Cornerback A.J. Bouye jumped from the Texans to the Jaguars as a free agent this week, which means he’ll be seeing his former teammates twice during the 2017 season.
When the teams square off, Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins suggested that the Jaguars use Bouye to cover him on big plays because Jalen Ramsey, their other presumed starter, isn’t up to the task.
“I told A.J. if he goes to [Jacksonville] then he better be the dude guarding me on third down instead of Jalen because he couldn’t get the job done,” Hopkins said, via Alex Del Barrio of Sports Radio 610. “I love A.J., but hopefully he’s the one guarding me on third down to win the game next year for those guys. They might have a better chance.”
Ramsey has been a popular target for criticism from opposing receivers, but the numbers don’t bear out Hopkins’ assertion. He had 13 catches for 135 yards in two games against the Jaguars last year, which aren’t mind-boggling numbers by any stretch. His third down successes (a late conversion in the first game and a pass interference penalty drawn on Ramsey in the second) were balanced out by incompletions and a tackle by Ramsey short of the sticks as well as a fourth down pass to Hopkins in the end zone that Ramsey knocked away in the second matchup.
Any discussion of who covers Hopkins seems somewhat insignificant until the Texans know who will be throwing the ball to the wideout. While we know it won’t be Brock Osweiler, we don’t know if it will be Tom Savage (who replaced Osweiler in the second Jacksonville game), Tony Romo or someone else entirely at this point in the offseason. That will have a lot to do with Hopkins’ chances of success on any down.