INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts couldn’t even get through a full week of their offseason without having one of their players run into some legal trouble.

Linebacker Andrew Jackson, who just finished his rookie season, was arrested in Kentucky on a drunken-driving charge Friday.

Jackson
Friday’s arrest was the second DUI for Jackson, a sixth-round pick last year. He had a DUI charge in Muncie, Indiana, in June 2014, according to the Indianapolis Star.

It will be interesting to see how general manager Ryan Grigson deals with Jackson's arrest.

It's the second legal issue and fourth distraction the Colts have encountered in less than two weeks.

Linebacker Josh McNary was charged with rape on Jan. 14. Running back Trent Richardson was suspended two games for missing the walk-through the day before the Colts’ AFC Championship Game. Offensive lineman Xavier Nixon missed the team plane. And now Jackson.

The Colts got to within one victory of Super Bowl, but they’ve also dealt with their fair share of issues over the past year.
  • Owner Jim Irsay arrested in March 2014 and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated. He was suspended for six games and fined $500,000 for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
  • Linebacker Robert Mathis was suspended four games for using performance-enhancing drugs in May.
  • Receiver LaVon Brazill was suspended for at least year for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy for the second time. The Colts released him in July.
  • Running back Chris Rainey was released in late July for violating team rules while at training camp. He was horsing around with a fire extinguisher.
  • Safety LaRon Landry was suspended four games for using performance-enhancing drugs.
  • Receiver Da’Rick Rogers was released after he was charged with DUI in September.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Robert Mathis sightings around the Indianapolis Colts' facility during the media portion were pretty rare during the season.

There was no reason for linebacker to be in the locker room since he was out for the season with a torn Achilles, but you also wondered how his rehabilitation was going and if he would be ready for the start of training camp in July.

Mathis
“No, he’s still in recovery,” general manager Ryan Grigson said when asked if he’s confident Mathis will be ready for training camp. “He’s a freak and you hope that he has an athletic genetic freak type of recovery so that he’s ready day one of training camp. But that information is not clear yet or a timeline is not there because it’s a tough injury. Hopefully in a couple months from now, we’ll be able to have some information on that.”

The Colts definitely missed Mathis' pass-rush skills. He had 19.5 sacks in 2013. Rookie Jonathan Newsome led the team with just 6.5 sacks this season.

“Obviously having [Mathis] out was a big hole,” Grigson said. “But we don’t make excuses. That stuff gets forgotten and it should because a lot of teams win without key players. The next man up is for real. We found a way to still get pressure and play without his presence, but it makes it a heck of a lot harder, I promise you that. Just having him out on the field, even if he didn’t get out of his stance, it’s still going to command two blockers or more. That completely changes the complexion of a game just having him physically out there.

Here’s what ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell said when I asked her about a timetable on returning from a torn Achilles back in September.

“We see the 6-9 month return thrown around a lot ... Once the repair is solid and you have the basic range of motion back, then you start increasing the load on the tendon in that 3-6 month window. That’s usually tough with athletes in that recovery. You restricted your motions for a while and now you’re really working to get it back and start loading up the tendon. You’re going from being very protective to be more aggressive and that transition part is hard. The final stage after that is getting back into game shape.”
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson didn’t sound like a person who plans to bring running back Trent Richardson back next season during his season-ending press conference Friday.

Richardson
How can you tell?

Here’s Grigson’s quote.

“Every situation is different,” the GM said. “Every player and how we deal with them is going to be different. He’ll be lumped into that conversation with guys this offseason. Where does he fit? Where is he going? Is his arrow up, down, sideways, 45-degree angle? We’ve got to figure all these things out with guys in all different types of situations on this roster. There’s questions across the board on a lot of guys that are in a lot of different situations. Again, when the coaches come back and when we start seeing what’s actually out there ... We have an idea, draft, and the juniors that have declared and have been declaring and things like that. Once that evolves, I think we’ll have a much better feel for what we need to do.”

