AFC South: Quintin Demps

Johnathan Joseph was nowhere near the player he was in 2011 and 2012.

He was banged up in his second year with the Houston Texans, but groin, quad and hamstring injuries weren’t enough to account for the drop-off in his performance.

As we noted in our “Reading the coverage” file this morning, Joseph revealed there was more to it than that.

He told James Palmer of CSN Houston he had two sports hernias.

From Palmer:
"With the groin issues and everything behind me and the sports hernia on both sides, I had both those fixed," Joseph said Thursday. "Now I have more pop, more explosion with my legs. I can run all day again."

Joseph is feeling better than ever and was anxious to get back on the field to test his finally healthy legs.

"I'm just glad to have it behind me," Joseph said. "I'm feeling better than I've ever felt. I told somebody that yesterday. I was just excited that I got it fixed just to see where I am at on the field. And I'm having probably the best OTAs I've had in four or five years."

Great OTAs don’t mean much.

A far healthier Joseph during the season can mean a great deal to the Texans.

Kareem Jackson blossomed last year when Joseph fell off. If Jackson can maintain his gains and Joseph can maintain his health, the Texans should be formidable at corner, where Brice McCain was re-signed as the nickelback.

With Ed Reed and rookie D.J. Swearinger now in the spots where Glover Quin and Quintin Demps were last year. (Demps wound up yielding time as the third safety to Shioh Keo. Demps is gone and Keo needs to play far less with Swearinger around.)

Quin will be missed, but overall the secondary should come out ahead.
NFC Eight in the Box: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Who is one highly drafted or highly paid player from each AFC South team who needs to show something during the remainder of the offseason?

Houston Texans: I can’t find a highly paid or highly drafted player who could be in jeopardy. Shiloh Keo was a fifth-round draft pick in 2011 and ranked as a Wade Phillips favorite. Keo played in every game last year, even seeing time as the often-used third safety when Quintin Demps fell out of favor. But Keo is limited, primarily because he’s slow. The Texans replaced Glover Quin with Ed Reed, which doesn’t really affect the bottom of the safety depth chart. Demps is an unsigned free agent who won’t be back. Second-round pick D.J. Swearinger will be the third safety. Keo and Eddie Pleasant are the fourth and fifth safeties now, and the team had five on the roster at the end of last season. But a good player at the back end of another position could prompt them to keep just four, which could put the limited Keo in jeopardy if he doesn’t perform well in camp.

Indianapolis Colts: A team that didn’t have a true nose tackle option last season because of injuries and personnel deficiencies will have a glut this summer if everyone remains healthy. Now they have Aubrayo Franklin and 2012 fifth-rounder Josh Chapman, who’s back from the knee injury that kept him out last year. They also have new fifth-round draft pick Montori Hughes as well as Ricky Jean Francois, a versatile lineman who can man the middle on occasion. I don’t expect Martin Tevaseu to stick, and if the rest of that pack remains healthy, one player who will need to have a solid camp to make his case to stay is Brandon McKinney, who’s due $1 million this year. Brought in as a free agent from Baltimore last year, he too is coming off a serious knee injury. He’s expected to be ready for camp but could have already lost some ground in organized team activities and minicamp.

Jacksonville Jaguars: While the Texans don’t have a highly paid or highly drafted veteran who could be in trouble because they have drafted well and their roster is solid, the Jaguars don’t really have one because they are young and largely unproven. They already parted with an expensive guy who wasn’t worth his contract in strong safety Dawan Landry. Tight and Marcedes Lewis ($4.2 million base this year) and defensive tackle Tyson Alualu ($1.8 million) are overpaid based on recent production, but the Jaguars have money and don’t have promising replacements for either.

Tennessee Titans: I don’t think right tackle David Stewart is in jeopardy. But he’s coming off a down year when he committed too many penalties, is recovering from a broken leg, has an ankle that seems to be a lingering concern and is due a $5 million base salary. I’m not sure Mike Otto or Byron Stingily, the team’s two primary backup tackles, are starting-caliber guys. But the team did visit with free agent Eric Winston, who worked with offensive line coach Bruce Matthews in Houston. If Winston remains on the market and Stewart doesn’t look ready to bounce back, perhaps the Titans would still consider adding Winston and allowing him to slug it out with Stewart. That could be an epic battle.
One offseason debate we’ve had regarding the Houston Texans pertained to inside linebacker.

The team didn’t need to spend big dollars or a high pick on their second inside linebacker because he’s a two-down player. But if they had a guy capable of playing three downs, then they’d back off their dime with three safeties.

