Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis has been a cornerstone player in the Jaguars secondary since his rookie season. In the 2010 season, following skipping voluntary organized team activities in hopes of a new contract, Mathis has played rather poorly the majority of the season. Couple that with the fact that Mathis hasn't completed a full season in the NFL since 2006, his play is clearly on the decline. Mathis only has a single interception this season, and it's not for a lack of being thrown at like in 2008 and 2009.
He gets thrown at, a lot.
Yesterday against the Houston Texans, Mathis had a rough go of it. Andre Johnson crushed the Jaguars secondary for 9 receptions, 146 yards, and a touchdown. His longest catch of the day was 60 yards, on a play where safety Courtney Greene got sucked into Texans quarterback Matt Schaub's play action fake. That play saw Mathis trailing Johnson from the far side of the football field, but that catch wasn't on him.
The biggest gaffe of the day by Mathis was Andre Johnson's touchdown grab. I'm waiting to find out what the coaching staff says about the play, because from my view the mistake was on safety Don Carey. It appeared as Mathis had to cover the flat zone on that play, with the safety covering the third of the endzone behind him. Johnson was alone in the endzone for the easy touchdown reception, but I'm curious to see who's fault it was. Mathis turned and flung his hands up at safety Don Carey as if it were Carey's fault. Del Rio was hesitant to criticize Mathis in the post-game, but on Monday said they don't appreciate those types of gestures towards teammates. Queue Mathis getting destroyed by the fans.
Regardless of those two plays, overall Mathis just flat out has been bad nearly all season long.
Now, Mathis should be getting greif from the fans as his play hasn't been up to par. He skipped OTA's in the off-season in the hopes of getting a new contract. As I said back then and still believe now, I have no problem with a player skipping voluntary practice to try and get their cut, be it deserved or not. In hindsight however, it's a good thing the Jaguars scoffed at the request. It's clear the Jaguars secondary is going to need a major overhaul in the off-season, and the former hometown hero might be part of that overhaul process.