With the departure of Jacoby Jones (thank you, O Blessed Lady of the Lobster), the title of "most disliked Houston Texan" now falls squarely on the shoulders of one Kareem Jackson. Why is he so disliked, you may ask. Well, there are many reasons. Some hate on him because, to date, he hasn't been very good, some do it because they need something to complain about, and others do it simply because they think it's cool.
And there's nothing wrong with that. But after watching the Texans' first preseason game against Carolina, maybe, just maybe, this year we might have to find a new target for our collective ire.
Why? Well, you're gonna have to find out the old fashioned way and jump.
Psst, this is where you jump.
Now as I was saying--
::Turns and looks around:: TexanUprooted! I thought you were arrested in Prague after that whole counterfeit pants scam.
TexanUprooted: A big misunderstanding. Now what's this about not hating Kareem Jackson?
UprootedTexan: He looked pretty good during the Carolina game on Saturday.
TU: In two series. La-dee-freakin'-da. I'd say he was just a blind squirrel that found a nut, but I suspect squirrels, unlike Jackson, can turn their heads.
UT: It's not just a preseason game. Even in practice, he's been making plays. In fact, on Tuesday, Jackson picked off a pass by Schaub using one hand. Two years ago he couldn't have done that even if you spotted him a third hand growing out of his chest.
TU: What's that? Sorry, for some reason I was thinking of "Total Recall" just then.
UT: My point is maybe he's finally turning the corner.
TU: Only just now? Have you forgotten the whole "NFL-ready" thing? Saban was supposed to be coaching him up to make him "NFL-ready." If it took three years for him to finally be NFL-ready, I'd hate to think how long it would have taken him if he were a project CB.
UT: How long did it take for Duane Brown to become the stud left tackle he is now? As I recall, he was terrible early on. Is he still a bust?
TU: No! Duane, if you're reading this, he doesn't mean it!
UT: Some players take time to develop, like Duane did. Maybe this is the year that Kareem shows what made him a first round pick.
TU: But look at the stats from the last two years. According to Football Outsiders, Kareem Jackson was one of their worst-rated corners the last two years running, giving up an average of 10.6 yards per catch. And you're telling me that this year we're supposed to believe that KJax is going to magically turn into a shutdown corner? What, did he convince Dr. Moreau to replace his neck with that of an owl's?
UT: First of all, eww. Second, discount 2010 because Frank Bush could have turned Charles Woodson into a fourth-rate corner with all his coaching "wisdom." And lastly, nobody's expecting him to be a shutdown corner. That's what we have Johnathan Joseph for. In fact, expectations are so low for Jackson that any glimmer of a good sign is cause for excitement.
TU: But like I said, it's only been a couple of series in a preseason game.
UT: And practice. Even Kubiak is singing Jackson's praises lately.
TU: Why? Was he ultra-mega-battlin' as opposed to just ordinary battlin'? He's always saying good things about KJax. Why start believing him now?
UT: One, I saw him play well with my own eyes on Saturday. Can you remember the last time, or ANY time, he showed us anything to give us a reason to think maybe things are finally starting to click? And second...
::X-Files theme plays in background::
UT: I want to believe...that Jackson has turned the corner.
TU: You know, that's just like you. We have three boxes worth of Kareem Jackson jokes in storage just waiting to be used. Are you really willing to forgo all that material?
UT: If it means getting we finally have a legitimate number two cornerback, then you're damn right. Besides, 75% of them are about him falling down, anyway.
So what do y'all think? Has he turned the corner? Is it just a flash in the pan? Too soon to tell? Continue the discussion in the comments.