AFC South: Jared Lorenzen
The Jaguars trimmed their roster to 75 Tuesday.
They waived four rookies:
Tight end Jared Lorenzen
Defensive tackle Jervonte Jackson
Wide receiver Clarence Denmark
Wide receiver Maurice Dupree
The team also placed cornerback Don Carey on injured reserve.
GM Gene Smith took some heat in Cleveland in early August when the Jaguars claimed Carey after the Browns waived him injured. Such claims are rare, and the Browns certainly hoped to retain a player who was a sixth-round pick. But the Jaguars clearly feel Carey could help them down the road and didn’t break any rules by claiming him and dedicating a roster spot to him until now, something Cleveland was unwilling to do.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Justin in Omaha,NE writes: I've seen the Draft Value Chart, but it seem like it values the #1 pick too high. Most teams wouldn't trade for the # pick. I know there are reasons for that - lack of a clear elite prospect worthy of the #1 pick, guaranteed money, and most teams would rather have two picks in the 15-35 range than the #1 overall. So why isn't there an updated chart?
Paul Kuharsky: You raise an excellent point. I've often referred to a chart from NFLDraftScout.com and I know ESPN.com has one here.
I am sure there are varied versions in every draft room.
But while the shifting feeling about the value of No. 1 may change charts, I don't know that it really changes the trade value. Precedent is set by what kind of deals have been made in the past, and I suspect a team trading for less wouldn't want to face the questions about getting "below value," even if it's perceived as the correct value in the current landscape.
Nevertheless, you've inspired an idea and I am going to see if someone in our research department is interested in reworking or rewriting the chart, factoring in the circumstances you point out. If it comes about, you'll be deserving of credit for generating the idea.
Joe Johnson from parts unknown writes: hey paul, great work, i follow your blog every day, i was just wondering, why does everyone consider vince young a bust? I mean, the guy leads his team to the playoffs, he's a hero, then the next season he gets injured, and everyone's complaining about him being a bust. I mean, what's the big idea? What are your thoughts on the whole bust idea, Paul?
Paul Kuharsky: Thanks. Please keep clicking.
You really think the only reason Young got benched was the injury? He got benched because he quit and asked out of a game when things weren't going his way. He didn't show himself to be a strong-willed enough player to handle it when things got tough, and once it was no longer easy, he became a problem. He remains a problem, and tough times will always arrive for an NFL quarterback.
Jordan in Hendersonville, Tenn., writes: Hey Paul, with all of this talk about extending the regular season, I'm just wondering when the change will come into effect if in fact it is voted for. Certainly not the upcoming season because thats too short notice, but will it be the 2010 season or will it take longer?
Paul Kuharsky: Jordan refers to this debate on an expanded regular season from this week. It would be for 2011 at the earliest, seems to me.
Daniel in Indianapolis writes: You mentioned in your colts on the clock article that Anthony Gonzalez is a "slot specialist", which is completely untrue. When Harrison was in, Gonzalez played mostly slot because Wayne had the other wide position, but that's about the only reason he was a slot player. Maybe the colts grabbed him thinking he'd fill Stokely's shoes, being a fast short white receiver, but he's really much better in the wide spot than in the slot. It might be worth writing an article about Gonzalez, comparing how he's done in the slot vs. out wide, or maybe just a more generic article about him, because all people really know about him is what they know from Ohio State, and that he's a Colts wr.
Paul Kuharsky: You are right, Gonzalez was outside plenty last season. I felt like it was as much to get Reggie Wayne inside and create problems as it was to get Gonzalez outside. I don't know that I agree he was better outside, but I was unable to watch him in a way where I could compare thoroughly his production inside and out.
Around the league, many personnel people still consider Gonzalez very much a slot guy, and surely it's not only because he might have similarities to Brandon Stokley.
You can be sure that I will write about Gonzalez down the road.
