AFC South: Cecil Newton

On the radar: John Estes

June, 3, 2010
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NFC On the Radar: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

Jacksonville needs better play from the center position, and undrafted rookie John Estes from Hawaii has a shot to make an impact in the middle of the Jaguars’ offensive line.

[+] EnlargeMeester
Tom Cammett/Getty ImagesBrad Meester, above, may need to fight off undrafted free-agent center John Estes at center.
Brad Meester, 33, has battled a lot of injuries. But even when he was on the field last season, Meester’s run blocking was a problem. Replacing him makes a lot of sense, but at the minimum, Jacksonville needs to put pressure on its current starting center’s hold on the job.

If Meester is replaced, the most likely scenario would be for Uche Nwaneri to move from guard to the pivot. Considering the volatility of this offensive line last year, Nwaneri -- while far from spectacular -- should be considered rather dependable. Plus, Jacksonville did just trade for Justin Smiley, creating is a bit of a logjam at guard with Vince Manuwai and Kynan Forney. So moving Nwaneri seems like a logical move after the acquisition of Smiley.

But where does Estes fit in -- and, to a lesser extent, Cecil Newton, who is a year older than Estes? If Nwaneri can prove that he is the best option for the starting center spot, Meester could be shown the door, which would open up a possibility for one of these youngsters. Estes is the guy I would expect to take advantage of that opportunity.

Estes isn’t a particularly big offensive lineman and Jacksonville certainly does value size up front, but he moves well and is tough and durable while playing the game with a bit of a mean streak. He isn’t extremely powerful, but was a four-year starter, is very aware in protection and has a good feel for maximizing his leverage advantage. There are tons of examples of offensive linemen who enter the league and prove very difficult for their coaching staff to cut from the roster. Estes might just be next.

Pondering undrafted rookies

May, 17, 2010
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Tom Gower of Football Outsiders revisited a recent ESPN.com Insiders piece looking at the remaining holes in the AFC South. More interesting were his new thoughts on each teams' undrafted rookie pool, which gave me one thing to ponder for each of our teams.

Houston

Gower suggests one of two undrafted fullbacks, Jack Corcoran or Isaiah Greenhouse, could push Vonta Leach at fullback. We’ve focused almost exclusively on the running backs and the interior offensive line in discussing the Texans' run woes, and we presume second-rounder back Ben Tate and a healthier interior line that added free agent Wade Smith will be the cure. But was Leach, in fact, part of the problem as Gower suggests? I’ll be interested to see if Corcoran or Greenhouse has a chance to press for action over Leach, who’s been very popular with coaches, teammates and fans.

Indianapolis

Say Gower: “Western Michigan's Tim Hiller could also potentially unseat Curtis Painter for the job of Colts’ preseason quarterback.” I’ve said repeatedly that people make too much too soon about finding Peyton Manning’s successor. It is a preseason and end-of-regular-season job. If Manning goes down somewhere between the two, the Colts' season goes down as well. Hiller has some very good reviews as he joins the team. While they invested a sixth-rounder in Painter a year ago, Hiller certainly has a chance to win the reserve role.

Jacksonville

Cecil Newton could be challenged for the role as young up-and-comer in the interior offensive line mix by John Estes. While the presumption is the team wants to improve inside by replacing Brad Meester, he could hold on and the change could come with Uche Nwaneri. If Meester or Nwaneri continue to give the team reason to look to alter things, we could see veteran Kynan Forney win the left guard job. A big push by Estes or Newton could also have a bearing on how things shake out.

Tennessee

There is room for a No. 3 back after the dumping of LenDale White moved Javon Ringer into the backup role behind Chris Johnson. That means undrafted rookies LeGarrette Blount and Stafon Johnson will garner a great deal of attention in camp. Seems to me Ringer is more like Johnson, and the bigger, more physical Blount is the guy the Titans would like to see step forward.

Jags place Ingram on IR, sign Daniels

December, 21, 2009
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On linebackers-to-the-IR day in the AFC South, the Jaguars placed Clint Ingram on the list and will play the rest of the season without him.

Ingram suffered a shoulder injury Dec. 13 against Miami. Undrafted rookie Russell Allen worked in Ingram’s place in the loss to the Colts. Allen led the team with a dozen tackles.

The Jaguars had three roster spots because they recently released Kennard Cox and James Wyche.

To fill out their roster, they signed veteran free agent linebacker Tank Daniels and signed rookie tight end Zach Potter and center Cecil Newton off the practice squad to the 53-man roster. In addition, running back Josh Vaughan was signed to the practice squad.

The Jaguars will miss Ingram in New England and Cleveland in their final two games, but his loss isn’t a deal-breaker for a team that is one spot outside of the playoffs.

Daniels has been with the Eagles twice as well as the Giants. He has played in 26 regular season games and nine playoff games, including Super Bowl XLII.

AFC South practice squads

September, 7, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky


Houston
Indianapolis (one spot to fill)

Jacksonville

(Early version was courtesy of Michael C. Wright)

Tennessee

Jags' cuts

September, 5, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky


The Jaguars cuts, just announced by the team:

Tight end Richard Angulo

Safety Marlon McCree

Running back Alvin Pearman

Offensive lineman Tony Pashos

Linebacker Tim Shaw

Running back Chauncey Washington

Punter Steve Weatherford

Defensive back Brian Williams

Linebacker Thomas Williams

Long snapper Joe Zelenka

Wide receiver Tiquan Underwood

Quarterback Todd Boeckman

Fullback Brock Bolen

Safety Michael Desormeaux

Cornerback Pete Ittersagen

Defensive end Jeremy Navarre

Center Cecil Newton

Wide receiver Todd Peterson

Guard Cameron Stephenson

Running back Josh Vaughan

Linebacker Johnny Williams

The team also placed defensive tackle Rob Meier (shoulder) on injured reserve.

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