AFC South: Dominique Edison

The National Football Post's Joe Fortenbaugh has a nice piece reviewing AFC South draft trends.

Here’s a nugget on each team with a thought from me:

Fortenbaugh: “Since 2001, the Colts have drafted only three offensive tackles. To put that in perspective, take note that over the last 10 years the team has spent the same amount of selections on kickers and punters (3).”

[+] EnlargeTony Ugoh
AP Photo/Darron CummingsThe Colts spent a 2007 second-round pick on Tony Ugoh but cut him last season.
Kuharsky: It’s significant and it’s time to make a substantial investment. But when a team has a left tackle who plays for nine years and goes to three Pro Bowls (Tarik Glenn) and gets steady play from its right tackle for eight years (though Ryan Diem slipped last season) there isn’t cause for huge expenditures at the spot. They failed in a second-round attempt (Tony Ugoh in 2007) to replace Glenn.

Fortenbaugh: “Since 2001, the Jaguars have drafted nine defensive ends, but only two (Derrick Harvey, Quentin Groves) have been selected within the top 100 picks.”

Kuharsky: Jaguars GM Gene Smith worked to offset that by bringing in free agent Aaron Kampman last offseason. And now it appears quite possible Smith will spend the 16th overall pick on a defensive end to complete the makeover of the line that included their top four picks from 2010.

Fortenbaugh: “Since Gary Kubiak took over as head coach in 2006, the Texans have drafted exactly 19 offensive players and 19 defensive players.”

Kuharsky: It’s nice to populate the roster in a balanced fashion. But if Houston does as it should and looks to fill a load of defensive holes in this draft, these numbers will tip to the defensive side.

Fortenbaugh: “Since 2005, the Titans have selected an average of 2.0 wide receivers per draft. Tennessee has landed at least one wideout in each of the past six drafts and has selected as many as three wide receivers two times in the last six years.”

Kuharsky: The all-star receiver roster of those past six drafts: Courtney Roby, Brandon Jones, Roydell Williams, Jonathan Orr, Paul Williams, Chris Davis, Joel Filani, Lavelle Hawkins, Kenny Britt, Dominique Edison, Damien Williams and Marc Mariani. The lone Pro Bowl appearance was Mariani last year -- as a return man.
Roster and practice-squad news so far Sunday:

Houston Texans

Were awarded linebakcer David Nixon from the Oakland Raiders and cornerback Jamar Wall from the Dallas Cowboys of waivers. Released linebacker Danny Clark.

Indianapolis Colts

Signed quarterback Tom Brandstater, defensive end John Chick, receiver Brandon James, defensive back Mike Newton and receiver Blair White to the practice squad.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Were awarded defensive tackle Landon Cohen off waivers from the Detroit Lions. Released offensive lineman Paul McQuistan.

Signed offensive tackle Daniel Baldridge, tight end Mike Caussin, receiver John Matthews, and defensive tackle Kommonyan Quaye to the practice squad.

Tennessee Titans

Were awarded linebacker Tim Shaw from the Chicago Bears and linebacker Patrick Bailey from the Pittsburgh Steelers off waivers. Released linebackers Stanford Keglar and running back LeGarrette Blount.

Signed defensive lineman Hall Davis, receiver Dominique Edison, cornerback Pete Ittersagen, center Kevin Matthews, safety Myron Rolle and linebacker Patrick Trahan to the practice squad.
Jimmicane in Cardiff, Calif., writes: After visiting Jacksonville's camp, what's your overall feeling about the team? Did they change your expectations for them this season at all? What did you see that surprised you the most? Thanks.

Paul Kuharsky: When Joe Cullen said during organized team activities that his defensive line was going to lead the team, I thought it a little ambitious. But for long stretches I couldn’t take my eyes off the high-energy group. I don’t know how good it’ll be, but they will play awfully hard and with good technique.

David Garrard is the same, and until protection is shored up and a second receiver emerges, I don’t know that we can expect too big an improvement. Free safety is a huge concern.

I think they might be better but don’t know if it necessarily shows up in their record.

