Johnathan Lee Joseph (born April 16, 1984) is an American football cornerback for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at South Carolina, and was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
Joseph with the Bengals in 2006
|No. 24 – Houston Texans|
|Born:||April 16, 1984|
Rock Hill, South Carolina
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||185 lb (84 kg)|
(Rock Hill, South Carolina)
|NFL Draft:||2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
|Player stats at PFR|
Joseph began his college football career at Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas in 2003. He was ranked the 31st-best JUCO player in the nation by College Football News and earned all-conference honors. Joseph recorded three interceptions, one for a touchdown, and 43 tackles. He also recorded a sack and two pass break-ups.
Joseph transferred to the University of South Carolina, where he played for South Carolina Gamecocks football team in 2004 and 2005. He started at cornerback his first two games of the 2004 season, recording two tackles in his first game against Vanderbilt and forcing a fumble. He broke his foot in the first quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs, and spent the remainder of the year rehabilitating his injury.
Joseph was scheduled to have a big season in 2005, along with teammate and fellow defensive back Ko Simpson. Joseph earned the Outstanding Defensive Back Award in spring practice and recorded two tackles and a broken up pass in the Garnet and Black Game. Joseph finished the season with 55 tackles, four interceptions, and nine broken up passes.
A year before the NFL Draft, Joseph was not regarded as a highly touted prospect and wasn't on any big boards since he was still an underclassmen and only had played two games at South Carolina. He began to improve his stock after playing well in 2005. Joseph was invited to the NFL Combine and after running a 4.31 40-yard dash, his draft stock immediately soared. Scouts and analysts projected him as a first or second-round pick. He was ranked the third-best cornerback by NFLDraftScout.com.
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 11 in
|4.31 s||1.53 s||2.57 s||4.27 s||6.94 s||37 in
|10 ft 3 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
He entered training camp competing with veteran Tory James and Deltha O'Neal for a starting cornerback position. Joseph was named the third cornerback on the depth chart behind O'Neal and James to begin the season and was named the nickelback.
He earned the start over O'Neal in the Cincinnati Bengal's season-opener against the Kansas City Chiefs and finished with three solo tackles in a 23–10 victory. On November 12, 2006, Joseph started his third game and made five solo tackles in a 31–16 victory over the New Orleans Saints. He started in place of Deltha O'Neal who suffered a shoulder injury the previous week and would miss the following three games. Joseph remained the starter the rest of the season. During a Week 13 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, he recorded seven combined tackles and a season-high four pass deflections in a 13–7 victory. On December 31, 2006, Joseph made a season-high ten combined tackles and two pass deflections in a 23–17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He finished his rookie season with 58 combined tackles (45 solo) and 20 pass break-ups in 16 games and nine starts.
With the departure of Tory James in free agency and Deltha O'Neal receiving a shoulder surgery in the off-season, Joseph was slated to be the Cincinnati Bengals' starting cornerback. He faced competition for his starting position after the Bengals drafted cornerback Leon Hall with the 18th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Joseph was named the starting right cornerback, opposite Deltha O'Neal, to begin the season. Hall and O'Neal were the starters for the season-opener against the Baltimore Ravens, but Joseph made two combined tackles in the 27–20 victory. The following week, he made his first start of the season and recorded three solo tackles in a 51–45 loss to the Cleveland Browns. On October 21, 2007, Joseph made five combined tackles and made intercepted Chad Pennington for the first pick of his career. He returned it for a 42-yard touchdown and helped defeat New York Jets, 38–31. On November 25, 2007, he recorded five combined tackles, three pass deflections, and intercepted Vince Young as the Bengals routed the Titans, 35–6. The next game, Joseph made a season-high seven solo tackles and intercepted Ben Roethlisberger's pass during a 24–10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In Week 16, he made a season-high tying seven combined tackles and intercepted Cleveland Browns' quarterback Derek Anderson in a 19–14 victory. Joseph finished the 2007 season with 62 combined tackles (49 solo), 15 pass deflections, four interceptions, and a touchdown. He was second on the team with four interceptions, behind Leon Hall's five interceptions.
He started the Bengals' season-opener against the Baltimore Ravens and made five combined tackles and three pass deflections, and recovered Ray Rice's fumble and returned it for a 65-yard touchdown in a 17–10 loss. He three games (Weeks 3–5) with an ankle injury and returned as a starter in Week 6, making three solo tackles and three pass deflections in a 26–14 loss to the New York Jets. On November 2, 2008, Joseph recorded a career-high 15 combined tackle (11 solo) and two pass deflections in a 21–19 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the next game, he made five combined tackles and three pass deflections, and intercepted Donovan McNabb in a 13–13 tie with the Philadelphia Eagles. On November 21, 2008, Joseph was added to injured-reserve after a recurring foot injury. Joseph finished with 42 combined tackles (31 solo), 13 pass break-ups, an interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a touchdown in eight games and seven starts.
