You probably remember cornerback Charles James more for his colorful sock collection than you do for his play on the field. The Hard Knocks show standout has bounced around the league after the show ended, even making his way to Baltimore as a practice squad player. James got his chance on the Ravens active roster for an astounding 4 days before being waived and picked back up by the Texans.
For a team like the Ravens, who have holes and poor play within their secondary, you'd figure that anybody with a pulse would be given the chance to play. Yet James, who by all accounts sounded like a good nickel corner, wasn't kept by a team that desperately needs one of those. Well on Monday, James made sure that the Ravens and everyone else knew they had screwed up.
As Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle titled, James was a major contributor in the Texans' upset win over the Cincinnati Bengals. No one expected a T.J. Yates led Texans team to be able to unseat the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals, yet with James on the field for a majority of the game, the defense held the Bengals to a season low 6 points.
James would play a career-high 48 snaps on defense as well as 11 snaps on special teams. He finished the game with a career-high 6 tackles, including one for a loss on defense and a tackle in kick coverage. Being the nickel corner and taking on the Bengals' inside receivers, James played his best game to date and looks to finally be picking up the confidence and tools necessary to play in the NFL.
Texans coach Bill O'Brien spoke highly of Charles James, who has been playing through a foot injury.
Charles James, can’t say enough about what he’s meant to our team coming back here. He’s playing hurt. He’s a guy who’s really toughing it out in practice. He’s out there every day.
He played nickel for us, obviously, special teams. He’s meant a lot to us. He brings a lot of energy to our locker room. It’s really good to have him here.
For the Ravens being one of the worst secondaries in the league, you'd think a guy like that would have stuck on the roster. The Ravens loss is obviously the Texans gain.