Peter in Nashville writes: It is really unfortunate that Michael Griffin had to endure so much criticism without being able to reveal the extent of his injury, not to say his injury was the full cause … With this new information, do you believe he will bounce back and have a strong year, or do you think he will have another rough year? Also, at the end of your article you threw in the possibility of Johnson stepping in for him. Do you really see that as a possibility? Clearly you are better connected than I am, but I just don't see Jeff Fisher doing that after one bad, injury plagued year, particularly not to a young former 1st round pick who has showed he can be great. Thanks Paul.

Paul Kuharsky: Griffin would have to be bad and Johnson would have to be very good for Griffin to get benched. I’m not ready to attribute all of last year to the injury -- a bad shoulder doesn’t lead a guy to bite on play-action, does it? But the defensive coordinator, Chuck Cecil, was a safety and if he thinks a change is needed he will push for it, I believe.

I think Griffin’s a complicated guy and can make excuses and I don’t know if he’s got everything sorted out.

So I am certainly not ready to pronounce he’ll be back to that Pro Bowl form. We’ll have to wait and see.

Randolph Kahn in New Jersey writes: I'm interested in knowing how Mitch King and Fili Moala look in camp.

Paul Kuharsky: Me too. Moala’s development will be interesting to chronicle, and the team’s expectations will rise after what amounted to a red shirt year.

King, like Antonio Johnson, actually got his start in Tennessee. He went to the Titans last year as an undrafted rookie despite a crowd at defensive tackle, largely because he thought working with Jim Washburn might line him up for success down the road no matter where he wound up. Then he was hurt.

I’ll be sure to let you know how they are looking next week.

Brian in Houston writes: What are the chances Dorin Dickerson pushes Jacoby Jones or David Anderson for their job this season?

Paul Kuharsky: Low. He’s a developmental guy changing over from tight end. I think expectations for Jones are too high generally, but they should be a lot higher than expectations this year for Dickerson. And David Anderson can be very good at what he does. Barring injury I cannot see Dickerson getting snaps in front of either during meaningful action this year.

Tyler in Charlotte, N.C., writes: Do you believe Dominique Edison will get a chance this year for the Titans? I remember him making an amazing touchdown catch in preseason game his rookie year. I believe he deserves a chance. Do you?

Paul Kuharsky: Yeah. What he’s getting right now in training camp is called a chance. Is that how poor the expectations have gotten for Titans receivers? One catch last year in the preseason has you hopeful?

He could force them to keep seven receivers, but then would likely not play barring injuries. That would mean they have to judge him a better football player than the last guy at another position.

Tony in Austin writes: In "Reading the Coverage" you never link to article on Is it because they are too biased?

Paul Kuharsky: I don’t look too much to the team websites for interesting reads. Bias is the wrong word, but you’re not generally going to find critical or discerning eyes there. Vic Ketchman is an in-house analyst for the Jags and that makes him different. The other three teams don’t have that sort of voice from the inside.
David from Orange Park, Fla., writes: The NFL just cancelled the remainder of the Jaguars OTA's for the spring. I believe the term used by the NFL was that the OTA's were too "intense." It's no secret that the league wants to increase the number of regular season games to 18. Is the NFL sending a signal to the players that team activities during the offseason are going to be monitored more closely to minimize the injury factor? The NFL appears to be laying the foundation for CBA negotiations to expand the regular season and to modify the offseason workout activities for their teams.

Paul Kuharsky: It’s not just the league, it’s the league and the NFL Players Association. It’s clear the players aren’t putting up with business as usual, putting the league in position to have no choice but to crack down. Someone’s reported the Ravens, Raiders, Jags and Lions. I would too. If the rules are bargained for and on the books, they should be enforced.

If they go to 18 games, the offseason work will get lightened.

Philippe Bourdon from Bristol, Conn., writes: Of course Vince Young should be disciplined. What does it matter if he received the equivalent of a Motor Vehicle citation? What did Ben Roethlisberger receive the equivalent of? Oh, that's right, the equivalent of nothing... He wasn't charged. If Goodell doesn't discipline Young, he will only emphasize what he is, and that is extremely inconsistent in his ruling. The NFLPA should never have granted him so much power when it comes to player behavior. Shame on them and shame on Goodell for abusing his power.

