Brian Costello of the NY Post talked this week with both Kerry Rhodes and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine about the safeties lack of game changing plays this season:
"It is getting difficult," Rhodes said. "I see myself wanting to do certain things on certain plays to try to make a play. But once you start doing that you get yourself out of position and other plays happen. This is where you really have to stay disciplined in what you believe in and what the game plan consists of."
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was asked about Rhodes this week and said Rhodes has graded out well but then raised an interesting issue about Rhodes' off-the-field activities.
"There are some guys where that's their thing," Pettine said. "When they leave the building, they put more on their plate football wise. I think as coaches we all want to be of the mindset that our guys are all going to be gym rats and football junkies and if they leave here, they're going to go home and study tape. Not everyone is like that."
Pettine did say he has no issue with Rhodes' work ethic, but the implication is clear -- he thinks Rhodes might be too worried about TV appearances and photo shoots.
Kerry Rhodes has come under intense scrutiny this week after he failed again to make any real impression on a Sunday. In fact the only impression that he did make came on a play that basically wrapped up the game for the Jaguars, as a miscommunication between himself and Leonhard allowed Lewis to streak down the field and bring in a 30 yard catch to put the game to bed.
He has come under scrutiny on GGN a lot this season, as part of his mid-season post, John named Kerry as the most disappointing player this season. Now it seems to me like Pettine although back handedly and probably not intentionally has increased the spot light on Rhodes, and not a Hollywood spot light that Rhodes prefers. In calling into question his off the field activities.
Nobody here knows how much work Kerry puts into studying video on opponents, and maybe it is that opposing teams are more wary of him now than they have been in the past. Although to take the next step he has to adapt back, I'm sure that teams are more than aware of players like Ed Reed and Darren Sharper, but they still make game changing plays.
Here we are heading into game 10 of the 2009 NFL season, and Rhodes has 0 sacks and 0 INT. Few big hits and 0 forced fumbles. Quite simply put, Kerry right now is not a big deal, he is average in every aspect of his game. Areas that he does lead in, music video appearances, fan interaction and social media networking. I admire him for his open attitude to the fans.
However sooner or later he is going to have to do his talking on the field, because if he doesn't, we may have to find someone that will.