Ross in Brentwood writes: Have to let you know (after reading the chat transcript) that a couple of months ago I had the opportunity to see Kings of Leon at Madison Square Garden, and I was in shock at the following they have. I would consider myself a casual fan at best, free tickets got me there, but they put on a great show and the place was completely packed. They're huge across the pond over in the UK and Europe, I don't know why the U.S. hasn't gotten on board as much. Maybe the idea of a rock band coming out of Nashville is just too weird for many to accept...oh well, here's hoping they do get more exposure! And a quick Titans question/comment...do you really see them splitting Johnson out wide more? I think that comment from Fisher is more of his standard "You'll never get a straight answer out of me" rhetoric. Based on last season I think they could've at least split him out wide even just as a decoy (like a certain former CB who likes video games...) if they were concerned about putting too much on his plate. I would like to see it happen, but I think they view him more as a pure RB who will do everything out of the backfield, especially now that they've signed Washington to start at WR and are possibly in the mix for Holt still. Just a thought, keep it up with the blog, it's great!
Paul Kuharsky: I've seen Kings of Leon several times in Nashville -- including at the Ryman Auditorium, the best place to see a show -- and they're great live.
Funny that they're huge in Europe and only getting a bit of buzz in the U.S. They sell out big venues there in 20 minutes, I've read. (If you have no idea what we are talking about, I encourage you to listen to a couple of songs.)
As for Chris Johnson: Yes, I think they will split him out more, put him in motion more, just to make things more complicated for defenses and to try to find some mismatches. And I'd be fine with that. Though the better the wide receivers, the less necessary it might be.
John in Jacksonville writes: Hey Paul, I am an avid reader of your postings, they're great. Now what do you think about Louis Delmas of W. Michigan? I think he would be great selection for the Jags in the 2nd if Ron Brace isn't still there. I've heard he's athletic, gutsy and physical but has durability concerns due to his small frame. What say you?
Paul Kuharsky: I appreciate your clicks and the compliment, John.
Sounds like Delmas is a playmaker in coverage, but there are questions about how he would hold up as a run defender. I think the Jaguars like Reggie Nelson as their free safety and if/when they address strong safety they'll look for a more physical, durable type. Or they could put Brian Williams there and get a corner.
Walter in Greensboro, N.C., writes: OK, accepting (though reluctantly I must admit) that the Titans under Fisher will always be a run first offense and therefore employ bigger WRs who can block; would it not still be a good idea to have at least one gamebreaker at the WR position? Is there any hope of the Titans going WR in the 1st, or am I just fooling myself?
Paul Kuharsky: Of course it would still be a good idea. Easier said than done, however, in terms of finding him. They're out of range of Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin, who would fit the bill. Scouts have told me Hakeem Nicks or Kenny Britt will be capable of contributing from Day One. But how often have we seen the Titans plug a rookie wideout into the lineup right away? I suspect with either of those two, and certainly with Percy Harvin, we'd be placing bets as to whether he'd dress for opening day, not whether he'd have a ball thrown his way.
Possible in the first, not probable. Hard to predict against a long record of doing something different.
Robert in Muncie, Ind., writes: Any chance the Colts resign Marvin Harrison? If he dosen't receive any serious offers by the start of training camp, do you think he might take a pay cut and come back to Indy?
Paul Kuharsky: My sense is the Colts have moved on. They'll draft a wide receiver high. Harrison could surface somewhere during camp. Or the league could collectively agree he's done. The chances of him returning to Indy are slim, and I think it would only happen if they suffered a slew of injuries at the position in camp.
Brian in Clarksville writes: Hey Paul I need to get something off my chest that bothers me with the so called experts who say that the Titans don't need a great #1 WR because they're a running team and whenever a fan calls for the team to address it you and people of your ilk are quick to point out how the Titans were 13-3 last year with said group of #2s and #3s. I'm sorry, but the Titans did NOT go 13-3 with their WRs, they went 13-3 with the Defence (who no longer has a certain huge DT) and because of Chris Johnson being money. We all saw how the team did in the 2nd half of the playoff game without CJ. It's not that I think the Titans need to change philosophy and become the 1999 Rams or 2007 Patriots, but theres zero doubt in my mind that a legit #1 WR would have changed that playoff game. I want you to think real hard and be honest, right now, with the current WRs the Titans have, in a playoff game against a playoff defence, how confident are you in the Titans marching 80 yards in under 1:30 to tie the game and CJ is too hurt to play. Because I don't have much confidence in that situation at all. The reason why one would have more confidence in the Colts or Steelers or Patriots or even Arizona succeeding isn't just because of Manning, or Rothlisburger, or Brady, or Warner. They can do it because they have Reggie Wanye, Haynes Ward, Santonio Holmes, Randy Moss, LArry Fitzgerald, and Anquon Bolden. So, please please please, next time you feel like saying or typing that the Titans went 13-3 with their WRs, take a moment as ask yourself, was it REALLY with those receivers, or despite them and without CJ or the defence the Titans are easily beatable. And pass it along to McClain and everyone at 104.5.