Paul Kuharsky: Actually Goodell’s not inconsistent with first-time offenders whose troubles weren’t major. They don’t get suspended.

Justin from French Lick, Ind., writes: Since Albert Haynesworth wants a trade, do you think the colts would have enough money to try and trade for him. He would be a big help in the middle of the field. Maybe try and package draft picks with Mathis, since we draft Hughes in the first round?

Paul Kuharsky: They drafted Jerry Hughes to learn behind Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, not to immediately replace one and then have no third outside rusher again.

They don’t want a Haynesworth type and they don’t generally deal picks for players.

Peter in Nashville writes: What is this I just read about a chat hiatus? Are you serious? C'mon. I work at a bank. The most exciting thing going on here is that a new Sweet Cici's is opening across the street. Cut me a break. There are only so many ways for me to waste time. Your chats got me through my statistics class last semester; help me out a little more. Thank ya much.

Paul Kuharsky: I have some vacation coming up. You want me fresh for camp and the season, no?

Jim from Greenville, S.C., writes: Who makes the roster of the three Titans WR's Marc Mariani, Dominique Edison or Paul Williams? Is there a chance two make the roster?

Paul Kuharsky: Lavelle Hawkins is the X factor to me. Presuming he holds fourth, then right now I’d guess Damian Williams will wind up fifth, Mariani sixth, Edison seventh and missing out, Paul Williams finally gone.

My brother lives in Taylors. We were down there Memorial Day weekend. Downtown Greenville is fantastic.

“Critic” from parts unknown writes: Your response to the reader questioning the media's regularly positive take of Peyton Manning and their general lack of scrutiny towards him despite his mediocre postseason totals, including his win/loss record was very unprofessional in my humble opinion. You treated the guy like it was blasphemy to even attempt to measure the greatness of a QB by his postseason play, and I know you will probably not think twice about my comments to you, but perhaps you should check your cocky, pretentious attitude at the door before you respond to your loyal readers. Just a thought

Paul Kuharsky: Of course it’s not blasphemy. But downgrading Manning’s regular season success is just silly. And people expect me to call silly, silly.

If you read me with any regularity, I’m kind of hard-nosed and sarcastic. Works well for a lot of people, not as well for others.

I always appreciate hearing from both sides -- especially when they attach their name to their email.
SEATTLE -- At a 20-yard line, above a CBS banner, a fan has a sign with a counter on it. It’s set at 1,872.

Based on how well and how quickly the fan in control of it computes Chris Johnson’s rushing yards, it could be a very handy tool helping CJ and the Titans and those of us in the press box track a potentially record day.

No surprises on the inactive list at Qwest Field, as beautiful a building as I expected in my first visit.

Here are the guys not suiting up:



Is Kern kosher with pregame pants?

December, 25, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Christmas night callout for illegal procedure: Titans punter Brett Kern is wearing gray sweatpants either over, or instead of, his uniform pants while holding for Rob Bironas’ pregame field goals.

Brett, buddy, everyone is cold out there. Am I wrong in saying he needs to tough it out? Nashville sportswriter David Boclair points out Kern’s legs are his livelihood and maybe it’s akin to a pitcher wearing a jacket when he runs the bases.

I am told Kern even wears them during the game and takes them off when it’s time to punt or hold.

Do we think Ray Guy did that?


Only one lineup change from the pre-printed flip cards -- Nick Hardwick is starting at center for the Chargers.

Inactives are in, I know you’ve been waiting anxiously all day, so without further delay:


Dolphins-Titans inactives

December, 20, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Lineup alterations in Nashville:

Kenny Britt starts ahead of Justin Gage for the Titans, while Gerald McRath starts for David Thornton, out with a shoulder injury.

Joe Berger starts at center for Jake Grove and Nate Garner starts at right guard for Donald Thomas for the Dolphins.

The full list of inactives:



Posted by’s Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Colts safety Bob Sanders and Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan are among the inactive for Colts-Titans Sunday night.

Rookie Jason McCourty will start for Finnegan and another rookie, Ryan Mouton, is already slated to play nickel.

