AFC South: Kevin Haslam

Reading the coverage …

Houston Texans

Matt Leinart found his best fit with the Texans, says John McClain.

The Texans waived a couple of undrafted free agents.

Improving the secondary is mission one.

Battle Red Blog looks at the war of the noses between Earl Mitchell and Shaun Cody.

Indianapolis Colts

Ernie Sims is out after an appendectomy, says Phillip B. Wilson.

Dan Orlovsky is looking to win the backup spot behind Peyton Manning, says Mike Chappell.

A good look at the nose tackle in the Colts defense from Stampede Blue.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tyson Alualu has a much better understanding of his position, says Tania Ganguli.

Kevin Haslam is out for the season.

You can’t draft and develop receivers without giving them time to develop, says John Oehser.

Tennessee Titans

Cortland Finnegan polished his backpedal, says Jim Wyatt.

Finnegan’s errors won’t be forgotten, says David Climer.

Kenny Britt practiced for the first time, says John Glennon.

The Chris Johnson holdout is at 11 days, says Wyatt.

Vince Young’s path to stardom has taken a detour, says Jerome Solomon.
The Jaguars took a hit to their offensive line depth in Saturday night’s scrimmage, when Kevin Haslam suffered a knee injury that will take months to heal according to Jack Del Rio.

That means Haslam is expected to land on IR soon.

Here’s Vito Stellino’s report.

Haslam was listed as the backup right guard behind Uche Nwaneri on the just-released first version of the team’s unofficial depth chart. With Jason Spitz at left guard competing with rookie Will Rackley, the guy who doesn’t start will likely be the third guard now. Odds are Haslam was going to rate fourth with everyone healthy.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Right tackle Eben Britton and end Austen Lane scrapped last year in camp and fought again Saturday night.

That’s just the scenario the team is looking for when pairing players in the annual Oklahoma drill, which will unfold at the EverBank Field practice fields this evening.

The drill is basically a one-on-one battle in a tight alley, as the offensive lineman looks to hold off the defensive lineman and create room for a running back to get by.

The media are involved in helping select match-ups.

My request wasn’t for a specific match-up, but for an impartial coach to serve as judge, declaring a winner or a tie, as it’s not always as easy to judge as you might think. Whether we get such verdicts remains to be seen.

“Here’s the thing, sometimes it’s a tie when you’re seeing it from the stands,” Lane said. “But if you’re in it, you’re going to know if you won or not. Definitely, you are going to know.”

The remainder of the match-ups:

Final Word: AFC South

November, 26, 2010
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 12:

Heavy heat: The Chargers’ pass rush has produced a league-best 32 sacks. Peyton Manning’s been great at getting rid of the ball, but against a top rushing group there won’t often be a lot of time for things to develop downfield for him. And it appears he will still be missing a top piece of his pass protection, because running back Joseph Addai (neck) is doing only non-contact work in practices this week. The Colts can be super-effective with the short and quick passing game, but if the Chargers can find a big play against it, they could throw Sunday night’s game out of whack. As for deep stuff, Manning has a passer rating of 61.8, and six of his seven interceptions are on balls thrown 15 yards or longer.

[+] EnlargeMario Williams
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesTexans defensive end Mario Williams will be on the mind of Titans rookie QB Rusty Smith.
Watch Williams early: Titans rookie quarterback Rusty Smith has drawn a favorable matchup here, going against the terrible Texans’ pass defense. The Texans simply can’t afford to let Smith find any sort of comfort level early. The best hope for crushing the chance of any building confidence is for Mario Williams to introduce himself with a crushing hit. Deliver a jarring blow early, and Smith might be worrying about the next one for the rest of the game. Allow for good protection early by Michael Roos and the Titans' line, and you allow Smith to scan downfield and find someone, inevitably, running open.

