Fantasy: Reaction - Johnathan Joseph to the Texans
The Houston Texans have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent cornerback Johnathan Joseph, perhaps signaling the end of their courtship of Nnamdi Asomugha. Joseph was previously with the Cincinnati Bengals, and should give Wade Phillips’ defense a desperately-needed upgrade.
Back in 2009, Joseph was the sixth best cornerback by PFF measures, posting an impressive +14.5 ranking. That rating was driven primarily by his +9.5 pass coverage performance, and it’s that type of effort that will make him incredibly valuable in Phillips’ attacking 3-4 defense. With Mario Williams now lining up in what (for the Cowboys) is DeMarcus Ware’s old spot, the Texans should do a great job of getting pressure on the QB, and Joseph’s shutdown skills on the corner will probably yield some additional coverage sacks for Williams and company.
However, there’s a caveat. Joseph has a tendency to get dinged up. He only played 611 snaps in 2010 and 404 snaps in 2008, and if he can’t remain healthy, he won’t be able to provide the top-line production the Texans sorely need. If he can stay on the field, Joseph will be a great signing for the Texans. But if he continues to miss time with injuries, things could stay ugly in Houston.
Joseph’s upside is tremendous, as he’s a solid tackler and excellent in coverage. If everything falls right – and he stays healthy – look for him to produce 75-odd tackles, 6-8 interceptions, and 14-15 passes-defensed. But he’s a non-factor on the blitz (pass rush), and at 5’11” and 193 pounds isn’t likely to force too many fumbles with bone-jarring hits. In other words, a very solid CB2, but you need to have a back-up ready if the injury bug bites again.