Paul Kuharsky: No, they really did go 13-3 with those receivers. With them or despite them, those were the guys on their roster and that was their record. Yes, the success was predominantly because they're built to play defense and run it. Don't get upset with analysts who are merely pointing out their philosophy.
I think that's really the issue here -- I am not telling you so much what I think they should do as what I expect they will do. If they finally drafted a first-round receiver, do you think Nicks or Britt would be in the lineup opening day? I think we'd be debating whether they would even dress him.
Certainly against Baltimore, once Johnson went down, the Titans' lack of a second dynamic playmaker was completely exposed. And I am completely on board with the idea they need another dynamic playmaker -- and it would now make sense that he be a receiver. I've thought they do poorly finding dynamic playmakers for the 12 years I've been around them.
You can't have confidence in a team's ability to drive to a crucial score just because it has a big-play wide receiver, or just because it has a capable clutch quarterback. It needs both.
Brian in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: Happy Chat Day, Paul. The quarterback question has been big in Jaguar and titan camp, however I'd like to pose this with respect to the Colts. Last year they brought in Gray and Lorenzen in hopes of getting a solid backup for Manning. Peyton is going on year 12 and with knee surgery under his belt. I don't think he has lost much, if any, of what makes him so great but at what point do the Colts seriously consider drafting a guy to groom under him? The Colts don't have a load of draft picks they could leverage as trade, nor do I see them including any players in a package, but at what point does QB become a draft need? If Manning goes down there is not much to hope for coming off the bench and there isn't youth waiting in the wings.
Paul Kuharsky: They may have hoped Gray or Lorenzen proved to be better than Jim Sorgi if they needed a stopgap. In no way were they thinking one of those guys would be Manning's heir.
I believe it's too early for them to be looking for that guy. And the Jaguars are like a lot of teams -- if their top player goes down, they're in big trouble. That's why what New England did without Tom Brady last year was truly remarkable. The Colts need to use picks and resources to help Manning while he's still in his prime -- and he just won the MVP so it's hard to suggest his best football is behind him. My feeling is they can worry about the post-Manning downturn when the time comes. Bill Polian will draft a quarterback at some point that he hopes can develop under Manning in his final two seasons or so. Those seasons are a way off still.
Robert F. Ludwick from parts unknown writes: Paul, I find myself hopelessly clicking on your blog for updates several times throughout a day. What is this affliction called? Kuharskitis? Aside from actually solving the affliction, I at least have an idea that addresses the side effects -- the disappointment I feel when there are no new posts when I check. You should write more often! :D
Paul Kuharsky: I hope Kuharskitis doesn't itch.
Ah, man, the pressure.
I appreciate the clicks and encourage you to visit early and often. And I assure everyone I am not related to Robert. (I posted some bashers in a recent mailbag, I thought for the sake of fairness I'd give voice to someone who likes me.)
There will be patches where things slow a bit -- this week sure felt like it was one of those. But know, too, that sometimes when the post rate slows a bit, there will be a payoff at the end in the form of a column post (like this week on the Jaguars' leadership), an ESPN.com article outside the blog (that you can be sure the blog will point you to) or participation in a blogger debate (which I also did last week and linked to above).
Also, you and other readers can have a direct impact: A well-timed good question in the mailbag sometime demands immediate reporting or commentary and picks up the pace all by itself.
I can't thank you enough for reading and taking the time to write.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts may wind up finding out if they are two-deep at quarterback.
While their preseason results in recent years have proven to be as meaningless as any team in the league, it was hard not to conclude tonight they definitely are not three deep at the most important spot on the field.
But who is?