Grigson made a similar comment when asked about center Samson Satele during the combine in February 2013. Satele was released shortly after.

That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised when Richardson, who was suspended for two games, doesn’t play another down for the Colts.

Richardson’s 2015 salary is $3.18 million guaranteed -- or maybe it isn't.

ESPN’s Mark Dominik, the former general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, tweeted Friday afternoon that the Colts are allowed to walk away from Richardson’s guaranteed money because of his suspension.



That would be the topper on what was a disappointing two seasons for Richardson with the Colts.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans aren’t expected to receive a compensatory draft pick in 2015.

They lost cornerback Alterraun Verner to Tampa Bay in free agency last offseason, but added linebacker Wesley Woodyard and right tackle Michael Oher. (Quality of play isn’t a factor; contracts and playing time are.)

(Here’s Over the Cap’s projected compensatories.)

Odds are they won’t get a compensatory pick in 2016, either.

The list of players they could lose in free agency is an unimpressive one, with only one player -- outside linebacker Derrick Morgan -- qualifying as anything close to marquee.

The Titans have pledged to be active in free agency, and the odds suggest they will add more than they can lose.

Here’s Pro Football Focus’ breakdown of the Titans’ free agents.

Only four guys have significant positive grades. Two of them are the team’s punter and kicker and a third is left tackle Michael Roos, who’s recovering from significant knee surgery and said he’s contemplating retirement.

Senior Bowl wrap-up

January, 23, 2015
Jan 23
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MOBILE, Ala. -- Because of all the Jacksonville Jaguars news on Tuesday and Wednesday, I wasn’t able to write much about what was happening on the field at the Senior Bowl.

So here, on my final day in Alabama, are 10 observations from practices. Most involve South team players because that’s the team the Jaguars’ staff is coaching.

TE catches Middleton's eye

Jaguars tight end coach Ron Middleton created a bit of a stir in the Ladd-Peebles Stadium stands during Wednesday’s practice because of his loud, booming voice. Middleton could be heard yelling "You’re my hero!" and "Yeah! Yeah!" as he was raved about tight end Clive Walford.

The former Miami player made a couple nice inside moves on defensive backs Jaquiski Tartt (Samford) and Anthony Jefferson (UCLA) to get open on seam and corner routes. He also made a diving catch and was able to consistently get open.

"Slick made some plays today," Middleton told me after practice. "First of all, I like his attitude. He’s asking questions. He’s into it mentally. He busts his butt every time he’s been out there and the main thing is he made some plays today so that always makes you like them a lot."

Walford caught 121 passes for 1,753 yards and 14 touchdowns in four years at Miami, including 44 for 676 yards and 7 TDs in 2014. Middleton said Walford has good size (6-feet-4, 254 pounds), very good hands, and "runs good enough" and projects as an inline tight end in the NFL. He’d need to be faster to be used as a move tight end.

Middleton said Walford still has some technique issues that have to fixed, including as a blocker.

"But you can see the willingness and if you’ve got one that’ll bite, then he’s got a chance," Middleton said. " … if he’ll stick his face in the fan he’s got a chance to be a good blocker. We can work on the technique and things; it’s just the attitude of it."

QBs struggled

Teams looking for a quarterback probably didn’t get much out of this week because none of them look very good. In fact, after watching Blake Sims throw for several days I’m starting to wonder how Alabama won the SEC and made the College Football Playoff.

Sims had a particularly bad day on Wednesday and underthrew several passes in drills against no rush. He did have a nice deep ball to Josh Harper (Fresno State) but that was the only pass that stood out in a positive way.

Bryce Petty, playing for the North team, hasn’t exactly torn it up, either, as he adjusts from the up-tempo spread to taking snaps under center. He threw two interceptions on Wednesday including one in which he threw a screen pass right at outside linebacker Nate Orchard (Utah).
The top two quarterbacks in the draft aren’t here because they’re underclassmen and the player most consider No. 3 (UCLA’s Brett Hundley) declined the invitation to play.

