Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Playing catch-up: While I was gone
By Paul Kuharsky
While I took some time away from the blog, the fine people who edit and format our work posted links for me.
I’ve looked over what they pointed you to, and as I return to action, I thought I’d share some thoughts on things that unfolded in the last 10 days or so.
Gary Kubiak pumped up the idea that Case Keenum will challenge T.J. Yates for the No. 2 quarterback spot behind Matt Schaub. I’ll believe it when I see it. Kubiak tends to rave about everyone, especially quarterbacks. He said Collin Klein was really good in his tryout with the Texans, and then they didn’t sign him.
Houston and Reliant Stadium wound up being an easy choice for NFL owners for Super Bowl LI in 2017. The city needed only to beat out Miami, and given the issues with financing for renovations to Sun Life Stadium, it was highly unlikely South Florida was going to get the game.
Andrew Luck wasn’t allowed to be part of the team’s OTAs a year ago because his Stanford class hadn’t completed its semester yet. This time, though, he’s at the controls, “troubleshooting” some stuff and getting comfortable in the offense of new coordinator Pep Hamilton, who coached Luck at Stanford.
Dwight Freeney found work with the pass-rush-needy San Diego Chargers. I’m happy for him. But the issue in Indianapolis was that he didn’t fit the new 3-4, and he’s now joining a 3-4 – even as the Chargers are talking of revising how they’ll operate to fit him as best as they can. New Chargers GM Tom Telesco knows Freeney well, as he too worked for the Colts for a long time.
Maurice Jones-Drew offered solid rationale for rehabilitating his foot and training in Miami, as he’s done regularly in the offseason. He has no limitations on how much time he can put in in South Florida, and if he were with the team the rules dictate how much work he could do at team headquarters. In 2011, when he was coming off serious knee surgery and wound up leading the league in rushing, he said he didn’t get his speed back. He’s feeling better about that at this stage this time around.
Defensive ends Jeremy Mincey and Andre Branch both are looking for big bounce-back seasons. Mincey is a veteran who got a $20 million contract with $8 million guaranteed a year ago. Branch cost the previous regime a second-round pick. Each will have to be more productive than he was a year ago to assure himself a future with the team beyond 2013. Branch is working at the Leo position with Jason Babin, while Mincey is at the more crowded base end spot, per Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union.
Middle linebacker Colin McCarthy rated himself as 80 percent as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery. He feels certain he will be 100 percent for camp. But I wonder if during OTAs, which kick off this week in Nashville, Moise Fokou and Greg Jones will wind up getting the bulk of the work at middle linebacker while the Titans are careful with McCarthy.
Receiver Kendall Wright is looking to make more big plays and add to his yards per catch in his second season. If Kenny Britt is healthy and Justin Hunter can contribute as a rookie, Wright will have to increase his contribution with more yards after the catch, as Britt and Hunter will more often run the deep routes.