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Reading the coverage: Haynesworth has ways to avoid franchise tag

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

A trip around the AFC South. Did I miss something? Have a question? Hit my mailbag. I'm in Terre Haute Saturday, Houston Sunday.

Houston Texans

  • It all starts with Matt Schaub for the Texans, and backup Sage Rosenfels provides a degree of comfort too, writes the Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice. A better run game means more play action means, hopefully, a less intimidating pass rush against the Texans this season.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Jim Sorgi came out of his first full practice as the Colts' top quarterback with a new appreciation for the hard work it takes to run the first-team offense for an entire session. He looked better than I expected, but his big issue is decision making under pressure and that's not tested so much in a non-padded practice. Check out the Indianapolis Star story about it.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Matt Jones was embarrassed by his recent drug arrest, but "declined to answer questions about his innocence," the Florida Times-Union reports.

Tennessee Titans

  • Albert Haynesworth's agreement to sign the franchise tender came with four avenues for him to avoid getting tagged again. Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean (my former colleague) gives us this list:

• Make the Pro Bowl.
• Play 60 percent of the team's defensive snaps.
• Play 53 percent of the team's defensive snaps and the Titans win 10 games.
• Play 53 percent of the team's defensive snaps and the Titans finish in the NFL's top five in total defense.

The first avenue is probably the easiest, and it's the one Haynesworth has the most control over.

"We're just going to play this situation out and see how it goes," Haynesworth said. "Regardless, I am making a lot of money. So I am happy they are giving it to me and we'll see what happens next year."

  • Some Titans notes: The team is confident first-rounder Chris Johnson will be signed and on the field soon, maybe Saturday... Receiver Roydell Williams (ankle) is on the PUP list and could be out for two more weeks... Stephen Tulloch, a middle linebacker by trade, will work at outside linebacker until David Thornton returns from his brother's wedding on Sunday.