On September 27, 2008, Joseph made six combined tackles and a pass deflection, and intercepted Ben Roethlisberger and returned it for a 30-yard touchdown, en route to a 22–19 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The following game, he recorded two solo tackles, a pass deflection, and intercepted Derek Anderson in a 23–20 victory over the Cleveland Browns. During a Week 5 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, Joseph had three solo tackles, a pass deflection, and intercepted Joe Flacco in a 17–14 victory. He had three consecutive games with an interception, which marked the longest streak of his career. On December 6, 2009, he made a season-high eight solo tackles and a pass deflection in a 23–13 defeat over the Detroit Lions. In Week 15, Joseph racked up six solo tackles and intercepted Matt Cassel for his sixth interception of the season, as the Bengals routed the Kansas City Chiefs 17–10. Joseph finished the season with 69 combined tackles (58 solo), 20 deflected passes, and a forced fumble in 16 games and 16 starts. He also made a career-high six interceptions and returned one for a touchdown. He was ranked the sixth best cornerback by Pro Football Focus and posted a +14.5 in the measures.
The Cincinnati Bengals finished first in the AFC North with a 10–6 record. They faced the New York Jets in the AFC Wildcard game and Joseph made five combined tackles in the 24–14 loss. After the season, USA Today named Joseph to their annual "All-Joe" team which recognizes quality players that don't get their due. In December 2009, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King called Joseph and Hall "the best tandem in the NFL". Leon Hall and Joseph were named the Cincinnati Bengals' co-MVPS.
The Cincinnati Bengals entered the season with high expectations after ranking fourth in yards allowed in 2009. With the addition of Adam Jones, they entered with one of the most talented cornerback teams in the league. Hall and Joseph were ranked the third best cornerback tandem in 2009 by the AFC North Blog, behind the Green Bay Packers' Al Harris and Charles Woodson and the New York Jets' Darrelle Revis and Lito Sheppard.
He started the season-opener against the New England Patriots and made six solo tackles in a 38–24 loss. On October 10, 2010, he recorded two combined tackles and two pass deflections, and intercepted Josh Freeman in a 24–21 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He missed Weeks 7 and 8 with a sprained ankle and returned in Week 9 making four combined tackles in a 27–21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. On November 21, 2010, Joseph recorded two solo tackles and intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick in a 49–31 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He finished the season with a career-lows 42 combined tackles (37 solo), eight pass deflections, three interceptions, and a touchdown in 12 games and 12 starts.
At the conclusion of the season, he completed his rookie contract and became a free agent. He entered negotiations with the Cincinnati Bengals and received two offers from them.
On July 29, 2011, the Houston Texans signed Joseph to a five-year, $48.75 million contract with $23.50 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $12.50 million. Joseph and former Chicago Bears safety Danieal Manning were signed to help improve a defense that was ranked 30th overall and 32nd in pass defense.
He entered the 2011 season as the Houston Texans' de facto starting cornerback, opposite Kareem Jackson. Joseph started the season-opener and made five combined tackles in a 34–7 defeat over the Indianapolis Colts. The following week, he recorded four solo tackles and three pass deflections, and intercepted Miami Dolphins' quarterback Chad Henne in a 23–13 victory. It was his first interception as part of the Houston Texans. During a Week 3 contest against the New Orleans Saints, Joseph racked up three solo tackles and two pass deflections, and intercepted Drew Brees in a 40–33 loss to the New Orleans Saints. On October 16, 2011, he made a season-high seven combined tackles, a pass deflection, and intercepted Raven's quarterback Joe Flacco in a 29–14 loss at Baltimore. He finished his first season with the Houston Texans with a total of four interceptions and 15 passes defended. He also registered 44 combined tackles (40 solo) and a forced fumble. On December 28, 2011, Joseph was invited to the 2012 Pro Bowl, and was named a second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press. On January 7, 2012, Joseph made six solo tackles and intercepted Andy Dalton in Houston's 31–10 victory over his former team the Cincinnati Bengals, marking the Texans first ever playoff victory. During the AFC Divisional, the Houston Texans were defeated by the Baltimore Ravens. Joseph made two solo tackles in the game. On January 29, 2012, he appeared in his first career Pro Bowl and intercepted Cam Newton, as the AFC defeated the NFC, 59–41.
He started the Houston Texans' season-opener and finished the 30–10 victory over the Miami Dolphins with five combined tackles and a pass deflection, and intercepted Ryan Tannehill. On October 14, 2012, he made a season-high seven combined tackles in a 42–24 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The following week, Joseph made five combined tackles and a pass deflection, and intercepted Joe Flacco and returned it for a 52-yard touchdown in a 43–13 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Joseph missed Weeks 11 and 12 due to a groin injury. He finished the season with 57 combined tackles (52 solo), 11 pass deflections, two interceptions, and touchdown in 14 games and 14 starts. After another great 2012 NFL season with Houston, Joseph was selected to his second Pro Bowl along with eight of his Texans teammates.
