Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson will be a free agent at the end of the 2014 season and there have been no current negotiations between his representation and the Texans.
“To be honest, no I don’t think so,” Jackson said. “I mean right now that’s definitely not a big thought in our minds right now. We definitely want to get though OTAs and I mean if it happens it happens, if not definitely go play and be a part of the team and help us win.”
Jackson had his breakout season in 2012 when he led the Texans with four interceptions and returned one for a touchdown. With 2014 being a contract year for Jackson, he still isn’t adding any extra pressure on himself to perform.
“Besides the fact of me just wanting to go out there and perform you know how I should and the standards and expectations I have for myself,” Jackson said. “Just to be a piece of the puzzle and help this team compete and help them win, I wouldn’t say any added pressure besides that.”
Jackson was the 20th overall selection in the 2010 NFL draft after leaving Alabama a year early. He started all 16 games as a rookie and was part of a defense that ranked dead last in the NFL against the pass. Jackson underwent heavy criticism early in his career, but found his stride when Vance Joseph took over as the coach of the defensive backs in 2011. Jackson credits Joseph with making him the player that he is today.
Jackson has been one of the most durable players around since college. He started all but one game at Alabama and has started 62 of 65 games with the Texans during his pro career. He had struggles in 2013 just as the Texans did going 2-14. In 2013, Jackson led the NFL with 174 penalty yards on five pass interference calls and two unnecessary roughness calls. Several interference calls were extremely questionable. Jackson says it’s not going to change the way he plays.
“I don’t think there’s anything I can do,” Jackson said when asked if he’s developed a reputation. “I’m going to continue to play the way I play and that’s aggressive. I mean sometimes you get those flags sometimes you won’t. You just have to play the game. Some pretty questionable calls that can go either way and so I just got to continue to play and that’s what I’ll do.”
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was not retained by Bill O’Brien when he took over the head coaching job this offseason and opted to hire Romeo Crennel to run his defense. Phillips spent a lot of time putting his secondary in man-to-man coverage, where the unit set a NFL record with just 11 forced turnovers. Jackson feels that will change under Crennel.
“We definitely have a chance to disguise a little bit more as opposed to being out there like sitting ducks and you know just waiting for it to happen to us,” Jackson said of the difference in defensive schemes. “I think we’ll have a lot more chances to see the ball come out instead of having our backs to the ball and playing a lot of man. I’m sure we’ll play man, but we’ll defiantly mix it up a lot more than usual.”
Jackson isn’t the first player in the secondary to compare the short comings of the scheme from last year compared to the one in 2014 under Crennel.