Meanwhile, Tony Ugoh starts at left tackle for the Colts for the injured Charlie Johnson.

Less expected is the Titans’ shake-up move: defensive end Jevon Kearse is a healthy scratch, replaced in the starting lineup at left end by William Hayes.

Colts’ inactives:

QB Curtis Painter
WR Anthony Gonzalez
CB Kelvin Hayden
CB Marlin Jackson
RB Mike Hart
DT Fili Moala

Titans’ inactives:

WR Dominique Edison
DB Vincent Fuller
LB Colin Allred
OL Troy Kropog
WR Lavelle Hawkins
DT Jason Jones

Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

PITTSBURGH -- One important note about Friday from the perspective of the Titans.

If there is a veteran player they are interested in adding, they get a jump on the rest of the league at being able to add him without big financial risk.

Vested veterans on a roster Week 1 see their salary for the entire season guaranteed. But starting the day after a team's first game, there is no such guarantee.

Tennessee and Pittsburgh can sign a veteran Friday or Saturday and will only be on the hook for his contract week by week. That added flexibility then makes that player more cutable later.

The rest of the league won't be in a similar position until Monday or Tuesday.

So if the Titans wanted, for example, to add receiver Matt Jones now, they can do so with no real financial risk. If it didn’t work out or if they decided later that Dominique Edison and Lavelle Hawkins provide sufficient depth at receiver, they could cut Jones and not have to pay him any further.

Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

Keith in North Carolina writes: Fantasy Question: Who had the edge for third WR in Indy? I drafted Garcon b/c he's a speedy edge player. But will Austion Collie have more of a fantasy impact as a Brandon Stokley type possession guy? Who would be better to have if Wayne or Gonzalez goes down?

Paul Kuharsky: I can't say. I think the Colts are going to use both, but my sense is Collie is really going to be in the slot. So Garcon will be more equipped to be outside in a two-receiver set.

Matthew Roberts in Albuquerque, NM writes: Hey Paul - is there any reason why Jax wouldn't consider getting in on the Marshall sweepstakes? The receiver position has been a thorn in their sides for years. Will the draft picks they used on their offensive line this year and assuming Monroe and Britton won't be busts, they could have a pretty potent offense for years to come. On the flip side, he does seem like a prima donna and I'm sure they still have a bad taste in their mouths from Porter last year, but the latter was a stupid move. Marshall seems like he's going to be high caliber for a long time to come. Best Regards, Matt

Paul Kuharsky: You answer your own question. Part of the reason it's been a bad spot for them is because of the kind of guys they had. Having just cleaned out Matt Jones, Reggie Williams and Jerry Porter, another -- if different and more talented -- problem child is not what they need to cure their ills.

Lance in Spartnaburg, SC writes: Should I not get overly excited about Edison's performance on Thursday or did we get a gift late in the draft...there were a couple of really nice adjustments.

Paul Kuharsky: Yeah, remain calm.

Dominique Edison has been good and dependable. But the Titans have had other rookies fit that MO before who haven’t gotten a lot of chances or done well with the ones they got.

With Titans' receivers, it's best to always be cautiously optimistic at most. If this team is healthy, Justin Gage, Nate Washington, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, Bo Scaife and Chris Johnson -- in no particular order -- should all rank ahead of Edison as pass catchers. And I'd be careful being too high too soon on Britt too.

Ryan in Brownstown, Jamaica writes: Is there any way that Sage can end up back in Houston?

Paul Kuharsky: Seems highly unlikely to me. And I'd think Minnesota would look to move Tarvaris Jackson, not Rosenfels, since the Vikings have now acquired two different quarterbacks they wanted to replace Jackson. But you might ask Kevin Seifer over at NFC North HQ.

Houston made a pretty good investment in Dan Orlovsky, I think he'll get a lot of time to break habits and learn what they want. And Rex Grossman is an up and down guy who's up right now.

