move regardless of the investment in another player. I vote for Jason Allen, at this time, because he gives your Houston Texans the best chance to win.
Granted, nothing has to be solved until September 11th and we have four preseason games to judge this battle, but Jason Allen is currently leading the race in my eyes. Sorry, Kareem, but maybe it would be beneficial to you in the long run to take a step back, catch a deep breath, slide into one of the slot roles, and "re-learn" your way up the ladder again. I trust he has the talent, but maybe he needs to put it together in a role that doesn't come with the pressure of being a starter. Vote, comment, and let your voices be heard, BRBers.