They just used their second-round pick, 57th overall, on South Carolina safety D.J. Swearinger.

While they are still due to add linebacker help, my guess is Wade Phillips will remain comfortable turning to three safeties.

Last year they were Danieal Manning, Glover Quin and Quintin Demps.

Now they will be Manning, Ed Reed and, probably, Swearinger.

For the Gamecocks he was a physical player who also saw time at cornerback.

"Since I was little its been a strong part of my game to be a physical force in the middle" Swearinger said in his conference call with Houston reporters, per Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle.

The Texans seem to like the idea of cornerish cover skills in a linebackerish body for that third safety. Swearinger might not be equipped to line up against a slot receiver like Wes Welker, but perhaps he can give the Texans a better chance to line up opposite a tight end provided he has help behind him.

Wade Phillips indicated Swearinger will often play over the tight end as Quin did before he left as a free agent to Detroit.

Ideally, the Texans will still find an linebacker -- either an inside guy to play next to Brian Cushing or an outside guy who will allow Brooks Reed to move inside.

And if that new guy is good enough, perhaps the Texans can leave him on the field more for certain matchups, leaning on Swearinger against other guys.

Reassessing the Texans' needs

April, 4, 2013
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They are two-time defending division champs and have been to the second round of the playoffs two consecutive seasons.

Teams like that are not typically prime players in free agency. They have players they have to spend to retain, limiting the cash on hand to go get a bunch of free agents.

This is the case with the Houston Texans, who’ve lost more than they’ve gained in free agency and anticipate addressing primary needs in the draft.

Wide receiver -- They cut Kevin Walter to gain some cap relief, but also because they need a more dynamic second receiver who might ultimately have a chance to replace Andre Johnson. With DeVier Posey recovering from surgery to repair his Achilles, a top receiver is this team’s No. 1 need.

Inside linebacker -- The Texans are confident Brian Cushing will be recovered from ACL repair and ready to go at the start of training camp. But there is still a hole beside him. Bradie James, Tim Dobbins and Barrett Ruud are free agents who aren’t returning. Darryl Sharpton is injury-prone. Safety Glover Quin often played as a virtual linebacker in a dime package. He’s gone, and Ed Reed isn’t going to do that. The second inside linebacker is not a simple two-down run-stopping job any longer. Big need.

Outside linebacker -- Whitney Mercilus may not be sturdy against the run yet (another ingredient making inside linebacker increasingly important). But he can rush the passer and will start. The Texans will find ways to maximize his strengths. Connor Barwin’s departure means they need a third outside guy. I wouldn’t count on Bryan Braman as depth or someone who could rotate in. It’s a need for sure.

Safety -- They basically swapped Quin for Reed. In a good draft for safeties, they should grab one. They need to grab someone who can develop behind veterans Reed and Danieal Manning, upgrade depth and provide a better dime option if Wade Phillips wants to utilize it as much as he has in the last couple years. Quintin Demps and Shiloh Keo shouldn’t be on the field with the defense.

Nose tackle -- Shaun Cody is a free agent and Earl Mitchell is in line to take over as the starter. I think they are content with that, though they need a backup. I’d love for them to draft a guy who could challenge Mitchell for the nose job in the base defense.

Running back -- Ben Tate is No. 2 with Justin Forsett gone, so they need a third. But whether they need to spend even a low pick on the spot is the question. If they like one, have at it. If not, no pressure.
Ed Reed is a risk-taker who’s a risk the Houston Texans are willing to take.

The 34-year-old safety, who played the first 11 years of his career for Baltimore, is set to join the Texans, filling the spot left open when Glover Quin signed a free-agent deal with Detroit.

Reed
Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle says it’ll be a two-year deal, not the three-year, $12 million pact the sides had previously been discussing.

Reed will be the team’s first outside addition since free agency opened March 12.

In joining a team that won 12 games in 2012 and went two rounds into the playoffs for a second consecutive season, Reed can provide swagger for a defense that faded down the stretch.

While the unit will be built around J.J. Watt for the foreseeable future, Reed will give the team a second player who has won defensive player of the year honors. Reed has 61 career interceptions and he typically makes them count -- his 1,541 interception-return yards are the most for a player in league history.

Like Houston receiver Andre Johnson, Reed played collegiately at Miami.

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has often used a three-safety package. With Reed replacing Quin, the Texans should still look to upgrade the position. None of their other three safeties has proved up to the job, and they can do better than Shiloh Keo and Eddie Pleasant. Quintin Demps is a free agent.