During the 2012–2013 off-season, Joseph had surgery to repair two sports hernias he had endured through the year before and attributed the defensive passing game falling to 16th in 2012 to multiple hamstring, groin, and hernia injuries. He entered training camp at 100%.
He started the season-opener against the San Diego Chargers and made two solo tackles and two pass deflections in a 31–28 victory. In Week 3, he made two solo tackles, three pass deflections, and intercepted Russell Wilson for his first pick of the season in a 23–20 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. On December 13, 2013, Joseph made a season-high nine combined tackles, a pass deflection, and intercepted Andrew Luck in a 25–3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Joseph had a surgery in December to repair a torn ligament in his toe. He finished the season with a combined 47 tackles (43 solo), 16 pass deflections, and three interceptions in 15 games and 15 starts. The Houston Texans finished 2–14 and head coach Gary Kubiak was fired after Week 15. Football Outsiders ranked him fifth among qualified corners with a 63% success rate.
He returned to his starting role, along with Kareem Jackson, under new head coach Bill O'Brien to begin 2014. In the season-opener he made 11 solo tackles in a 17–6 defeat over the Washington Redskins. On November 23, 2014, Joseph made three combined tackles, a pass deflection, and returned an interception for a 60-yard touchdown in a 22–13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished the season with a career-high 75 combined tackles (70 solo), 11 pass deflections, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, and a touchdown in 16 games and 16 starts. Joseph's rank fell to 30th in Football Outsiders success rate. Pro Football Focus ranked him the 20th-best coverman in 2014.
Joseph entered training camp facing competition from Kevin Johnson who was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and A. J. Bouye. Kareem Jackson and Joseph were able to maintain their starting roles to begin the season.
On June 18, 2015, the Houston Texans signed him to a two-year, $13.50 million contract with $11.50 million guaranteed.
He started the season-opener against the Kansas City Chiefs and made four solo tackles and a pass deflection in a 27–20 loss. On November 16, 2015, Joseph made four solo tackles, a pass deflection, and intercepted Andy Dalton in a 10–6 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. In Week 12, he made a season-high seven combined tackles in, as the Texans routed the New Orleans Saints, 24–6. The Houston Texans finished with a first in the AFC South with a 9-7 record. Joseph started the AFC Wildcard game and made two combined tackles as the Texans were defeated by the Kansas City Chiefs, 30–0. He finished the season with 56 combined tackles (46 solo), a career-high 22 pass deflections, and a touchdown in 16 games and 16 starts. Football Outsiders ranked him 31st with a 54% success rate.
Joseph started the season-opener against the Chicago Bears and made four combined tackles and a pass deflection in a 23–14 victory. On November 16, 2016, Joseph recorded a season-high eight solo tackles and a pass deflection during a 24–21 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. During a Week 13 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, he made four solo tackles but left in the third quarter of the 21–13 loss, due to a rib injury. He missed the next two games with two cracked ribs and a bruised lung. He appeared in 13 games and started 11, finishing the season with 45 combined tackles (38 solo), nine pass deflections, and posted his first season in his career without an interception. The Houston Texans finished first in the AFC South with a 9–7 record. On January 7, 2017, Joseph made ten solo tackles and three pass deflections in a 27–14 AFC Wildcard victory over the Oakland Raiders.
In Week 5, he collected a season-high six combined tackles in the Texans' 42–34 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. On October 15, 2017, Joseph recorded three combined tackles, a season-high three pass deflections, two interceptions, and a touchdown during a 33–17 victory against the Cleveland Browns in Week 6. He returned an interception by Kevin Hogan, that was intended for Duke Johnson, for an 82-yard touchdown in the second quarter. His performance in Week 6 earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week. Joseph finished the 2017 season with 47 combined tackles (37 solo), nine pass deflections, two interceptions, and a touchdown in 16 games and 16 starts. Pro Football Focus gave Joseph an overall grade of 75.7, which ranked 65th among all qualifying cornerbacks in 2017.
Joseph was a criminal justice major at South Carolina. He and his wife, Delaina reside in Houston, Texas. Johnathan has three children; Jay’vion, Johnathan II, and Danae. Joseph is of Haitian descent. Joseph's father, John Joseph, worked at a cotton mill for over 30 years and died in 2014 at age 76 after having emphysema that developed into lung cancer from being a smoker. He credits his father for molding him into the man he is today and instilling core values. Joseph always practices yoga and pilates to help his body deal better with age.
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