Protecting Garrard: The Jaguars have allowed 24 sacks this season. The Giants have recorded 27. If Jacksonville’s offensive line doesn’t pass protect well, the Jaguars will be in a lot of trouble. Greg Jones and Marcedes Lewis will need to play big roles. It’s a big day for the backups. Either Kevin Haslam or Guy Whimper will play for Eugene Monroe at left tackle. Jordan Black has been the right tackle since Eben Britton went down and will see a lot of Justin Tuck. Fair or not, this game will do a lot for the national perception of the Jaguars. The Giants get as much coverage as anyone in the league and the Jaguars the least. If the Jaguars play well, a lot of people have no choice but to talk about it.

Twelve: At 6-4, the Colts need to win the remainder of their regular-season games to keep their streak of 12-win seasons alive. They’ve won at least a dozen games in seven consecutive years and have quite a lead on the second best streak (Dallas did it four times from 1992-1995). To keep the potential of the streak alive, and more importantly to assure the Colts remain in first place after the weekend, they have to break through against a team that’s been a serious problem recently. Since 2005, San Diego has fared better against Indianapolis than any other team, with a 4-1 record against the Colts, including the playoffs.

Johnson and Foster: The Titans are sure to lean heavily on Chris Johnson in Smith’s debut. If the pass game can be used to supplement a strong run effort, Tennessee won’t have to ask Smith to do too much. On the other side, the Texans have not played their best in the first half of games. The route to faring better there might be getting Arian Foster the ball more. He’s often looked like the best player on the field for Houston, but the Texans have struggled to find the right mix on offense, leaving themselves in position where they’ve had to mount some serious second-half comebacks.
The Jaguars declared Eugene Monroe (concussion) out of Sunday’s game at New Meadowlands Stadium.

Losing a starting left tackle is bad news for anyone.

It’s especially bad news for a team that has not protected especially, is already using its third tackle (Jordan Black) as a fill-in for a starter on injure-reserve (Eben Britton), and is facing a top rushing team.

Undrafted rookie Kevin Haslam and recent addition Guy Whimper are the two replacement candidates.

Marcedes Lewis will probably have fewer chances to run routes as he will have to stay in more to help keep David Garrard upright. Jacksonville quarterbacks have been sacked 27 times this season. The Giants have 27 sacks.

The offense suffers when Lewis can’t get out.

ESPN Stats & Info tells us that Lewis has been especially effective as the lone tight end in three-wide formations this year.

With that personnel on the field, Lewis has 24 receptions on 36 targets with 265 yards and four touchdowns as opposed to 11 receptions, 180 yards and four TDs in all other sets. In three wide, as defenses account for the Jaguars’ additional speed, Lewis has operated well underneath, with 21 of his 23 catches coming on throws of 14 yards or less.

The loss of Monroe suggests the Jaguars won’t be able to spread the field as much as they might like against New York’s rush.

Jacksonville Jaguars cutdown analysis

September, 4, 2010
Check here for a full list of Jacksonville’s roster moves.

Biggest surprises: Three undrafted rookies won spots -- offensive tackle Kevin Haslam, defensive end Aaron Morgan and linebacker Jacob Cutrera. Getting anything for Reggie Nelson was big, and GM Gene Smith managed to send the safety to Cincinnati for David Jones. That’s a surprise. That they also cut another veteran safety, Gerald Alexander, before adding one, also qualifies as a surprise. They seem sure to add someone in the coming days. Right now the starting pairing would come from Anthony Smith, Sean Considine, Tyron Brackenridge and Courtney Greene. I bet Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub endorse that. It’s not clear who the third wide receiver will be with Troy Williamson gone. Atiyyah Ellison was a feel good story a year ago, now he’s gone too. The team has three fullbacks with Greg Jones, Montell Owens and Brock Bolen. Kynan Forney was competing for a starting guard job, lost it and lost his place on the team.

No-brainers: Not a ton. Three linebackers -- Teddy Lehman, Alvin Bowen and Tony Gilbert -- of a weak group of reserves didn’t make it and another (Kyle Bosworth) was placed on IR.

What’s next: Work at safety, first and foremost. The Jaguars will be thorough in their examination and consideration of the waiver wire and free agents. They have room at the back of the roster for upgrades. After safety, look for linebacker to be the spot that gets the most attention as the Jaguars have just five on the roster.