Now, some shorter observations ...

It’s hard not to be intrigued by mammoth offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje (6-7, 360), but if he’s going to play at the next level it’s not going to be on the outside. The former TCU standout doesn’t move very well at all. He was continually beaten in pass rush drills early in the week before suffering a hip flexor injury that will keep him out of the game.

Three other South offensive linemen that had solid weeks were guard Arie Kouandjio (Alabama), guard Tre’ Jackson (Florida State), and tackle Daryl Williams (Oklahoma). The Jaguars are expected to add a right tackle and another veteran lineman or two in free agency, but taking a lineman later in the draft is a possibility, too. These are three guys to watch.

North running back Ameer Abdullah looked good carrying the ball, which he did a lot at Nebraska (4,438 yards and 36 touchdowns in four seasons) but he struggled in pass protection drills. He’s not too small (5-9, 195) but he was physically overmatched against some of the linebackers. He may never be a great pass-blocker but he can certainly improve. If he doesn’t, he’s not going to play much in his first few seasons except as maybe a third-down back.

South defensive tackle Danny Shelton (Washington) may be the best player participating in the game. He’s been hard to handle all week. He’s built like a run-plugger (6-2, 332) but he’s got quick feet and looks like he could be productive as an interior pass-rusher.

South running back David Johnson reminds me a bit of Lorenzo Taliaferro, who played in last year’s game. He’s a big back (6-2, 229) from a smaller school (Northern Iowa) that is holding his own against higher-quality competition than he normally faces. Taliaferro (6-0, 226) played at Coastal Carolina and was drafted in the fourth round by Baltimore.

The most exciting player on the field for either team may be South receiver Tyler Lockett (Kansas State). He’s more of a slot receiver because of his size (5-10, 181) but he’s got good quickness and hands. The Jaguars coaching staff had him run several end-arounds to take advantage of his speed and open-field ability. He more than held his own in one-on-one battles with bigger corners. He out-fought 6-1, 205-pound Nick Marshall (Auburn) to catch a fade pass in the end zone.

Did Miami really finish 6-5? That’s hard to believe after the week the four Hurricanes players have had. Linebacker Denzel Perryman, receiver Phillip Dorsett, corner Ladarius Gunter, and Walford have all been impressive. Dorsett isn’t big either (5-9, 183) but he has consistently gotten open in team drills and has really good hands. Perryman has had some issues in pass coverage but has been very good against the run in drills.

Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (Clemson) is undersized at 6-1, 288 pounds, but he makes up for it in athleticism and quickness. He was very productive with the Tigers, recording 156 tackles (21 for loss), 3.5 sacks, 26 quarterback pressures, two caused fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in his final two seasons. He showed off his strength, too, by tossing aside 6-5, 308-pound offensive tackle La’el Collins in one pass blocking drill.
Six weeks removed from having had microfracture surgery, Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney is still working through the relatively early stages of rehab. He can't put weight on his surgically repaired right knee just yet.

Texans general manager Rick Smith offered this update in an appearance on Sirius XM NFL radio:
"That surgery requires a pretty significant amount of time that you are not weight bearing, and then you kind of gotta work yourself back to it. He's been diligent in his rehab. That's the thing he can control right now. He understands that. It's an arduous process for him because he's limited right now in what he can do. There's just a few exercises that he can do to maintain some of the strength in his leg. Once he gets to the point where he can put weight on the leg again and start to really get into a rehab process, I know he's anxious to do that. He's anxious to make the contributions that we all know he's capable of making. Some of the things, the flashes that we saw even in the preseason, it's important to him that he returns to full health so that he can contribute and help our football team."

Clowney suffered a lateral meniscus tear and articular cartilage damage in a non-contact injury he suffered during the first game of the Texans' season. He had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair the injury, and the Texans had hoped that was all that would be necessary. But when the knee wasn't performing properly, they resorted to microfracture.

