Cornerback Jacques Reeves has been heavily criticized by Texans fans since his arrival as a free agent signing from the Dallas Cowboys this offseason. But, as John McClain of the *Houston Chronicle *points out in a Wednesday column, a look at the statistics shows that Reeves has played better than most observers probably want to recognize.
"I'm not saying Reeves has been terrific or terrible," McClain says in his article. "I'm merely showing you how he stacks up against other players at his position."
McClain notes that several big-name NFL corners rank below Reeves in categories such as times targeted and completions, yards and touchdowns allowed. In some or all of those categories, corners with lesser numbers than Reeves include Carlos Rogers (Washington Redskins), Nate Clements (San Francsico 49ers), Antonio Cromartie (San Diego Chargers), Marcus Trufant (Seattle Seahawks) and Asante Samuel (Philadelphia Eagles).
Though statistics don't tell the whole story about a player's performance, McClain's observations may be surprising to many Reeves critics.
And here's something else: Reeves has 13 passes defensed, which is tied for 11th in the league along with corners such as Green Bay's Charles Woodson and Buffalo's Terrence McGee. One of the most criticized aspects of Reeves' game is his inconsistency in playing the ball. Supporters and critics of Reeves alike know that the he has the speed and athleticism to keep pace with practically any receiver in the league, but his ball skills are viewed as his Achilles' heel.
Texans coaches have been working with Reeves on that part of his game all year, and he has shown improvement in recent weeks in that area (he broke up a pass for Browns WR Braylon Edwards in the end zone last Sunday, and two of his team-high three interceptions have come in the last four games).
Some corners with less passes defensed than Reeves: Detroit's Leigh Bodden (9), New England's Ellis Hobbs (9), Cromartie (7), the Giants' Aaron Ross (7), Trufant (7) and Clements (6).