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Joseph Adjusts To New Faces In Secondary

Johnathan Joseph is adjusting to life without Kareem Jackson

May 29, 2019 - 3:49 pm

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- Change is always a constant when you play in the NFL, and as Johnathan Joseph gets ready for his ninth season as a member of the Texans, he can already feel one big change: Kareem Jackson is gone and he's still getting used to that fact.

"Time and time again when I pull into the parking lot I just always look around at the cars in the parking lot, and think about how most of the time we pull up at around the same time, or we're walking in, or we're talking," Joseph said Wednesday.

Jackson is now in Denver after signing a three-year, $33 million contract with the Broncos in March. For eight seasons, Joseph and Jackson played in the same secondary and took turns as the Texans all-time interceptions leader, but now Jackson is gone and Joseph has to move on.

"I understand it's a business."

At 35 years old, Joseph is leading the way for a secondary that looks drastically different than the one that was picked apart in the first half of the Texans AFC Wild Card Game loss to the Colts, and he says he's looking forward to that leadership role.

"I think my role overall is just being a leader," he says. "Leading by example, helping guys out, where they may fit, whether it's with the defense, just learning the city, just being comfortable with the guys on the team, and obviously, just taking it to the practice field, and then eventually training camp and to the regular season games."

The Texans spent two draft picks on corners last month, selecting Lonnie Johnson Jr. in the second round, and Xavier Crawford in the sixth round. Joseph says he likes what he sees from both so far. 

"(Johnson) has a big skill set from a height, weight, speed stand point, and Xavier, he's really fast also, so I think those guys are just following the ropes, we're leading by example, me, (Bradley) Roby, (Tashaun) Gipson, Justin Reid, and I think those guys are doing a great job of following."

Reid was third round draft pick last season, and after he finished with three interceptions as a rookie, Joseph expects big things in his sophomore campaign.

"He's a guy that came in with a chip on his shoulder, should've been a first round pick. I look at his talent level and think he should've been a first round pick, but for whatever reason he wasn't, and I'm glad we have him here, but he's a guy that can cover, tackle, look how he can play special teams, he can do whatever you ask him."