AFC South: cutdown

Colts: cutdown analysis

August, 30, 2008
8/30/08
7:23
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Biggest surprise: As they sort out how they'll go about life without center Jeff Saturday for at least five more weeks, they also won't get left guard Ryan Lilja back until after six games. He was placed on the PUP list. Courtney Roby is in line to work as a return man as the Colts kept six receivers -- they finished last year with five.

No-brainers: By virtually all accounts, rookie Mike Hart (made it) outplayed Kenton Keith (didn't) and each got what they deserved based on the running back competition. Another back, Chad Simpson, likely resurfaces on the practice squad.

What's next: Parting with both Quinn Gray and Jared Lorenzen can be read as another indication the team is sure of Peyton Manning's health. Or the Colts could sign another QB tomorrow for safety. While there could be some tinkering, the Colts build almost exclusively from within these days. They won't bring in much if anything.

Titans: Cutdown analysis

August, 30, 2008
8/30/08
6:11
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Biggest surprise: A lot of us fell asleep on defensive tackle Antonio Johnson, no one more than me. I presumed he'd be a better fourth tackle than what they had last year and anything else they had now. Apparently not. The fifth-round pick from 2007 missed his whole rookie year with a blown out knee, but once he got back he didn't show enough. Roydell Williams had 55 catches last year, but his issue was the ankle injury he's coming back from. It's not a surprise that safety Calvin Lowry isn't good enough to be on the team but it still a mild surprise the team cut him.

No-brainers: Quarterback Ingle Martin and kicker John Vaughn were likeable locals, but everyone knew there wasn't a spot for them since the Titans would only keep two quarterbacks and since Rob Bironas is expected to be ready after missing a lot of time with a groin issue. Expect Martin back on the practice squad.

What's next: The Titans have four safeties, but Vincent Fuller plays as the nickel back, so it's a spot that could be addressed through a waiver claim or veteran signing. Chris Davis might be on the 53 only long enough for the Titans to bring in another receiver. Kevin Vickerson beat out Johnson, but will he survive once waiver claims and free agents are sorted out? If LenDale White and Chris Johnson are healthy, look for Chris Henry to be inactive a lot.

Jaguars: Cutdown analysis

August, 30, 2008
8/30/08
4:37
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Biggest surprise: Troy Williamson hadn't won a lot of people over, but he made some plays in the preseason finale and made it. Matt Jones, presumed to be in big trouble at the start of camp, was surely ahead of Williamson, so quite safe. Speedy undrafted cornerback Brian Witherspoon, also a return man, made it too.

No-brainers: Running back Ciatrick Fason was signed to be a one-week stop gap and had no real chance with Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew, fullback Greg Jones and rookie Chauncey Washington all ranking ahead of him for carries. Defensive ends Mkristo Bruce and Bo Schobel didn't have a real chance at the 53 once Derrick Harvey signed.

What's next: This is a balanced and veteran team that doesn't need like it needs a lot of tinkering right at the start. Jacksonville has five rookies and no first-year players. The average Jaguar is 26 with four years experience.

Texans: Cutdown analysis

August, 30, 2008
8/30/08
4:12
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Biggest surprise: The Texans released linebacker/end Rosevelt Colvin and placed running back Chris Brown (back) on the non-football injury list. They'd spent $1.8 million in bonuses to sign those two players in the offseason. Contract status did prompt the Texans to force things with either.

No-brainers: Alex Brink or Shane Boyd could re-emerge on the practice squad or the Texans could shop for a practice squad QB on the market. But with Matt Schaub backed up by Sage Rosenfels, there is certainly no reason to carry a third, developmental type, on the 53-man roster.

What's next: The team is likely to re-add Marcel Shipp or Darius Walker or bring in a running back from outside. Once offensive tackles heal up or the Texans see something they like on waivers, look for rookie tackle Chris Washburn to be waived.

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