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Reeves focuses on technique


The Texans' pass defense endured a bumpy ride in 2008, employing different rotations at defensive back and waiting for the mid-season return of cornerback Dunta Robinson. Ultimately, Houston finished the year ranked 17th in the league by allowing 213.9 passing yards per game.

An average performance on defense won't cut it this season. The Texans are again awaiting the return of Robinson. This time, it's because he is sitting out the team's voluntary offseason workout program due to contract issues after receiving the franchise tag. All signs indicate that he will suit up for the season opener, but the burden of the being the team's No. 1 corner once again could fall on the shoulders of Jacques Reeves.

After signing with Houston as a free agent last offseason, Reeves won a starting spot at left corner. He started all 16 games and notched a career-high four interceptions, including one that he returned for a touchdown at Minnesota.

{QUOTE}Reeves often was picked apart by the media for not making plays on the ball, but his stats show that he played better than people realized. In 2008, Reeves was thrown at 109 times and gave up 53 completions and three touchdowns. The completion percentage he allowed was better than that of players such as San Diego's Antonio Cromartie, Tennessee's Cortland Finnegan and Arizona's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Reeves also played behind a weak pass rush that didn't help quarterbacks force many bad throws.

Still, Reeves knows he has his work cut out for him this season, especially when it comes to technique. He has been in constant meetings with defensive backs coach David Gibbs, who is known for riding cornerbacks on their hand and eye placement in coverage.

"(Gibbs) is a technique freak, and that's what I need," Reeves said. "I need to get a whole lot better with my technique, and I think he is going to challenge me at that."

With improved technique, Reeves thinks he will flourish in defensive coordinator Frank Bush's new defensive scheme, which will call for aggressive man coverage.

"We are going to play tighter on the receivers, play a few different coverages, confuse offenses more and get after the ball a little bit more," Reeves said.

"Playing tighter on receivers gives me a chance to utilize my speed instead of playing nine or 10 yards off, which doesn't really give me that opportunity. I get to be aggressive, and that's what I like to do."

Reeves has a main objective in 2009, and that's to be playing in the postseason. He said he hopes Robinson will be playing opposite of him to help make that happen, but he understands that right now his teammate is handling the business side of the job.

"My only goal is make this team a playoff team; that is it," Reeves said. "I don't have any goals as far as interceptions. I just want to help this team make it to the playoffs."

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