Monday, July 28, 2008
Reading the coverage: Oklahoma Drill for Jags tonight
By Paul Kuharsky
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Since I was en route from Terre Haute to Houston Sunday morning, this morning I sifted through what I found from Sunday and Monday.
Did I miss something good? Have a question? Hit my mailbag.
- Meghan Manfull of the Houston Chronicle wondered if Mario Williams is becoming the league's best defensive end. He's using his hands better and showing better instinct, two signals that tackles and their help are going to struggle to keep their quarterbacks on their feet. I got only a glimpse of Williams Sunday, and am looking forward to seeing him work up close this morning across the street from Reliant Stadium. (You'd think a building that big would cast the sort of shadow that would make sunscreen unnecessary, but it doesn't).
- John McClain of the Chronicle assesses things in Houston after the first five practices, predicting rookie cornerback Antwaun Molden will end up a starter this season. I watched Molden and chatted with him on Sunday, sharing some impressions here.
- Anna-Megan Raley of Chron.com gives us a video report on a mini-kicking contest. With advice from Texans kicker Kris Brown, Houston Dynamo defender Craig Waibel hit from as long as 63 yards, earning free soccer tickets for charity. Waibel offers pretty good commentary about how it's easy when you have a big leg and an expert tinkering with your form.
- Steve Campbell of the Chronicle tells us Xavier Adibi couldn't believe he lasted until the fourth-round. He should be a key special teamer because of his experience at Virginia Tech. He's also a bookworm who plays chess.
- Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star has been tracking Raheem Brock, and the versatile defensive lineman is on the move again -- to left end in the base defense, with a shift inside as part of the nickel package. The move should help Brock hold up better over the course of the season, but injuries could always dictate more time at tackle. Freddy Keiaho blamed a too-big hit on Mike Hart Saturday on his frustrations related to California traffic. (Look out for him on the 405).
- Chappell also writes that while at 285 Jared Lorenzen is bigger than two-thirds of the Indy's defensive linemen, he's very much a quarterback.
- Pete Prisco of CBS Sports.com, who's super at identifying and debunking NFL myths, visited the Colts while I was also in Terre Haute, Ind. Here are his five things to know about Indy.
- Michael Marot of the Associated Press looks at Mike Pollak's move from center to guard.
- Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union thought if the 57th pick in the 2006 draft, Devin Hester, asked for and got a new contract, maybe the 60th pick, Maurice Jones-Drew, would want one, too. But MJD said "I'm fine" and will wait for his turn.
- Stellino also looks at a camp highlight that will unfold this evening, the Oklahoma Drill -- a hard-hitting one-on-one between an offensive and defensive lineman. I wish I could see it for myself. Next year I will schedule for the crowd-pleaser. With Jerry Porter (hamstring) and Reggie Williams (knee) already out and Mike Walker (knee) limited to one practice a day, the Jags were already quite thin at receiver. Now Dennis Northcutt is day-to-day with a strained back. They could look at Terry Glenn but another injury question mark probably won't solve their issues.
- Florida-Times Union practice highlights here give us a name to track. Running back Anthony Cotrone was undrafted out of Maine.
- Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean says Jevon Kearse thinks these Titans have a Super Bowl feeling like it's 1999, that David Thornton also participated in his first practice Sunday, that Stephen Tulloch's impressed Albert Haynesworth and that Ryan Fowler says he's got no news on the league's steroid accusation.
- Joe Biddle of The Tennessean ponders Good Albert vs. Bad Albert after Haynesworth got to camp.
- Christopher Smith of Titansonline.com says Jeff Fisher thinks Justin Gage and Justin McCareins are doing well to set a standard for the rest of the Titans receivers, who are constantly hearing from the outside about how the Titans failed Vince Young by not replacing them.
- Gary Eswick of The Tennessean talked to LenDale White about topping last year, something that will take him staying healthy. The running back scored a lot of points with the Titans for showing toughness and playing through a knee injury and they'll need him to do it again because they don't have another guy who can handle the bulk of the work. We get his listed weight, 235, but not an update on what his real number is right now, always a point of interest.