AFC South: Karl Dorrell

Look back: Assistants to watch

February, 12, 2013
Continuing a periodic look back at stuff we wrote before the 2012 season to see how on target we were and how things panned out.

In July, we looked at an assistant to watch on each of our four teams.

Here’s what we said then and what we think now.

Houston Texans

Then: “While [Gary] Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison will be heavily involved in the offense, a new [quarterback] coach [Karl Dorrell] is certain to have a bearing on [Matt] Schaub’s performance. And Schaub’s performance may be as important of a story as there is in the AFC South this season.”

Now: I don’t think Dorrell did a bad job, but he certainly didn’t help stop a late-season slide for Schaub, who finally got into some big games and didn’t perform particularly well in them. All three coaches didn’t do well enough to get Schaub to play up to the moment.

Indianapolis Colts

Then: “Can [offensive line coach Harold] Goodwin help the new group jell and have it provide quality protection for Andrew Luck and some push for a group of unproven running backs?”

Now: The line was not good, but Goodwin did not have a lot to work with. Given the patchwork nature of the group and some injuries that forced lineup shifts, I’d say Goodwin did good work. Bruce Arians certainly thought so, as he took him to Arizona to be his offensive coordinator. Goodwin’s been replaced by Joe Gilbert, who served as Goodwin’s assistant last year.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Then: “[Receivers coach Jerry] Sullivan and those receivers are all reliant on improvement from quarterback Blaine Gabbert. But they are all reasons the team expects that improvement, too.”

Now: Laurent Robinson did little before he was sidetracked by concussions and Justin Blackmon took a long time to get going. But ultimately Sullivan, a good get by Mike Mularkey as he put together his staff, did good work with Blackmon and Cecil Shorts and he was held over by new coach Gus Bradley.

Tennessee Titans

Then: “An improved pass rush is a must if the Titans' defense is going to improve. [Pass rush coach Keith] Millard will be right in the middle of what happens, or what doesn’t, in that department.”

Now: The Titans jumped from 28 sacks in 2011 to 39 in 2012 with non-defensive linemen contributing 13.5. Young linebackers Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown certainly got better as rushers later in the year, a good sign regarding Millard’s influence.

Gary Kubiak should call Greg Knapp

December, 31, 2012
The Houston Texans have a quarterbacks coach in Karl Dorrell.

That shouldn’t stop Gary Kubiak from placing a call today to Greg Knapp, who held the post in 2012.


Should Gary Kubiak try to bring in Greg Knapp this week?


Discuss (Total votes: 949)

It wouldn’t be admitting some sort of defeat to bring in a guy just fired as Oakland’s offensive coordinator. Kubiak shouldn’t regard it as some sort of concession or admission of failure.

He should see it as a chance to bring in a guy who might be a quarterback whisperer right when Matt Schaub could really use one.

Schaub probably loves and respects Dorrell. But he and all the team’s quarterbacks were wild about Knapp.

Last year Bill Belichick pounced on a chance to take back Josh McDaniels when he was available because he’d been dismissed as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Here’s an opportunity for Kubiak to make a similar move. Hire Knapp back with some nebulous title.

What’s Kubiak got to lose? I mean except Saturday’s first-round playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals?
Reading the coverage…

See my pictures from AFC South camps by following "pkuharsky" on the instagram app.

Houston Texans

Andre Johnson has Hall of Fame credentials but durability questions, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Rookie center Ben Jones wears No. 60 as a tribute to his late father, says Angel Verdejo of the Chronicle.

New quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell could have been part of the circus with the Jets, but he's a good fit with the Texans, says Dale Robertson of the Chronicle.

Indianapolis Colts

A great catch can mean a bad throw, and quarterbacks like Andrew Luck often look at the film of such moments with regret, says Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star. If a receiver is diving, his chance at yards after the catch disappears.

Joe Reitz worked at left guard ahead of Jeff Linkenbach, says Chappell.

A rundown of Sunday from Phillip B. Wilson of the Star.

Nate Dunlevy of Bleacher Report saw a more human Luck on Sunday.

Jacksonville Jaguars

An old role is new again for defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, says Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union.

The Eagles' tragedy hit Mike Mularkey hard, says Stellino.

