WATCH: Making the Grade: Secondary

WATCH: Making the Grade: Secondary
January 16, 2014, 5:00 pm
Share This Post
Palmer / Zangaro

What grade would you give the Texans' secondary in 2013?

In our eight-part Making the Grade, we look back at the Texans' 2-14 season in 2013. First up: the secondary.

Statistically speaking, the 2013 Texans' secondary was the strongest group on the team.

They were the third-ranking passing defense in the league, giving up 195 yards per game. But that number was probably a product of being behind in games, which allowed teams to run against them.

The Texans' secondary also didn't create a lot of big plays. They were dead last in the NFL in interceptions with seven. They became the 16th team in NFL history with seven or fewer interceptions in a season.

The most obvious thing that went wrong was the Ed Reed acquisition. The Texans wanted Reed for his big play ability but Reed needed hip surgery before the season and when he finally got on the field, he wasn't the player they signed up for. Reed was cut during the year after his role had diminished and after he criticized the team.

Starting corners Johnathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson were again forced into extended periods of 1-on-1 coverage and at times gave up big plays. Jackson didn't have as good a season in 2013 that he had in 2012.

Rookie second-round pick D.J. Swearinger had a pretty good rookie season after Danieal Manning went to IR. Some ups and downs but that's expected for a rookie. He looks like he'll be playing for a long time.

Shiloh Keo was forced into a starting role and struggled there. He was OK in coverage at times but was atrocious as a tackler.

Finally, safety Eddie Pleasant was a (excuse the pun) pleasant surprise working in the dime package.

Stud: Johnathan Joseph

Joseph might not be the player he once was and it's debatable if he's even the best corner on the Texans now but he had a better season than Kareem Jackson. Joseph had three interceptions to lead the team in 2013.

Dud: Brice McCain

McCain has two years left on his contract he signed before the 2013 season but it's hard to imagine him seeing the end of that deal. McCain wasn't good in 2013. He was a clear weak link of the secondary.

Free agents: Elbert Mack