AFC South: Frank Scelfo

Reading the coverage…

Houston Texans

Adding to the Texans' concern about right tackle: Derek Newton is recovering from major knee surgery, according to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Indianapolis Colts

Free agent cornerback Jerraud Powers is finding out how at least two other teams feel about him, says Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Could the Jaguars reunite University of Arizona quarterback Matt Scott with his position coach from college, Frank Scelfo, who’s now in Jacksonville? Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union considers.

Tennessee Titans

At least five teams have inquired about Titans free agent defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.
When the Jaguars' new quarterbacks coach, Frank Scelfo, recently talked of how Blaine Gabbert would rank in the 2013 draft, some shrugged it off as spin.

But Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth considers the idea that Gabbert’s age means he could actually be part of this draft class. Instead the Jaguars quarterback heads into 2013 with two seasons of NFL lumps already in his pocket.

“For Scelfo and the Jaguars, this means that a clear-thinking appraisal of the bird in hand should keep the team from rushing too quickly into the bush,” Tanier writes. “… [T]here are several quarterbacks older than Gabbert in this draft class: Landry Jones, Tyler Wilson, Collin Klein, Jordan Rodgers and a few others hanging around the fringe of prospect status. When we are appraising a player's ‘potential,’ shouldn't we at least acknowledge that there are players knocking around the NFL who are the same age or younger, guys who may taken some lumps in the pros, but at least took those lumps in the pros?”

It’s a good point. Any team would rather have a quick-impact draft pick quarterback -- Robert Griffin, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick.

But there are guys who take longer and turn out to be pretty good. Gabbert’s environment has been closer to Alex Smith’s than any of those guys. He’s 23, and still has time.

To me, Gabbert’s arrow is pointing down. But I still urge people to remember it’s been only two years, and a ton of quarterbacks were bad in their first two years and wound up good players. Gabbert is not going to be Steve Young, but how was Young’s early career?

Tanier also isn’t saying Gabbert’s going to be a quality NFL quarterback. He’s merely examining the circumstances.
Gabbert is now perceived as a flop who needs his quarterback coach to stand up for him. Wilson will be a lower draft choice (and get less guaranteed money) but is getting high marks in NFL circles for battling through the Arkansas mess and proving that he can throw passes under fire and stand up for himself and teammates during a crisis.

Most observers would consider Wilson a much better prospect than Gabbert right now. Don't lie: If you heard that your team drafted Wilson in the third round, you would be pleased, but if you heard that your team traded a third-round pick for Gabbert, you would howl about trading for a retread. That's despite the fact that both are coming off losing seasons for nightmare teams, and despite the fact that Wilson is actually two months older.

New QB coach sees the good in Gabbert

February, 13, 2013
Greg Olson tried. So did Mike Sheppard.

Now it’s Frank Scelfo's turn to try to mold Blaine Gabbert into an effective NFL quarterback.

The Jaguars' new quarterbacks coach took a good tact as he spoke with the Jacksonville media on Tuesday.

From Scelfo via Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union:
“If you graded [Gabbert] out right now, this is his draft class. If he were coming out and the quarterback draft class the way it is, would he be the top guy taken? I think the answer is yes.

“Ask the scouting departments and the general managers around the league and I think you would end up with a yes on that. Basically at his age, 23, the number-one pick in the draft with two years of experience already under his belt. That’s pretty good.’’

Scelfo and Jaguars coaches can’t talk football with Gabbert until April.

(What a victory that was for the NFLPA in CBA negotiations! They may not have altered commissioner Roger Goodell’s power, but they managed to keep young players who need all the time they can get with their coaches from even a casual football discussion with new coaches early in the offseason. The players got absolutely smoked by the owners.)

Scelfo said he sees the good in people, which is just the sort of thing Gabbert needs.

“There are so many factors that go into a quarterback’s development. There’s never been a guy who’s been defined by his first two years as to who he’s going to be for the rest of his career,” Scelfo said. “My challenge to Blaine is don’t let the first two years define what your career is going to end up.

“You watch some guys who are pretty good players who don’t have the tools he has.’’

The franchise has been patient with Gabbert. He’s got a third staff in three years and will benefit from the fact that no great alternative in free agency or the draft is staring the Jaguars in the face. A year from now, that may not be the case.

He’ll dig in, get to know Scelfo, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and coach Gus Bradley.

And we’ll see if more lights come on for Gabbert in Year 3.

AFC South links: Suh on Schaub kick, again

January, 25, 2013
Houston Texans

Intentional or not, the kick Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh gave to Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is still being talked about. Suh, following Thursday's Pro Bowl practice, said: "People kind of had their minds made up already. I would never want to kick someone in that area.”

Houston added eight free agents to its roster, including former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Stephen McGee and practice squad quarterback Case Keenum.

Duane Brown, a first-team All-Pro and first-time Pro Bowler, appears to be earning some of the recognition he's worked so hard for. The Texans' left tackle tells's Nick Scurfield, "The first night, Peyton Manning came up to me and I talked to him. I didn’t feel like he would know exactly who I was, but he just told me how great of a player I was. That meant a lot."

Texans running back Justin Forsett can carry a football, but how well can he carry a basketball in a game with the Globetrotters?

Indianapolis Colts

Colts owner Jim Irsay is a man of his word, as witnessed from the $8,500 he sent to a lucky fan in his own Twitter contest.

With the addition of offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, the Colts' offense is unsure of what to expect for next season. But quarterback Andrew Luck says he has an idea, "I think it will be a hybrid. There's so many great things that coach Arians taught us, coached us up on. I think Pep has some really great stuff that he knows and he coached. I think we're going to do whatever gives us the best chance to win, whether it is chunk the ball or the short stuff, we'll figure it out." writer Craig Kelley takes a look back at Chuck Pagano's first year and the expectations the head coach faces in 2013. "One year smarter, Pagano is leading the charge into Year 2. It is one he relishes. The resiliency he saw organization-wide is what he wishes for this year."

Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock says the Jaguars need a quarterback plan “first and foremost” before filling needs elsewhere. J.P. Shadrick of has more on the team from Senior Bowl practices.

The Jaguars' coaching staff is starting to come together. Joining coach Gus Bradley will be quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo, offensive line coach George Yarno and defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker.

Tennessee Titans

The Music City Miracle, otherwise known as the description of Frank Wycheck’s lateral to Kevin Dyson for a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Tennessee’s 22-16 win against Buffalo, made ESPN's top 10 list of “top calls in sports history.”