Microfracture surgery involves poking tiny holes into the knee to increase blood flow and help the cartilage regenerate on its own. The recovery from that surgery is difficult, the rehab is demanding and the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 draft has a lot of it ahead of him.
INDIANAPOLIS –- Being the No. 1 overall pick is nothing new for Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

That's why it shouldn't be surprising that Luck was the No. 1 overall pick in the Pro Bowl draft for the second straight year. He'll be playing on Hall-of-Fame receiver Cris Carter's team. Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, will be joined by receiver T.Y. Hilton and punter Pat McAfee on Carter's team.

Cornerback Vontae Davis, linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, safety Mike Adams and kicker Adam Vinatieri will play on Hall-of-Fame receiver Michael Irvin's team.

It'll be interesting to see Davis matched up against Hilton in the game.

The Pro Bowl will be played in Arizona on Sunday.
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MOBILE, Ala. -- When it came to finding an offensive coordinator, Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley didn’t look at stats.

They didn’t care about yards or points or touchdowns. They paid no attention to rankings, either.

All they cared about was whether players developed and improved over the course of a season and beyond. They found that to be the case when researching Greg Olson, and that’s why he was hired on Wednesday morning.

[+] EnlargeGreg Olson
Kyle Terada/USA TODAY SportsUnder the guidance of Greg Olson, Derek Carr led all rookie QBs in passing yards and touchdowns in 2014.
"We don’t get caught up in traditional numbers like that," Bradley said on Wednesday afternoon after the South team’s second practice of Senior Bowl week. "We’re looking at does the team get better and the talent he got or has, do they progress? Do you see improvement?"

When studying film of Olson’s past offenses, whether as a coordinator with four teams (Detroit, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Oakland) or as a quarterbacks coach, the Jaguars did see players improving. Especially young players, and that is important because the Jaguars had five rookies start at least seven games in 2014, including quarterback Blake Bortles.

"You watch their film and you see not only did he [Olson] make individual guys better but you saw them get a lot better throughout the season," Caldwell said. "… Just his experience, eight years in the league as an offensive coordinator, his ability to develop quarterbacks -- obviously that’s something that’s going to be key for our franchise moving forward, the development of Blake and a young offense."

It’s a good thing the numbers don’t matter because Olson has a spotty history as an offensive coordinator. In eight seasons his offenses averaged less than 20 points per game five times, including three years in which they failed to average at least 16 points per game. His best season as a playcaller came in 2006 with the St. Louis Rams when his offense averaged 22.9 points per game and finished sixth in total offense and fourth in passing.

However, in looking at Olson’s quarterbacks in those eight seasons there is evidence of the improvement that Caldwell and Bradley wanted to see.

In the one season in which Olson was Detroit’s offensive coordinator (2005), Joey Harrington threw for 12 touchdowns with 12 interceptions -- only the second time in his six-year NFL career that he didn’t throw more interceptions than touchdowns.

Olson was St. Louis’ offensive coordinator in 2006-07. Marc Bulger threw a career-high 24 touchdown passes to only eight interceptions to go along with a career-high 4,301 yards in 2006. Bulger’s production dipped to 2,392 yards, 11 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2007 but he battled various injuries, including two fractured ribs, throughout the season.

Olson worked with Josh Freeman during his three-year stint as Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator. Freeman struggled as a rookie in 2009 (10 TDs, 18 INTs) but improved to throw for 3,451 yards and 25 touchdowns with only six interceptions, and the Bucs went 10-6 in 2010.

Freeman threw for 3,592 yards and 16 touchdowns with 22 interceptions in 2011, Olson’s final season in Tampa Bay.

Olson had Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin, and Matt Flynn as his quarterbacks in his first season as Oakland’s offensive coordinator in 2013. In 2014 he had rookie Derek Carr, who threw for 3,270 yards with 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The yards and touchdowns were the most by any rookie in 2014.