With Peyton Manning still recovering from knee surgery and Jim Sorgi scratched because of a knee injury of his own, Jared Lorenzen was mediocre in the first half (long pass: 13 yards) and Quinn Gray was horrible in the second (four interceptions).
The Colts lost 20-7 to Buffalo in the first NFL game of any variety at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Coach Tony Dungy said Sorgi took a hit in the Colts' game last week in Atlanta.
"He came out of it OK, practiced on Wednesday and did fine, just had a little bit more swelling and a little bit more soreness every day and even (Saturday) was still pretty good when we took our final drill work," he said. "In warm-ups he didn't feel 100 percent. If it was a regular season game he probably would have played, but we felt it was best not to play."
Dungy admitted the thought process in holding Sorgi out was that the team didn't want to expose itself to further concerns at quarterback. While officials are publicly optimistic about Manning, who watched the game in street clothes, the team wants to be sure Sorgi is the worst alternative to be considered come Sept. 7 when the team starts the regular season here by hosting Chicago.
"There was no point in jeopardizing him tonight," Dungy said.
Indianapolis has a quick turnaround with its fifth and final preseason game here Thursday night against Cincinnati and fans could be in line to see more of the Gray and Lorenzen. If center Jeff Saturday, who left this game with a knee injury, is out, will they want to put Sorgi at risk behind an incomplete line even if his knee is feeling good? Dungy expects Saturday to have an MRI.
Since signing just before camp, Lorenzen and Gray have flip-flopped taking the second-team snaps and Lorenzen was in line to work with the twos, so he just moved up a spot when Sorgi was pulled after warm-ups.
He offered the same assurances that team has been offering up since July 14, when Manning had an infected bursa sac in his left knee removed.
"Offensively, to the fans: You can relax," Lorenzen said. "You can ask Quinn or even Jim this, we're not 18, 18 will have this offense going the way he wants it. He is extremely good, he is extremely confident and this offense will be fine.
"When it comes to us, we're learning, we're getting there. There is a lot of stuff I wanted to do better, just didn't. We've got to execute better and we can't turn the ball over."
Gray did get a deep ball down the middle over rookie cornerback Leodis McKelvin to Devin Aromashodu, who took it 94 yards for the Colts' only touchdown. That third-quarter play helped the quarterback finish the game with a 66.1 passer rating even with the four picks.
"There are going to be nights like that," Gray said. "...I turned the ball over a few times. It was real unfortunate and very uncharacteristic."
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Jared Lorenzen was the surprise starting quarterback for the Colts tonight at Lucas Oil Stadium tonight. The team eventually announced that Sorgi is not playing, a coach's decision based on a "gimpy knee."
Meanwhile Dwight Freeney and Bob Sanders were in the starting lineup, getting the loudest cheers when the defense was introduced and appeared very active early. The two defensive stars missed all of camp and the Colts' first three preseason games as they rehabilitated inujuries from last season -- Freeney a foot and Sanders a shoulder.
Freeney rotated out a few times, but tried his patented spin move at least twice. Sanders was flying around as usual, and got in on a few early tackles. Sanders was done after the first quarter, in which press box stat keepers gave him five tackles. Freeney chased down quarterback J.P. Losman after a 10-yard gain early in the second quarter and tracked down running back Fred Jackson a bit later.
Hope to talk to them both after the game and tell you how they felt.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
|Andy Lyons/Getty Images|
|Marvin Harrison looks to rebound from an injury-marred 2007 season.|
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Colts officially wrapped up training camp this morning, with players and staff moving out of the dorms and offices at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
Here are thoughts on some key topics that the team carried into and out of camp:
Injuries have tested depth.
Fans here saw a lot of the Colts depth tested as quarterback Peyton Manning (knee), defensive end Dwight Freeney (foot) and safety Bob Sanders (shoulder) didn't take a single snap. A couple of other key players were also out all of camp: guard Ryan Lilja, linebacker Tyjuan Hagler and rookie tight end Tom Santi. There was no sense of panic around a team that's been pretty good at plugging in replacements and moving forward, though being without so many stars at once was certainly disconcerting.
Marvin Harrison is back.
The one good development on the injury front was the return of Marvin Harrison. Back from a knee issue, he was cutting sharply on the first day of camp and at the end, with an appearance in the team's second preseason game in between.
