Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by Texans34Life, May 28, 2007.
Hopefully this will help people think that Mathis cares. He will play this year, and he will be good.
It is an interesting insight that he gives about being a track guy. I can totally understand that, and how that effects how he is perceived and carries himself.
Hopefully that is history and he becomes a real team player.
Maybe. The thing that kept him off the field last year was injury, not attitude.
There's just way too many "if he can just stay healthy"'s.
He hasn't recovered form the pulled hamstrings from last season. He has re-aggravated them during the OTAs. Any chance of him being "healthy" come training camp is, well . . .
"If healthy" he gives that homerun threat on kickoffs. The man was a monster on ST two years ago. Now all he has to do is catch the dang ball. No one in the league doubts his speed....."if healthy."
Hey I asked a question over at FanHouse and figured this would be worth having a discussion here about. Here's the complete link with the discussion parts of it:
Texans FanHouse: Is Jerome Mathis Mr. Glass?
Anyways, here's the question from the entry:
What I'm interested in talking about is typically what do you think is (to borrow the corporate speak term for it) the "best practice" in the NFL as it relates to the return game? Having a designated person in that position? Or having someone that plays CB/WR/whatever too?
IMO - if he excels at one thing and is ok at another; why fix what isn't broken? If the roster spot is between a Probowl KR and an ok WR/KR why would you go with the so so guy?
I'll tell you what. I liked having a bright spot on the Texans in 2004 and Mathis was that bright spot and all he did was return kicks. He was so good that he turned heads towards the 'lowly' Texans in the national media and was rewarded with a starting Pro Bowl slot. We were represented in the national spotlight and that translates into a resounding yes to your 'corporate' question from me.
Does it help the team? Anytime we can get some attention diverted our way at this point especially from prospective NFLers... absolutely.
I've changed my view a bit on this. If there were a hypothetical Healthy Mathis, that would be my guy. But because of his health issues, I think the trade-off is Mathis has to contribute more as both a receiver and returner to justify him missing some games during the season. To the other point, I'd be worried about an important position player having to deal with return duties as well. Divided attention, but increased injury risk as well. You gave Hall as an example. The Lions tried the same thing with Eddie Drummond, and it didn't work out well either - they ended up using him exclusively as a returner in the end.
But how much does a 4th WR see the field anyway, aside from teams that use a lot of 3-wide sets like the Cards and Martz teams?
This pre-supposes that just because Kubiak is making him take reps at WR, that in itself is what's causing his hamstrings to tighten up. That is very misleading, and I disagree with it. How do you know Mathis didn't report out of shape? Being in top shape and proper stretching reduces hamstring pulls.
I'm also incensed that some people want to criticize Kubiak for wanting to hold Mathis to the same standard as the rest of the players, and not pamper him, or give him some kind of special treatment, while at the same time, not question Mathis at all, as to why he can't stay healthy enough to stay on the field. A double standard? No???
How do we know that it's not Mathis' fault in all this? And why can't Mathis play with little pain like Mario Williams did in every game last year?
Me thinks that Mathis needs to man up and be a football player, and not act a prima donna track star. And that includes training like one, and stretching like one.
Of course he cares...he's about to lose a job if he doesn't show something. His gravy-training days are done. Results speak louder than words and Mathis can't afford to rely on his resume of one good season on special teams to keep his job.
I am not criticizing Kubiak. I'm asking a question. Some teams have designated returners and some have their returners play other positions on the team. In the early years of the team, the Texans had a designated returner. Last year, Kubiak said he wanted position players to contribute on special teams and ST players contribute at positions. He specifically talked about working on making Mathis a receiver.
I'm merely asking what the best NFL practice is relating to this. I don't really have an opinion on this other than knowing that last year's putting random position players returning kicks situation was unacceptable. Part of that was because Mathis was out, but also part of that was the desire to have a position player do the role of the returner so that is what they did.
I don't know what sort of shape Mathis reported in, but what I do know is for a fact that it isn't just a matter of playing through pain. If you have a messed up hamstring, you are a hobbling mess. I never understood the extent of that until I tried to play through just a flag football season with a bad hamstring. Brain said go, and the leg said uh, no, we are not gonna go so good.
As for stretching, we've had this discussion before on the MB. Nobody knows what prevents further hamstring pulls. There have been studies about stretching and there are no series of stretches that have been proven to prevent pulls. So just as we don't know if Mathis has been staying in shape, we also don't know whether he did everything the Texans asked of him and he is still having these problems. The biggest risk factors for hamstring problems is being fast and having a history of hamstring problems.
Is this something that is chronic or can Mathis and the Texans find a way to get him through these problems? My question is about whether one way to get him on the field is to focus him in one area instead of trying to make him a really good backup receiver who isn't like going to see the field.
I put that article out there about the difficulty of playing ST receiver and also a position on the field, and was just wondering out loud what the best way of doing things is.
Does Devin Hester become a huge threat at WR this year learning a new position in the NFL, or does he get burnt out so that he can't do the return stuff so fast and is more average at everything?
Umm because "speed" guy can't be a "speed" guy with one hamstring. He would just be a guy.
I think in general you want a dual threat player returning kicks, whether at WR, RB, or CB. But, when you have a special player at that position, I think as a team, you need to be flexible enough to just let the guy return kicks. He can have a Devin Hester like impact if he can stay healthy. To me, Kubiak should basically forget about him as a real threat at WR, and have him return kicks. Every once in a while, stick him in to run a reverse or stretch the field on a post route or something. Having him pull a hammy on a pass route and losing him for 10 games isn't a good tradeoff imo.
I saw it mentioned earlier in this thread, but what sense does it make to have a mediocre WR/KR that can do a little of both when you can have a player that specializes in one or the other...
I doubt we'll see AJ returning punts anytime soon...It's always good to hae a couple players that can double up, but I think it's rather foolish to say that Mathis has to become a good WR when he has so much to offer on special teams...
Perhaps Kubiak would be content to leave Mathis as a special teams guy if he
wasn't such a specialists ? After all he only returns kick-offs. If he also returned punts (as Hester does), it would make more sense not to tamper with him and not try to broaden his responsibilities ?
Maybe Kubiak needs to have Mathis start fielding punts then. I would think it would be an easier than having him learn the whole WR position.
He tried punts before, and wasn't that good at it. PR guys tend to be quicker, shiftier, and usually have a smaller stature. KR tend to have more height/size and straight line footspeed. Some guys can do both, but many teams have a different PR and KR. In this case, putting Mathis at PR seems to be putting a square peg into a round hole, especially since they tried it, and it failed once.
Porky's right, some guys can do both while others only seem to have success at one or the other. Hester and "Phins top pick Ginn are a couple of examples of a player who is outstanding at both, while others like Reggie Bush
don't seem to have the same versatility.
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