Texans CB Jackson jumps into starting role

HOUSTON (AP) — Rookie cornerback Kareem Jackson has received a lot of help from teammates in his first three days of practice with the Houston Texans.

He appreciates it, even if he hasn't quite remembered everyone's name.

"I know a couple of nicknames," he admitted. "I don't really know full names right now."

The Texans will probably forgive that lapse with all the information being thrown at Jackson as he adjusts to working at right cornerback with the starting defense.

Houston needs Jackson, the 20th overall pick in this year's draft, to start immediately after longtime cornerback Dunta Robinson signed with the Falcons this offseason. Robinson was the Texans' most consistent player in the secondary and started 79 games over the past six seasons.

Jackson knows taking over the spot that was occupied by Robinson for most of the team's history is a big challenge.

"I don't feel that it's any pressure," he said. "I've been playing football all my life, so it's just another level, guys are faster and bigger so I've just got to adjust to the style of play. I'll eventually do it."

Coach Gary Kubiak is encouraged by Jackson's work so far.

"He's been very impressive. He jumps in there like he belongs. We've got a long way to go, but I like his size," Kubiak said of Jackson, who is the same height as Robinson but almost 15 pounds heavier. "He's got good size and strength, very well coached."

Jackson has been lining up against Matt Schaub and an offense ranked fourth in the NFL last season, but has got a break with star receiver Andre Johnson skipping the voluntary workouts because he wants a new contract. Kubiak thinks Jackson's experience playing for Alabama will help him adjust to the demands of the league.

"When you see players come out of schools like that they're usually not very overwhelmed," Kubiak said. "That's the type of guys they've been covering all the time. (We'll) get Andre in here to get him going too."

Jackson started each game last season for Alabama and finished with 49 tackles. He appeared in all 41 games in his three-year career with the Crimson Tide and finished with 159 career tackles and had 29 pass deflections.

Veterans Jacques Reeves and Fred Bennett are both on the roster at left cornerback, but second-year player Glover Quin could be the front-runner to start opposite Jackson after a solid rookie season. Quin has led the way in helping Jackson adjust to the NFL.

"That's probably why it's been so smooth, there's been a lot of guys helping me make the transition go a lot smoother," Jackson said.