The 2013 draft class is rated as strong at safety, and Houston can select a guy who should play this fall and could be an eventual successor to Reed.
Wade PhilipsAP Photo/Patric SchneiderThe Patriots torched Wade Phillips's defense during their Week 14 matchup and won 42-14.
The New England Patriots gobbled up 419 yards and scored six touchdowns against the Houston Texans in a regular season meeting.

The guy who’s got to get the Texans defense ready for a better showing Sunday, Wade Phillips, said the unit’s effort at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 10 wasn’t as bad as it appeared, and believe it can fare far better in Sunday’s divisional round playoff game.

“We always want to execute better,” Phillips said. “We’ll give them some different looks, obviously. But we’ve got to execute. That’s what we do, we try to play fundamentally sound, make it hard to complete the ball on you, those kinds of things.

“We’re going to try, just like we always do, to play the running game and force them into throwing it.”

That’s dangerous, of course, because the guy the Texans want to throw it is Tom Brady who was surgical against them in the regular season blowout and has a stellar playoff record.

Here’s Phillips on some key issues heading into the game:

Attacking Brady: “You’re not going to get to him very much. That’s what he’s great at. He recognizes blitz and changes protections better than anybody in the league, anybody that I’ve ever been around. He finds out where you’re coming from, he’s patient enough to wait and do it at the last second and pick up most. You just don’t see people get to him much. You’ve got to beat some one-on-one blocks, but to get guys clean on him is hard to do.”

Presumptive defensive player of the year J.J. Watt didn’t sack Brady in the first game, but he did hit him four times and was more disruptive in that game than he got credit for.

Defending Welker: The Texans wanted to slow Wes Welker down and did a good job of it. He had three catches for 52 yards. Other pass-catchers hurt the Texans far more in the loss.

That was the first game for Brandon Harris working as the nickelback in place of the injured Brice McCain. The penalty-prone Harris is a lot better now than he was then.

Houston’s top corner, Johnathan Joseph is far healthier this time around. He typically tracks the opponent’s best receiver but stays on the outside. Last week in the win over Cincinnati, Joseph even followed A.J. Green into the slot.

I asked Phillips if we might see Joseph do the same with Welker.

“Ah, Welker’s not Green,” Phillips said. “He’s a good player, but he’s not that big or a real athletic guy. He’s a quick guy that gets open on option routes. Harris actually played him pretty good. He got a holding penalty that hurt us early in the game. But Harris played pretty well… If we don’t get him on a speed guy, we’re in good shape.”

Joseph will be outside on someone like Brandon Lloyd or even one of the Patriots tight ends.

Speaking of which…

Slowing two top tight ends: Aaron Hernandez ate the Texans up with eight catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Now Rob Gronkowski, who missed that game with an arm injury, will also be on the field.

“What makes it tough is, they’ve really got two tight ends in there but sometimes it’s like four wide receivers,” Phillips said. “They’re athletic enough to play out in space. So that gives you matchup problems. If you play your base defense against them it’s one thing, and if you play a sub defense against them it’s something else. If you play a sub what happens a lot of times with the two tight ends is they just run over people.

I think you have to mix it up and see how you match up, which players can play them and see if they need help. Do you need somebody to bang them at the line of scrimmage and then rush? If you have matchup problems you’ve got to do those kinds of things.”

Phillips said Hernandez really qualifies as a wide receiver in a lot of situations and indicated the Texans will cover him as such.

“If you put a corner on him they’re not quite as good,” Phillips said. “We hope we can match up well there. If they split him out wide and you put a corner on him instead of a linebacker they may look a little different. We’ll have to see.”

The Texans also insert a third safety to work as an inside linebacker in some situations. Shiloh Keo is slower but more physical than Quintin Demps and has taken over that role recently.

Phillips vs. Belichick: Shalise Manza Young breaks down Phillips’ work against Bill Belichick in this piece.

“He’s a great coach, he does a great job with them obviously,” Phillips said. “I don’t remember ever game we played. He’s had championship teams and winning teams for a long time. They’re always going to be good against anybody. His numbers are going to be good against anybody.”

Rematch attitude: “We talked about it last week -- hey we ought to be confident, look at all the things we’ve done in winning 12 games,” Phillips said. “Going into the Cincinnati game we said let’s get our swag back, we know we’re good, let’s go ahead and play like we play.

“We’ve got confidence going into this game. We feel like we should win. That’s our guys, that’s our mentality.”