The quarterback improvements override the fact that, aside from the 2007 season, Olson’s offenses ranged from 19th-32nd in total offense, 12th-32nd in rushing, 16th-26th in passing, and 20th-31st in scoring. That includes his stops in Detroit (2005), St. Louis (2006-07), Tampa Bay (2009-11) and Oakland (2013-14).

"The important part for us is it’s not where we rank offensively," Caldwell said. "It’s not where we rank defensively. It’s where you come out at the end. What do you need to do to have your best performance in a game and come out and win a game? If it’s 100 passing and 150 yards rushing and you win 9-3, well that’s what you needed to do because it’s a team game and you have to have it where offense and defense and special teams all play as one."
We will hear a lot between now and the draft about the potential for Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who now has power over personnel in Philadelphia, to make a move to reunite with Marcus Mariota.

Kelly coached Mariota, the Heisman Trophy winner, at Oregon.

[+] EnlargeMarcus Mariota
AP Photo/Jae C. HongIf the Eagles want to move up to No. 2 for Marcus Mariota they would have to offer the Titans a blockbuster package.
The Eagles have an uncertain quarterback situations after Nick Foles drop-off in 2014 prior to his season-ending injury. Mark Sanchez replaced Foles, had mixed results and has an expiring contract.

Mark Eckel of NJ.com has a source who told him the Eagles will try to move up to get Mariota, though they know it will be difficult.

Could this mean Philadelphia is a trade partner for the Titans?

The cost of jumping from the Eagles' spot at 20 to the Titans' spot at 2 could make it impossible. Eckel’s report acknowledges it would probably take two trades to get in range for Mariota.

If Tampa Bay doesn't take Mariota first overall and the Eagles wanted to move to No. 2 to select him, it would take a monster deal.

In 2012, Washington gave up the fifth pick in the draft, the 33rd pick in the draft, a 2013 first-round pick and a 2014 first-round pick to get the second pick from the Rams.

That was for a three-spot drop in the first round and a player, Robert Griffin III, generally regarded by the league as a can’t-miss talent.

Mariota won’t likely have as much pull/value.

But considering the haul the Rams collected for a small first-round drop, the Titans expectation for a move from 2 to 20 would be gigantic.

The old-school draft value chart (often called the Jimmy Johnson chart) should be getting deemphasized a bit in favor of new analytical charts like this one from Chase Stuart of Football Perspective.

“Teams generally stick to the Jimmy Johnson chart at the top of the draft, although that can change in years where the top picks aren't considered to be as valuable,” Stuart told me. “Remember, a No. 2 pick could be RG3 [trade everything!]or Luke Joeckel [trade nothing!].”

The entire draft order is not out, though the Titans should have 2, 33 in the second round and 66 in the third while the Eagles should have 20, 52 in the second and 84 in the third. From there picks will be influenced by compensatory picks that get splashed into the end of the remaining rounds.

I used the compensatory projections of Over The Cap to flesh out the full 256 picks.

By my estimate -- emphasis on estimate -- the Titans will have roughly 3,607 points on the Jimmy Johnson chart and the Eagles just 1,503.

Philadelphia’s entire draft would come up 1,097 points short of the value of the No. 2 pick (2,600) and no one in the NFL circa 2014 is giving away an entire draft plus in exchange for one player.

The package the Eagles would have to put together to get the Titans pick would be enormous, with implications into 2016 and probably 2017. It’s hard to imagine Kelly, no matter the degree of his affection for Mariota, would or could make the move if the quarterback is available second on April 30.

In the fantasy world where it happens, the Titans could obviously make such a deal and then trade back up to still get an impact guy closer to the top of the draft.

A trade from 1978 is hardly going to function as a model. But here is what the Oilers did to move from No. 17 to No. 1 back then to get Earl Campbell.

As we move forward, here are two good resources from Football Perspective for examining draft pick trades:

Jimmy Johnson Draft Pick Value Calculator.

