AFC South: N.D. Kalu
Their top cornerback is upset over being designated as the team's franchise player, and the Texans hold out hope they'll be able to negotiate a long term deal with him.
If they don't, he'll wind up playing -- no one walks away from franchise money -- $9.975 million at corner this year. But he could try to negotiate an agreement to sign the tender that would make it so Houston couldn't use the tag on him a second time if he meets certain incentives. That's what Albert Haynesworth did last year with Tennessee.
Still, the Texans work at cornerback in the draft won't be Robinson-related, GM Rick Smith said at the team's pre-draft press conference Wednesday.
"Not to leverage the Dunta Robinson situation," he said. "I think that you can always improve your defense with corners. I think you've got to take corners all the time. You look at the two drafts that I've run so far, and I'm going to always take corners because I don't think you can have enough guys that can cover and run and hit and do all those things that we ask them to do. So yes, if there's a corner available, we'll certainly try to add one."
Later Smith was asked about big corners, and talked about how there just aren't a lot of them with all the characteristics scouts would like at the position in this crop.
"You'd love to have the 6-0, 200-pound guy who runs 4.3, has got long arms and can drop and change his [direction] do all of those things that we look for him to do," Smith said. "That's kind of tough. In this draft, there are not a lot of those kind of guys. It's a lot of the 5-9, 5-10 corners who run pretty well. But that's the ideal. And again, we always talk about it, you start with position parameters. You start with the ideal guy.
"You start with what (former Texan) N.D. Kalu (seated in the audience as a Houston Chronicle correspondent) looks like when you look for a defensive end, and then you work down from that. So it'd be great to do that. In the last couple of drafts, we've been fortunate. Fred Bennett is a big corner and he can run. Antwaun Molden's a big kid. He's 6-0, 202 pounds, and he runs 4.4, he can run. So we've been fortunate to get those kind of guys. You don't find that luxury all the time, but that's what you look for because of the size of the receivers."
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Let's see what's been written around the division this morning.
It's chat day -- here's where to go at 3 p.m. ET.
- Zac Diles is out for the season with a broken leg, writes John McClain.
- The Texans signed snapper Clark Harris to be ready in case Bryan Pittman's suspended, reports McClain.
- Jerome Solomon says the election was a moving experience for the Texans.
- N.D. Kalu leaves the Texans with a lot of respect, from McClain.
- Diles did a lot to help prevent big plays, blogs Megan Manfull.
- Minnesota's Jared Allen denies he went after Matt Schaub's knees.
- The Colts are on pace for the fourth-lowest per-game rushing average in the league since 1970, writes Mike Chappell.
- Kelvin Hayden is expected to miss the Steelers game, but Freddy Keiaho and Dante Hughes should be back, according to Phil Richards.
- Clifton Dawson went on IR and the Colts signed Titans practice squad defensive tackle Antonio Johnson, says Chappell.
- Tony Dungy's got ties to the Steelers, writes Tom James.
- Jack Del Rio sent a bunch of messages Wednesday, according to Vito Stellino.
- Gene Frenette's take on Del Rio's shakeup.
- Matt Jones still hasn't heard anything about his suspension appeal, writes Michael C. Wright.
- Miami linebacker Joey Porter rips Matt Jones, says Wright.
- Kerry Collins is one of this season's feel-good stories, according to Pete Prisco.
- Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch is making good progress and models himself after Mike Singletary, says Jim Wyatt.
- The Bears are confident in Rex Grossman, writes Gary Estwick.
- A rib injury has Keith Bulluck uncomfortable, according to Wyatt.
- Bulluck and Kyle Vanden Bosch sit out practice, says Terry McCormick.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Morning hopscotch around the division....
- John McClain says that despite whatever criticism Jacques Reeves got in Dallas, the Texans like him in their secondary.
- Carlos M. Silva Jr. writes that center Chris Myers didn't even start playing football until 10th grade, and it wasn't even his idea.
- Steve Campbell talks to defensive end N.D. Kalu, who feels revitalized after knee surgery.
- Phillip B. Wilson provides a detailed review of Colts-Redskins from Sunday night, then lets Tony Dungy offer his assessment.
- John Oehser also gives us Dungy's second-day take on the preseason opener, which the coach rates as the best first game his team has played.
- Michael C. Wright asks if Matt Jones is more serious and more focused. Now Jack Del Rio wonders if the receiver will fight through soreness and fatigue.
- The team's unofficial depth chart has Brian Williams as the starter at strong safety. He's converting from cornerback, but has been moving to cover the slot receiver in the nickel package.
- Cole Pepper tells us what he thinks he knows after the first week of Jaguars camp.
- Jim Wyatt looks at a great camp so far for Stephen Tulloch. Trouble is there isn't a spot in the starting lineup for him.
- Tennessean Titans notes: Leroy Harris scores points for his versatility.
- Mike Heimerdinger tells David Climer that Vince Young is doing just fine. Not that the Titans would ever say anything different out loud.