Titans: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009

Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

Biggest surprise: Chris Henry survives again? It’s hard to think that if they look to add someone in the next couple days it won’t put the running back at risk. But the third-year runner got at least an initial spot as the Titans waived-injured Quinton Ganther, a more valuable and versatile player as the fourth back He suffered a calf injury in the preseason finale. Hardly as big on the list of surprises: the end for veteran linebackers Ryan Fowler, Josh Stamer and Rocky Boiman, leaving the team with very young depth; Patrick Ramsey sticking as a third quarterback; and the survival of cornerback Cary Williams.

No-brainers: The Titans kept nine defensive linemen. The lowest ranking of the bunch is probably second-round pick Sen’Derrick Marks and the Titans certainly intend to give him time to develop. They kept four tight ends, a move never in doubt with Jared Cook in his first year and Craig Stevens in his second. Receiver Paul Williams showed very little in two seasons since the Titans spent a third-rounder on him and it was certainly time to look to someone like rookie Dominique Edison instead.

What's next: Sixth-round draft pick Jason McCourty, looks to have an early chance to be a special teams contributor and should survive ahead of Cary Williams at cornerback if the Titans make a move to upgrade depth. But corner depth and the punt return job remain the two largest concerns.
Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans finished their five-game preseason with a lot of things to feel good about in a 27-13 win over the Packers.

Return man Mark Jones fumbled last week on a kickoff, and his first action of the preseason didn’t instill a lot of confidence. This time he was confident, assertive, effective and fast, opening with a 22-yard punt return and a 44-yard kickoff return.

Did he come into the night thinking his roster spot was in jeopardy?

“After last week, yes,” he said. “I know I didn’t want to put that on tape and tonight I got to come in and show these guys I can come in and be their returner, know that I can make the decisions. I’m feeling pleased with my performance and the guys did a great job blocking.”

He said he’s now not expecting bad news Saturday.

Jones didn’t play any receiver against the Packers. He said he knows the Titans were evaluating a lot of other receivers and what his primary job was to be, so he wasn’t at all upset. But ultimately he knows he needs to show he can help there when needed.

“Most teams have somebody who can also play a position instead of just returning,” he said. “I didn’t get that many opportunities this week in practice but I was ready if my number was called.”

Backup quarterback Vince Young looked good again, making decisive throws and decisions about when to run. He got to work with the first team offense into the second quarter when the Packers pulled their front-line defense quickly and he took it too them like the Titans would expect.

He was seven of 12 for 85 yards with a TD for a 108.0 passer rating and he ran five times for 38 yards and another TD while absorbing two sacks.

“That’s just getting comfortable, man, growing up,” he said when I asked about his pass or run selections. “I think as a quarterback, you can’t just go out there and go right off the top especially when it’s a new offense and last year it was a new offense for me, I was kind of learning on the run.

“Now I’ve had some time to sit back and learn the offense and when you learn the offense you can showcase your talent more just reading the defense and things like that. I take my hat off to the offensive coordinator. Sitting out last year and paying attention to Kerry Collins, the different things that he was doing and how our offense functioned it helped me out a whole lot.”

The Titans have to be feeling as good about him as they have in a while.

(Read full post)

Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

The Titans are going to take a closer look at Matt Jones.

The troubled receiver has been out there since the Jaguars cut him March 16.

I think he can be an effective possession receiver, assuming he’s got his off-the-field stuff together. He'll benefit from the differing expectations of a new team counting on him to convert a third-and-7 rather than a team looking for him to be a big-play receiver, as Jacksonville inevitably did when it spent the 21st pick in the 2005 draft on a player who was a quarterback at Arkansas.

I know Titans fans are going to jump to conclusions, but having Jones in and signing him are two different moves. (Recall, please, Byron Leftwich.)

Would he be the right guy for the Titans?

Well, I think Justin Gage is a more physical, more polished version of the same cut of receiver and that first-round pick Kenny Britt can be, too. Would you be stunting Britt’s growth by bringing in Jones?

Yes, many had Jones running a sub 4.4 40 coming out, but as he developed as a receiver I don't think he played nearly that fast. Ask any Jaguars fan if he was threatening defenses deep.

Adding Jones wouldn’t be indicting Gage, the injured Nate Washington or Britt. It would be saying the Titans aren’t completely confident in Dominique Edison, a sixth-round draft pick, or Lavelle Hawkins, a fourt- rounder from 2008, who’s still not reliable enough.