Football Perspective Draft Pick Trade Calculator.
TAMPA, Fla. – ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said Wednesday that a team drafting Oregon’s Marcus Mariota would need a “bridge" quarterback.

“You have that in Tampa," Kiper said in a conference call with the national media. “You have that at Tennessee."

The Bucs hold the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Kiper has Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston going to the Bucs in his mock draft, but he isn’t ruling out the possibility of Mariota going first.

“I don’t think it would preclude you from taking him if you’re one of those teams, but you have to develop him," Kiper said. “If you want him to play right away and be an impactful rookie and second-year guy, that would probably be asking too much."

Kiper’s logic is simple. Mariota played in a spread offense in college. The Bucs – and most NFL teams – run a pro-style offense. Kiper said Mariota would take time to develop in a pro-style system.

“He’s a runner," Kiper said. “You’ve got to take that running aspect out and just call it mobility. He’s got the arm, the size, the work ethic, the intelligence – all the things you need to fit into pretty much any offense down the road. But if you want to force-feed him, he’s not going to be ready."

In theory, the Bucs have that bridge in place. Veteran Josh McCown was last year’s starter and could stay in that role for the short term in Kiper’s scenario. But Kiper still believes Winston is likely to be the better fit for the Bucs.

“From a pro-style, NFL-ready standpoint, it would be Winston," Kiper said. “But there’s basically some work on him from an intangible standpoint with the off-the-field issues that he had. I think it just gets down to if Winston checks out between now and late April and you can reconcile all that that’s all behind him and he’s matured and it’s not going to happen again, then he goes No. 1 and Mariota goes second, sixth, somewhere in the top 10. Maybe Philadelphia and Chip Kelly (who coached Mariota for two years in college) try to trade up to get him."
MOBILE, Ala. -- After a three-week search, the Jacksonville Jaguars finally have an offensive coordinator.

Now comes the hard part. Greg Olson has to fix an offense that hasn’t averaged more than 16 points per game since 2010 and has scored just 15.5 points per game over the past four seasons. The Jaguars finished 31st in total offense, 21st in rushing and 31st in passing in 2014.

[+] EnlargeBlake Bortles
Sam Greenwood/Getty ImagesBlake Bortles will need to make quicker, better decisions moving forward.
The Oakland Raiders were worse, finishing last in total offense and rushing and 26th in passing with Olson calling the plays. However, quarterback Derek Carr had a solid rookie season in throwing for 3,270 yards with 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Those were much better numbers than what Jaguars rookie quarterback Blake Bortles posted: 2,908 yards, 11 touchdowns, 17 interceptions. Fixing the offense starts with helping Bortles take the next step in his development, and that will be Olson’s No. 1 priority in 2015.

Olson has a spotty history as an offensive coordinator. In eight seasons, his offenses averaged fewer than 20 points per game five times, including three years in which they failed to average at least 16 points per game. His best season as a playcaller came in 2006 with the St. Louis Rams when his offense averaged 22.9 points per game and finished sixth in total offense and fourth in passing.

That season the Rams became just the fourth team in NFL history to produce a 4,000-yard passer (Marc Bulger), a 1,500-yard rusher (Steven Jackson) and two 1,000-yard receivers (Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce) in the same season. The Rams’ offense ranked sixth in the NFL (fourth in passing) that season.

Aside from the 2007 season, however, Olson’s offenses ranged from 19th to 32nd in total offense, from 12th to 32nd in rushing, from 16th to 26th in passing and from 20th to 31st in scoring. That includes his stops in Detroit (2005), St. Louis (2006-07), Tampa Bay (2009-11) and Oakland (2013-14).

But the mitigating factor in those seasons is the fact he hasn’t exactly worked with very good quarterbacks. Bulger is clearly the best, but after him it’s a pretty rough list: Joey Harrington, Jeff Garcia, Gus Frerotte, Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson, Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin and Carr have all started multiple games under Olson.

The counterargument is that if Olson were a good coach he would have turned some of those guys into good quarterbacks. That’s a chicken-egg thing, though. Do the players make the coaches or the coaches make the players?