Wrap-up: Vikings 23, Texans 6

December, 23, 2012
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Thoughts on the Houston Texans' 23-6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at Reliant Stadium:

What it means: The Texans came out flat and never got into gear against Minnesota, which played very solid defense against Houston. It was the Texans’ first loss of the season to a team that’s not a guaranteed playoff participant. And Houston lost an ideal chance to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Texans still clinch a first-round bye if the Denver Broncos lose to the Cleveland Browns this afternoon. If the Texans win next week in Indianapolis, they will still clinch home field throughout the AFC playoffs as Denver is the only team with the potential to match Houston at 13 wins and Houston holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.

What I didn’t like: Where was the spark? Where was the fight? It was a disappointing effort. The Texans' two previous duds this season came against high-caliber teams in the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots. This was an entirely different deal. To hold the Vikings’ singular weapon, Adrian Peterson, to 86 rushing yards and get beat by Christian Ponder throwing and running and by a defense that started the day 18th in total defense was hard to swallow. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says it’s the first time since Matt Schaub was traded to the Texans in 2007 that they have not scored a touchdown in a game he’s played.

Injury concerns: Running back Arian Foster didn’t finish the game after he went to the locker room with an irregular heartbeat, coach Gary Kubiak said afterward. Kubiak said Foster is fine and it’s something that happened once before in practice. Outside linebacker Brooks Reed returned from a layoff due to a groin injury but appeared to injure it again and didn’t finish the game.

What I don’t understand: If Quintin Demps was demoted from the third safety, why not move away from the three-safety package while preparing? I remain thoroughly unconvinced that Shiloh Keo is good enough to be on the field as part of Houston’s defense.

An illustration: Kevin Walter nearly took a third-quarter catch into the end zone but was correctly ruled down just short. The Texans had three shots to get in from short range and couldn't. Schaub took a big sack on third down, forcing Houston to settle for its second field goal.

What’s next: A big game in Indianapolis against the Colts where home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs will be at stake for Houston, which has never won at the RCA Dome or Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts can control whether they are the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC field, determining where they travel for their first-round playoff game.
HOUSTON -- Bryan Braman bailed Quintin Demps out of his first mistake.

After the Texans' third safety dropped a sure pick, Braman blocked a Pat McAfee punt, eventually spotted the ball, pulled it in and slid into the end zone before he was touched.

But the Colts got the ball back with 1:39 remaining, which was enough time for Demps to make another crucial error. T.Y. Hilton ran a deep route right at him, then cut inside and ran on by, pulling in a 61-yard touchdown pass lofted up by Andrew Luck.

That made it 20-10 in favor of the Texans at the end of an eventful first half.

J.J. Watt was absolutely electric, with two sacks and a couple of tackles for loss against the Colts' overmatched offensive line.

The Colts have come back from plenty of second-half deficits before.

Not many of those comebacks have come against a defense with a stud like Watt wreaking havoc up front.

Indianapolis will get the ball to start the second half with a chance to make it a one-score game.

Key injuries in the AFC South

December, 14, 2012
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A look at the key injuries and what they mean in the AFC South…

Colts

Safety Tom Zbikowski, right tackle Winston Justice, inside linebacker Kavell Conner, center Samson Satele and running back Delone Carter are out.

Of the new missing guys, replacements will be right tackle Jeff Linkenbach, inside linebacker Pat Angerer, center A.Q. Shipley and running back Mewelde Moore.

Jaguars

Running backs Rashad Jennings, Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman, cornerback Aaron Ross and defensive end George Selvie are out. Montell Owens will start at running back again.

Austin Pasztor is expected to start at let guard, where Mike Brewster is done for the season and Eben Britton is seemingly out of chances. Receiver Cecil Shorts is expected to play.

Texans

Outside linebacker Brooks Reed and cornerback Alan Ball are out. Whitney Mercilus will continue to work as the outside linebacker replacing Reed.

Inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton, safety Glover Quin (hip) and right tackle Derek Newton are questionable. Quintin Demps would replace Quin.

Titans

Designations come tomorrow since they play Monday night. Middle linebacker Colin McCarthy is not expected to play and Tim Shaw would start for him again. Receiver Damian Williams and end Scott Solomon also missed Friday practice.

Final Word: AFC South

December, 7, 2012
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NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 14:

Nickel issues: When the Patriots see a nickel package on the field, Tom Brady hands off the ball. New England runs against defenses with five or more defensive backs a league-high 73.5 percent of the time, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Texans have allowed 6.0 yards per rush when using such defenses this season, the worst rate in the NFL, but have allowed the second-fewest yards per rush (3.3) with four or fewer defensive backs on field. Brice McCain (foot) is out, so the fifth defensive back in this game will be safety Quintin Demps, inexperienced second-year corner Brandon Harris or corner Stanford Routt, who signed this week. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is out, so the Patriots are likely to go three-wide a lot. If the Texans don't play better nickel run defense and have a corner on the field that Tom Brady can really pick on, it could be a recipe for big problems.

