View Full Version : Looks like the Texans got a steal at WR

05-02-2005, 12:19 PM
Found this little tidbit about one of my sleeper WR's entering the draft:

Jerome Mathis

Among the things Capers didn't see during the Texans' two-day rookie minicamp was a quarterback overthrowing receiver Jerome Mathis. That's not as much an endorsement of tryout quarterbacks Chance Mock, Pierce Buck and Paul Troth as it is a testament to Mathis' legs.

It's not easy to overthrow a target as fast as Mathis, who was clocked at 4.28 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine. Mathis would be the first to admit speed was the reason NFL scouts found him at Hampton University and the first to admit that speed alone won't keep him in the league.

The only word more often associated with Mathis than speed is raw. Mathis didn't play against top-level competition at Hampton, and didn't even have a position coach during his last two years at the school. One coach split time between the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers.

"There are a lot of things he hasn't been exposed to: fundamental things like route-running techniques, some of the adjustments we have to make within a route," Texans receivers coach Kippy Brown said. "It's like anything else if you haven't done something, it makes you raw in that particular area."

Whereas Mathis might be a bit raw in terms of how to do things the NFL way, he's quite seasoned in the play-making department. He averaged 26.4 yards a catch and a touchdown approximately every four times he touched the ball during his career at Hampton.

"We're working the hell out of him here," general manager Charley Casserly said. "You can't teach speed and athletic ability and he's got those two things, and he's got hands. He's hard to cover."

In terms of wow factor, Mathis jumped off the film when Texans coaches reviewed practice footage. They knew Mathis was an explosive kick returner at Hampton; they're also trying to get him accustomed to handling punts.

But the Texans don't see Mathis as a specialist. With more work, they see him competing with Corey Bradford, Jabar Gaffney and Derick Armstrong for playing time opposite Andre Johnson.

"Every practice we've had, he's run by somebody and caught a deep ball," Capers said. "You see the speed show up. I like the way his hands have looked to this point in time. He has a lot to learn in terms of running routes, but I think he's a competitor."

Mathis is aware of where he needs to improve and has been hanging on Brown's every word. The fourth-round draft choice wants nothing more than to be considered an all-around receiver.

"I'm here and I'm happy to be here," he said. "It's a learning experience, coming in and realizing that you don't know everything and there's always room for improvement."

05-02-2005, 12:22 PM
talk lets wait and see until these rookies hit the field.