Harrington was a disappointment in five seasons in Detroit and was out of the league after the 2007 season. Frerotte was in his 14th season in the NFL in 2007 and played just one more year after that. Freeman, Johnson, Pryor and McGloin are journeyman players. Pryor wasn’t on a roster in 2014 and was recently signed to a reserves/future contract by the Kansas City Chiefs.

It’s too early to know if Bortles will develop into an elite quarterback, an above-average starter or bounce around the league as a backup, though the Jaguars certainly believed in his ability to become an elite quarterback or they wouldn’t have taken him with the third overall pick in last year’s draft. He did some good things in 2014, but he also threw too many interceptions, including four that were returned for touchdowns. He has a lot of work to do in regard to his footwork.

This is Olson’s fifth stint as an offensive coordinator and it’s likely make or break for him. Fix Bortles’ fundamental flaws and speed up his decision-making, improve a running game that has floundered for three years and score more points or this may end up being his last chance to call plays.
MOBILE, Ala. --The Jacksonville Jaguars have three offensive line coaches currently under contract and the team has no plans to change that in 2015.

[+] EnlargeGeorge Yarno
AP Photo/John RaouxGeorge Yarno, shown in June 2014, is continuing cancer treatment. He was replaced as the Jaguars' offensive line coach, but remains employed by the team.
The Jaguars hired Doug Marrone on Tuesday to be the assistant head coach/offensive line coach. Luke Butkus, who coached the offensive line in 2014, will remain with the team as an assistant OL coach.

So will George Yarno, who hasn't been with the team since last spring because he is battling cancer. Even though he's not going to be able to coach in 2015, the Jaguars are keeping him under contract, meaning he'll still receive his salary and medical benefits. It's a class move by the organization and they deserve to be praised for it, especially because they are reluctant to publicize it.

Yarno has asked the Jaguars to not disclose the details about his medical condition and they are honoring that request, but the team did say recently that Yarno was responding well to treatment. It's no secret that cancer treatments can be very expensive and nearly impossible to afford without health insurance. If the team had opted to terminate Yarno's contract, he would have been forced to go on disability and that would have had an impact on his health benefits.

Coach Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell declined to discuss the decision to keep Yarno under contract, saying they wanted to respect his privacy.

However, one source close to the situation said that Jaguars owner Shad Khan enthusiastically supported Yarno remaining under contract.

Yarno will do some consulting work for the Jaguars, including evaluating film of prospects.

Indianapolis Colts season report card

January, 21, 2015
Jan 21
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video » AFC: East | West | North | South » NFC: East | West | North | South

INDIANAPOLIS -- It was all about progress for the Indianapolis Colts. Could they continue to move up the AFC ladder after two solid seasons with quarterback Andrew Luck? Or would they take a step back?

Luck got better and so did the Colts. They followed up their 2013 divisional playoff appearance by advancing to the AFC Championship Game, where they lost to the New England Patriots.

Luck, general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano are now 3-for-3 in reaching the postseason.

The Colts have their sights on reaching the Super Bowl next season. But they know the roster must improve in order to get past Bill Belichick and the Patriots, who have eliminated the Colts from the playoffs the past two years.

Team MVP: This is a no-brainer. Luck wins this honor by a landslide. The Colts aren’t a playoff team without him on the roster. He led the NFL in touchdown passes (40) and was third in passing yards (4,761). In his first three seasons with the franchise, he moved ahead of Peyton Manning in his first three years for most victories (33 to 26), passing yards (12,957 to 12,287), passing touchdowns (86 to 85) and 300-yard passing games (19 to 11). The one problem area Luck had this season was with turnovers. His 22 turnovers -- 16 interceptions and six fumbles lost -- were second in the league.

