AFC South: Nate Collins

RTC: Comparing Cushing and Braun cases

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
10:28
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Houston Texans

The Texans will have serious options at wide receiver in the first round of the draft, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Why did people want to believe Ryan Braun was innocent but presumed Brian Cushing was guilty? Jerome Solomon of the Chronicle considers.

Indianapolis Colts

Why Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star doesn’t think trading the No. 1 pick is the way to go for the Colts.

Nate Dunlevy of Colts Authority picks up on a theme we hit coming out of Chuck Pagano’s talk with the media last week: The Colts need to know they need to pass and stop the pass to win in today’s NFL.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Defensive tackle Nate Collins faces marijuana charges in Virginia, says Tania Ganguli.

I visited with John Oehser from jaguars.com at the combine for this soon-to-be award-winning video.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans do in fact spend money in free agency. Tom Gower of Total Titans takes a detailed look back.

RTC: Dwight Freeney tops 100 sacks

December, 12, 2011
12/12/11
8:46
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Houston Texans

After clinching their first playoff spot, the Texans celebrated and talked of feeling like a team of destiny, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Andre Johnson got a game ball without even playing in a nice gesture by Gary Kubiak.

“When T.J. Yates and Kevin Walter finally connected for the game-winning score with two seconds remaining to silence the small crowd at Paul Brown Stadium, this never-say-die team from a so-often-dead organization had delivered a victory for the ages,” writes Jerome Solomon of the Chronicle.

Johnathan Joseph’s return to Cincinnati was largely uneventful and he allowed A.J. Green to make some plays, says Jeffrey Martin of the Chronicle.

The final drive brought out the best in Yates and the Texans, says Martin.

Defensive adjustments by Wade Phillips and his staff played a big part in things, says McClain.

Dale Robertson of the Chronicle ranks it the second-biggest NFL win in Houston history.

Owner Bob McNair thinks Kubiak should be a prime coach of the year candidate, writes McClain.

Yates’ parent has bad seats, says Shutdown Corner.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts got nowhere against the Ravens vaunted defense, says Phil Richards of the Indianapolis Star.

Two sacks mean Dwight Freeney is just the 26th player in NFL history to top 100 in his career, say Mike Chappell and Richards of the Star.

Phillip B. Wilson of the Star saw the same old, same old.

The terrible Colts are one of the worst teams in NFL history so they didn’t tell the Ravens much about themselves, says Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun.

If the Colts have talent beyond Peyton Manning, why are they so terrible? Nate Dunlevy of 18to88 examines the question. I particularly like point three about the coaches being arrogant and uncreative.

It’s getting awkward in Indy, says Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars absolutely rolled Tampa Bay, says Tania Ganguli of the Times-Union.

On a monster day, Maurice Jones-Drew broke his mentors Fred Taylor’s franchise record for touchdowns, says Vito Stellino of the T-U.

This was no monumental breakthrough, but the Jaguars will take the glimpse of sunshine, says Gene Frenette of the T-U.

Blaine Gabbert delivered a better effort, says Ganguli.

An unlikely pair -- tight end Colin Cloherty and defensive end Nate Collins -- found the end zone for the Jaguars, says Vito Stellino.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans hope this loss isn’t one that ultimately kills their playoff chances, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

The Titans now have no margin for error in their playoff bid, says David Climer of The Tennessean.

Injuries to key players piled up, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

A third-down discrepancy meant the Saints were able to control the ball, says Glennon.

Jake Locker showed the Titans a big glimpse of the future, says Wyatt.

Don’t grade the Saints on aesthetics, this is the sort of gritty win they needed, says Don Banks of SI.com.
Mel Kiper recently wrote about seven 2010 rookies he expects to have a big second year. None were from the AFC South.

Kiper mentioned seven other players, and only one plays for an AFC South team.

Of the Colts first-round pick from 2010, Kiper says: “I was shocked at how little [defensive end] Jerry Hughes saw the field. Will he rise to the challenge? The innate pass-rushing skills are there if he responds to the coaching.”

Who’s got the combination of promise and opportunity to make that second year jump?

Here’s a name for each team from me:

Houston Texans

Mitchell

Mitchell


We wrote recently about Shaun Cody and Earl Mitchell (a third-rounder out of Arizona in 2010) as the guys expected to fill the nose guard role in the Texans new 3-4 deployed by new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Mitchell’s got a great outlook and will have great opportunity. While Cody will be first in line, with the new coordinator, seniority should mean less and Mitchell may have more upside once he catches on to what the Texans ask him to do. But it could take some time. He’s only been a tackle for four seasons, having played as a fullback prior to that.

Indianapolis Colts

Eldridge

Eldridge


I was big on fifth-round tight end Brody Eldridge heading into his rookie season and thought he’d have a big influence on the rushing game. He didn’t really. Injuries allowed for the emergence of Jacob Tamme, a pass catcher, and more guys involved in a three-receiver set as the team sorted through receiver injuries. I’ll say Eldridge again. With two big rookie additions to the offensive line (Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana), a new goal line style back (Delone Carter) and a healthier stable of Peyton Manning targets, he’ll have more chances to have an impact.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Smith

Smith


The Jaguars feel like their interior defensive line has turned into a strength because of the past two drafts, with 2009 third-rounder Terrance Knighton and 2010 first-rounder Tyson Alualu playing side by side. But the depth wasn’t what they’d planned on having because they lost third-rounder D'Anthony Smith early in training camp with a right Achilles injury. We don’t know what kind of pro Smith will be yet, but he stands to be an upgrade over guys like Leger Douzable, C.J. Mosley and Nate Collins, who finished last season as the interior depth.

Tennessee Titans

Williams

Williams


Mike Munchak and his offensive coordinator, Chris Palmer, simply have to find ways to get young receivers like Damian Williams to contribute earlier than their predecessors did. As a rookie third-rounder out of USC he didn’t win the return job and he didn’t get many chances at receiver, even late in the season when the Titans were foolish not to give him a thorough look. Justin Gage shouldn’t be around any longer and Williams should rank behind only Kenny Britt and Nate Washington in the Titans order, ahead of Lavelle Hawkins and Marc Mariani. Williams had a clear connection with Kerry Collins when the two played, a result of their team working on the scout team together. Whether Collins is the veteran QB ahead of Jake Locker or not, Williams should have opportunity.

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