Reserve running backs are still up in the air.
Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes are set as the top two backs, but there is still time for the rest of the roles and roster spots to be sorted out. Mike Hart's been impressive with a 12.2-yard average on 12 carries through two games. Kenton Keith is not a great pass protector or pass catcher, which could mean he loses out to Clifton Dawson. Chad Simpson looks like he's en route to the practice squad.
Could there be a third quarterback?
While Jim Sorgi's role as Manning's primary backup does not appear to be in jeopardy, the Colts did sign two veterans in time to help handle the camp load. Might Quinn Gray or Jared Lorenzen be on the opening day roster if the Colts decide to carry a third QB for the first time in years? If so, it might be the biggest indicator that the team carries lingering concerns about Manning into the regular season.
Right guard is still undecided.
Veteran Charlie Johnson has started both preseason games but then quickly rotated with rookie Mike Pollak. Johnson would provide more versatility if he winds up the backup, but it's too early to say for sure which way the Colts will go.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
In his first practice working at the Colts No. 1 quarterback, Jim Sorgi looked pretty efficient and smooth at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.
He didn't miss on eight throws in the seven-on-seven period late in an unpadded practice, usually a good time to gauge a quarterback's comfort level and crispness. Tony Dungy smiled and nodded when he talked about Sorgi's precision.
In the quarterback's first period with the full offense, running back Joseph Addai booted Sorgi's first pass.
"It wasn't his fault," Addai said sheepishly. "He knows it wasn't his fault. It was me."
Both spoke enthusiastically about their chances to stick as the team's third quarterback, though the Colts have not carried three since Cory Sauter was with the team in 2003.
They haven't needed one because Peyton Manning has missed just one play due to injury in his entire career. He's taken 9,778 of a possible 10,098 snaps during. But now he's recovering from the removal of an infected bursa sac from his left knee. While he's expected to return in plenty of time to be ready for the season opener Sept. 7 against Chicago at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis could be in position to keep an extra signal-caller around for a while just in case.
It's also not impossible to envision Gray or Lorenzen winning the No. 2 spot if they play especially well and Sorgi doesn't.
"You sort of create your own opportunity in this league," Gray said. "...They say it's kind of slowed down right now because Peyton ain't here. So I can imagine what it's like when he is here, because it's still face-paced without him."
Said Lorenzen after his first practice: "I'm worn out. They really get to work out here."
(Before you ask and start the jokes, the 6-foot-4 Lorenzen said he weighs 285. While he's a large man, he doesn't look like he's carrying a lot of extra pounds.)
Whoever's throwing to the top receivers is going to have Marvin Harrison back in the mix. He practiced and looked good as he returns from knee issues.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Some quick notes and reflections from reporting day at Colts camp:
- The addition of Quinn Gray and Jared Lorenzen gives the Colts four quarterbacks while Peyton Manning is out of action. They'll work behind Jim Sorgi but likely ahead of rookie Adam Tafralis. Josh Betts was released.
"It was something we had targeted to perhaps upgrade if we could," team president Bill Polian said. "But we didn't want to do it with players who had no experience, we didn't want to do it with a rookie. Here are two players available, one of whom has won in the league in Quinn Gray, and the other, Jared, who we thought very highly of coming out of college and has been in a similar system in New York for a while."
- The Colts also added offensive lineman Doug Datish, formerly of the Falcons, off waivers some time ago. Mike Elgin was released.
- The team has signed all nine of its picks and its roster is at 80. Tony Dungy expects six players to start out on PUP. The most serious injury is linebacker Tyjuan Hagler's pectoral tear and he may not resurface until October, Polian said. Here's an update on the status of defensive end Dwight Freeney and safety Bob Sanders.
- Reggie Wayne is wearing a light beard, but it could be something else entirely in three weeks.
"That's my going to work look," he said. "ZZ Top, that's what I'm shooting for."
- Veteran center Jeff Saturday said that once Manning is back in place, it will take very little time for the offense to click back into form.
"I would say by the second practice we'll be full tilt," Saturday said. "If you knew how many balls he threw in the offseason, how many routes are run, how much offense has been run leading up to this, it may even be day one. But definitely by day two we'll be full cylinder."