- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Some thoughts on things that unfolded while I spent some time away from the blog last week. We may circle back to a few.
The Texans intend to use James Casey as both their fullback and tight end. They tout his versatility and his ability to play both as part of what makes him attractive. But his single best quality is his soft hands. The Texans have a lot of people to throw to, but wherever they are lining Casey up, to maximize him as a player, they need to target him.
Houston isn’t interested in "Hard Knocks," and that shouldn’t be a surprise. I can’t imagine a camera tracking Gary Kubiak’s private training camp moments.
The team claimed Andre Smith off waivers from the Bears and cut Brody Eldridge in the same week. Eldridge didn’t seem to gain any traction with the new regime, which drafted two tight ends in the first three rounds. He was claimed by the Rams.
Meanwhile, former Colt Dallas Clark visited New England. It sure wouldn’t seem there is much opportunity for him with the Patriots, who’ve already got Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and signed veteran Daniel Fells earlier this offseason. It would be a surprise if Clark landed in New England unless he’s available later and someone gets hurt. He’s also visited Kansas City.
They are still the only known team that’s interested in "Hard Knocks." There is an idea floating around that they aren’t glamorous or compelling enough. But it’s a mistake to think the show needs a glamour team. Getting a thorough behind the scenes look at any team makes for compelling television, and interesting storylines abound in any camp by the mere nature of what is playing out.
Rashad Jennings is the team’s top back with Maurice Jones-Drew not participating in OTAs. I can’t see MJD getting the new deal he wants but I don’t think he’ll have a hard time learning the new offense once he arrives. Meanwhile, the capable Jennings will get valuable time after missing last season with an injury.
There is a ton of talk about how different the Titans will be in 2012 after a full offseason for a coaching staff that worked with a quick turnaround in its first season. Receiver Nate Washington says the offense is going to sling it and defensive coordinator Jerry Gray is talking about installing his stuff rather than modifying the old stuff. We’ll see how much both of those ideas come to fruition.
Eugene Amano is rehabbing from knee surgery. But if the incumbent center, regarded as the line’s weak link, loses his job, it will be to an in-house competition. Kevin Matthews is currently in the best position to make a bid for the spot. There is bound to be some awkwardness to the competition, considering Matthews’ dad, Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, coaches the offensive line.