Best moment: The only thing standing in the Colts’ way of getting back to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 2009 was the player who led them to that game: Peyton Manning. The odds were stacked against the Colts because they were playing on the road in Denver and Manning had picked them apart for 269 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 1. But the Colts played one of their best games of the season in the rematch. They held the Broncos to 288 yards of total offense, sacked Manning twice and forced a turnover. And the offensive line made Broncos defensive stars Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware seem like average players while not giving up a sack.

Worst moment: The easy way to look at it would be the 38-point loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, but the Colts' overall struggles against elite quarterbacks showed that they need a better defensive front. Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger and Manning (in the first game) all got the best of the Colts. Roethlisberger did the most damage, going 40-of-49 for 522 yards and six touchdowns with no sacks or interceptions on Oct. 26. The 51 points the Colts gave up to the Steelers were the most Indy had allowed since New England scored 59 in the 2012 season.

2015 outlook: The Colts will continue to dominate the AFC South as long as Luck is under center. But it’s not about continuing to own the division, it’s about making the Super Bowl. And in order to do that, the Colts have to get tougher. Owner Jim Irsay didn’t waste any time when he said that after the loss to the Patriots. Irsay talked about the makeup of teams like the Patriots, Green Bay, Dallas and Seattle. That’s where the Colts want to get to. The Colts have to find a running back to complement Luck. Defensive lineman Cory Redding, cornerback Darius Butler, safety Mike Adams and running back Ahmad Bradshaw are notable free agents who could be brought back next season.


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INDIANAPOLIS -- So it turns out the New England Patriots did deflate footballs against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, through sources, reported late Tuesday night that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs were inflated 2 pounds per square inch below what's required by NFL regulations.

Now it’s in the NFL’s hands to decide what punishment the Patriots should receive if they are found to have broken the rules following the NFL's investigation into the incident. And considering their previous Spygate incident back in 2007, the league should hold the Patriots accountable and be as severe as possible if they are guilty.

The types of balls used had nothing to do with the Colts' lack toughness. The Patriots have better players, better schemes and a better coach. It's just too bad, assuming guilt, they didn't have enough confidence in their ability to prove that.

The Colts were well-aware of the possibility of the Patriots using deflated balls when owner Jim Irsay stood inside the locker room and talked about his team's lack of toughness. They were outscored 31-0 after cutting New England’s lead to 14-7 in the second quarter.

“When you get to this level, this championship level, we have to be able to be a tougher team,” Irsay said.

The Patriots continued to do what they’ve done in the past against the Colts: run the football. New England rushed for 177 yards and got three touchdowns from running back LeGarrette Blount.

Again, lack of toughness.

Offensively, the Patriots dropped back into coverage, took away quarterback Andrew Luck's favorite target, receiver T.Y. Hilton, and dared the Colts to run the ball. The Colts only rushed for 83 yards and Luck threw for just 126 yards.

“I think it all starts in the trenches,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “If you can’t dominate the line of scrimmage, you’re going to have a long, hard day. I think we just found that out.”

While commissioner Roger Goodell needs to make sure the Patriots get the proper punishment, the game was not decided by some deflated footballs.

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are close to hiring an offensive coordinator, but coach Gus Bradley said he has not yet made an offer to any of the seven candidates that he interviewed.

"No major decisions have been made yet," Bradley said after the South team's Tuesday afternoon practice for the Senior Bowl. "We’re still going through that, the process with that, but hopefully it’ll come together soon."

The decision could -- and likely will -- come later Tuesday night, though. Former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase and former Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson are the front-runners, according to a league source. There have also been various reports that the Jaguars could hire both and give one the title of quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator.

If that does happen, it's unclear how that would affect current quarterback coach Frank Scelfo.

In addition to Gase and Olson, Bradley also interviewed Minnesota running backs coach Kirby Wilson, New York Jets assistant head coach/running backs coach Anthony Lynn, former San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Dallas offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan, and former Buffalo offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. New Buffalo coach Rex Ryan hired Roman to be the Bills' offensive coordinator. Callahan has been hired by the Washington Redskins as an offensive line coach.

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