My guess is the Titans want to be poised to grab Jones, but that they’d hope to find a better fit -- a shiftier, faster and more explosive guy who also might be a return candidate -- on Saturday when they comb through players cut around the league.
Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans got big finishes on their final day of camp.

First the offense executed two two-minute drives effectively. Then rookie receiver Kenny Britt finished his leg in the team's annual dizzy bat race with an impressive flourish, especially considering he must have been at least a bit tipsy -- a cartwheel into a back handspring.

On offense Kerry Collins and the first-team offense were in need of a field goal and took over with 55 seconds on the clock and a timeout in hand. The quarterback moved the offense into range with a diet of passes to tight ends, throwing twice to Bo Scaife and once to Alge Crumpler and Jared Cook.

The second team offense needed a touchdown and got the ball with 1:30 left and a timeout. Vince Young hit LenDale White over the middle, Craig Stevens on the right and Paul Williams on the left. Then, after Young fielded a high snap by Fernando Velasco, Dominique Edison went up the ladder on the right sideline and pulled in a pass Cary Williams seemed in good position to defend. The next two passes went to Lavelle Hawkins, a short ball he took out of bounds and a touchdown to him slanting across the middle of the end zone from 15 or 20 yards out that beat Donnie Nickey.

Jeff Fisher emphasized that the drill in the unpadded practice was favorable to the offense because it lacked full speed rush situations but was please to see so many plays made.

Said left tackle Michael Roos "We did pretty well at it last year and it's one of the things coach Fisher always harps on from the defensive standpoint getting off the field and on offense making sure you win the drive. If you get a penalty or a sack statistics show you lose that drive. You've got to be sharp, you've got to be focused and know what to do."

"Usually it's not that complicated of a route scheme or protections. It's knowing who you've got and what you have to do and being able to do it in a split second."

As for Britt's big finish, Fisher described it thusly: “That was a back flip and a round off half spring thing that you can't do after touchdowns because you can't use the ground as a prop. That was impressive.”

Britt's next move wasn't nearly as stylish.

He tried to drag rookie cornerback Ryan Mouton, out with a high left ankle sprain and in a walking boot, to be spun by teammates and doused with all kinds of stuff from the team's kitchen. They were both saved from potential tragedy by the horn that ended camp.
Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans had a somewhat eventful day as they head toward the conclusion of camp on Wednesday. The team released receiver Chris Davis and watched receiver Nate Washington go down hard.

Jeff Fisher said the move with Davis, recently charged with DUI, was more about his hamstring injury, which wouldn't allow the team any further time to evaluate him.

He said Washington's "got a little mild hamstring going, but we'll have to check it out."

Washington had the entire team holding its breath when he crumpled after streaking deep for a pass during one-on-ones against cornerback Jason McCourty. The news from Fisher could be worse once doctors get back to him.

First-round draft pick Kenny Britt will work with Justin Gage as a starter while Washington is out, with Dominique Edison and Lavelle Hawkins behind them.

As for Davis, he's the third Titans receiver in recent memory to be a standout during OTAs and wind up not making the roster come late summer, following Courtney Roby and Biren Ealy.

I missed the mark completely when I allowed myself to read too much into Davis' big summer and speculate that he could follow a career path like Derrick Mason's.

"We're evaluating receivers, we've got a good group of young receivers and we didn't feel like Chris is going to make our club," Fisher said. "So with the injury and everything else to consider, it was the logical place to go for the roster spot.

I think the team will come to miss him more as a return man, but Fisher said the team "still has plenty of options."

Players seemed to calculate the DUI into the equation more than Fisher was willing to say the team did.

"The organization felt like they had to do it and that's just kind of part of it, we go with what they say and we move on," quarterback Kerry Collins said. "He had a real good spring and he was only here [healthy] for a short time in camp but he was definitely going to be in the mix for that last spot and returning and all that kind of stuff. But we move on."

The Titans also released injured guard/center Doug Datish and Fisher said the team would look to fill the two roster spots to help it get through the preseason.