AFC South: Aaron Rouse

The Titans are looking at veteran defensive backs, and it seems there are two categories under consideration: corners who can add depth and physical safety types who can add some depth and contribute on special teams.

I asked Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. for his assessment of the four names that have surfaced:

Cornerback Tye Hill

Williamson: “A former first-round pick who is physically gifted, especially from a pure speed perspective, He is the guy with the most upside of the ones you mentioned, but his recognition skills are very suspect and he doesn't offer a lot vs. the run.”

Cornerback Ken Lucas

Williamson: “He was a guy that I was high on. Much bigger than Hill and has at least been successful at this level, but he had a pretty bad year in Seattle -- although he wasn't helped much by a pass rush. Still, he might be done.”

Safety Aaron Rouse

Williamson: “Rouse is a big strong safety type. He had some good (and bad) moments with the Packers and then by default, got a lot of playing time for the Giants last year, where he was a liability in coverage. He needs to be near the line of scrimmage and is tight in the hips and in transition.”

While Williamson was aware of Tra Battle, who played in the UFL, he said he doesn’t have any insight on Battle’s recent play.

If I am the Titans, if I can get Hill or Lucas inexpensively, I’d jump. Neither has the complete résumé the team would want in its second starter, but you don’t find well-rounded players in this stage of free agency. I’d lean toward Hill on youth.

If they has Rod Hood, Hill or Lucas, Ryan Mouton, Jason McCourty and a draft pick, that’s a pretty good pool from which to find a starter to play opposite Cortland Finnegan and to have sufficient options for when (it’s rarely "if," anymore) that starter or Finnegan go down for a stretch.

As for safety, Rouse or Battle is unlikely to line up as Chris Hope’s successor and it would be good if that extra safety was a young guy with more upside. It Titans should have a third safety who could step in if something happens to Hope or Michael Griffin, because pulling Vincent Fuller away from the nickel spot would weaken them there.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- In five out of their six games the Indianapolis Colts have come away talking about the uncharacteristic play that put a result in jeopardy or cost them a game.

 
 Jeff Hanisch/US Presswire
 Peyton Manning threw two interceptions on Sunday and both were returned for touchdowns.

None was worse than Sunday's penalty-filled, out-of-sync performance at Lambeau Field, where the Colts dropped to 3-3 with a 34-14 stinker.

"Obviously you're concerned when you play like that," center Jeff Saturday said. "That was one of those things where you got beat in every area of the game and they brought it to us and we didn't answer. There wasn't any area in the football game that we won."

Chief among the unusual was 110 penalty yards, the most for a Colts team coached by Tony Dungy.

Yes, we're only six games in and Indianapolis still has plenty of time to correct things and turn back into the team we've gotten used to over the last six seasons, the one that has won more than three out of every four regular-season games.

But it's fair to ask: At what point does all the uncharacteristic stuff become newly characteristic?

Here are three of the answers I got on that:

"I guess we're not going to worry about that until it becomes more of a trend, whatever that is," defensive end Dwight Freeney said. "I don't know how many games that is until something is a trend. But I know we're going to put a stop to that. We always have and we're going to have to do that -- just don't kill ourselves."

"We're definitely not there yet, but we're definitely not helping ourselves," tight end Dallas Clark said. "We've got to take it on ourselves to focus in on the details and stop doing the little things that are costing us and get this thing going again. It'll start [Monday] when we look at film with everyone being a good critic of himself and seeing what he has to do to get better."

"I think we've got to concentrate on playing our type of football, focus on what we have to do, which is to get better, to eliminate all of the mistakes," team president Bill Polian said. "If we do that, we'll win our share. Obviously you can't win when you play the way we played today, and I'm not even talking about the interceptions, it's the other stuff that you can't win doing ... We didn't execute worth a darn, really."

(Read full post)

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