Peter King of saw an emphasis on chain-moving during the Jaguars’ Friday night scrimmage at EverBank Field.

King talked with Blaine Gabbert. (Video.)

Tennessee Titans

Five things to look for as the Titans practice against the Falcons today, from John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Mike Munchak says preseason games with a narrower game plan will be easier for the quarterbacks than early practices where any play could have been called, says Glennon.

Defensive end Dave Ball, who’s got a concussion history, could be dealing with another one, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Right tackle Dave Stewart is unlikely to practice against the Falcons today, says Glennon.

Running through the Titans receivers with Tom Gower of Total Titans.

Assistant to watch: Texans

July, 18, 2012
Kicking off our look at new assistant coaches in the AFC South who will be especially important in 2012, we head to Houston.

Gary Kubiak’s got continuity with his staff, so we’ve only got two guys to choose from. Quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell is the easy selection. He replaced Gregg Knapp, who went to Oakland to be the offensive coordinator. Quarterbacks Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates loved working with Knapp.

Now they are getting to know Dorrell, who came to Houston from Miami, where he didn’t have much quarterback talent. He’s got a Denver connection, too, and the three seasons he was with the Broncos when he overlapped with Kubiak there produced the tie that landed him this gig.

Schaub is coming off a serious foot injury that sidelined him last season and heading into a contract year. He hears constantly about being fragile -- a label that’s not really fair -- and hasn’t been in position to produce in the big moment of big games very often.

While Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison will be heavily involved in the offense, a new position coach is certain to have a bearing on Schaub’s performance. And Schaub’s performance may be as important of a story as there is in the AFC South this season.
Houston Texans

The Texans were denied permission to interview Atlanta quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave and Miami receivers coach Karl Dorrell, says John McClain. Such denials are not uncommon.

Three Texans were among players who went to Capitol Hill, says Alan Burge.

Indianapolis Colts

Jim Caldwell is never unprepared, says Phil Richards.

Caldwell stays true to his beliefs, says Richards.

The Colts have a nasty defense too, says Bob Kravitz.

Jets vs. Colts still means a lot to Joe Namath, says Curt Cavin.

If Jerraud Powers can’t go, Jacob Lacey is ready, as usual, says Chappell.

On the biggest stage of his life, Pierre Garcon is doing all he can to help in Haiti, says Cavin.

The Jets feed off Rex Ryan’s style, says Phillip B. Wilson.

Steve Weatherford is scrambling for tickets, says Wilson.

Wilson’s matchup page.

Counterpunchers have become sluggers, says Judy Battista.

Peyton Manning and the Colts are looking to shed a reputation as playoff underachievers, says Nancy Gay.

Jarrett Bell looks at Manning’s propensity to clam up at playoff time. Manning spoke for less than 10 minutes this week. It's not unreasonable to expect at least double that from the league's MVP the week of the AFC title game.

Jim Trotter breaks down the game.

John Oehser’s thorough game preview.

The Jets running game poses the big challenge, says Tom James.

Reasons to love the Colts, reasons to hate them, from Shutdown Corner.

Eighteen things to watch for in Jets-Colts, from Deshawn Zombie.

The Jets ran well and still lost often this season, says Zombie.

Remembering the last Colts-Jets playoff game with Big Blue Shoe.

Called on to hold for field goals for the first time, Pat McAfee’s been reliable, says Larry Hawley.

Jeremiah Johnson would like to see Edgerrin James, who is an honorary captain for the game, get the Deuce McAllister treatment and actually be on the roster. I’m against turning former players into mascots as the Saints did with McAlister last week.

Super Bowl III will be replayed Saturday night.

Jacksonville Jaguars

There is no deal in place yet for assistant coach Joe Cullen, says Vito Stellino.

A continuation of Chris Harris’ conversation with Jack Del Rio.

A look at who the Jaguars beat from Jonathan Loesche.

Tennessee Titans

Kenny Britt’s uncle defends him for posting bail for an old friend, says Jim Wyatt. People who are jumping to conclusions and wondering if Britt’s the next Pacman Jones need to slow way down here. He’s done nothing wrong.

Found some interesting numbers on Nick Harper in this Aaron Schatz piece on cornerback tackles.