[+] EnlargeJake Locker and Chandler Jones
AP Photo/Joe HowelTitans QB Jake Locker could wind up facing heavy defensive heat the rest of the season.
Locker and Luck under pressure: Per ESPN Stats & Info, the Colts bring five or more pass-rushers 41 percent of the time, the third-most often in the league. That’s bad news for Jake Locker, who has struggled this season against the blitz. His .480 completion percentage against five or more pass-rushers is the worst in the NFL, a point and a half worse than Michael Vick. The Titans would be wise to put Locker on the move more often and earlier than they did last week against the Texans. In Dowell Loggains’ second game as the playcaller, I suspect we’ll see some major adjustments based on what worked and what didn’t for him last week. On the other side, Andrew Luck has been getting better under pressure. In his past six games, he’s completed 54.9 percent of his passes and averaged 7.8 yards per attempt when under duress or hit while throwing, including a league-best 91.7 QBR (since Week 8). Over his first six games, Luck completed 29.4 percent of his passes under such pressure and failed to throw a touchdown.

The Jets in Jacksonville: The Jets have never won in Jacksonville (0-3), and they’ve scored fewer than 10 points in an NFL-high four games. But the Jaguars haven’t held anyone under 17 points this season, and they are allowing an average of 28.5 a game. Defensive end Jason Babin will play in his second game for the Jaguars and looks to boost an anemic pass rush as it chases Mark Sanchez. There will be a Landry brother on field at safety at all times. LaRon Landry of the Jets and Dawan Landry of the Jaguars have combined to play in 170 games, but this will be first time they’ll be on same field in a regular-season game.

Monday night bigness: The combined 20-4 record of these teams is tied for the best on "Monday Night Football" when each team has played at least 12 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. In 1987, the 10-2 49ers beat the 10-2 Bears. New England has won 12 straight December games, tied for the third-longest streak in NFL history. With a win, the Patriots would tie the 1968-72 Cowboys for the second-longest December win streak (the Chargers won 18 straight from 2006 to 2009). If the Texans lose, they will hear a lot about how they still aren’t a championship-caliber team. But even with a loss, 10,000 simulations by AccuScore say Houston still ends up winning the No. 1 seed 63% percent of the time while the Patriots win it in 36% of simulations.

Also: Thirty-seven teams have lost at least 14 regular-season games in a single season. A win Sunday for the Colts makes them the sixth to rebound to post a winning record the following season. … According to Stats & Info, Luck has had six potential interceptions dropped by defenders this season, most in the NFL. … Chris Johnson needs seven rushing yards to reach 1,000 for the fifth straight season. Johnson would be the eighth player in NFL history with 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first five seasons and would match the Titans' last longtime feature back, Eddie George. … The Jaguars have scored only eight offensive touchdowns at home this season, tied for the NFL low with Cleveland. ... Although Houston has the most passes disrupted (40) when sending five or more pass-rushers, it also has allowed the most touchdowns and 30-plus yard passes in such situations. It's a risk-reward deal. ... The Titans are 0-4 against the AFC South this season and 4-4 against the rest of the NFL. They are one of four teams this season winless in divisional games, along with the Chiefs, Seahawks and Lions. Only the Chiefs (minus-53) have a worse scoring margin in divisional games than the Titans’ minus-49. ... We’ll see two of the league‘s best rookie receivers in this game. Kendall Wright’s 54 receptions leads all rookies by a wide margin. The next two receivers on the list are Indy’s T.Y. Hilton and Jacksonville’s Justin Blackmon with 39.

Texans not thinking about prestige

October, 14, 2012
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HOUSTON -- The Green Bay Packers have deep, long roots and an impassioned regional and national following.

The Houston Texans do not.

That had no bearing on Houston as it prepared for tonight’s game at Reliant Stadium against Green Bay. Running back Arian Foster doesn’t think the Texans are measuring themselves against the Packers any more than they do against any opponent any week, he said.

“That’s up to whatever your pen writes there,” he said. “We’re going to go out and play whoever they let us play and we’re going to go out there and settle it on the field. We’ll let you guys worry about the prestige of the organizations.”

What I’d hate to see happen here is the Texans lose, which would hardly be an unreasonable result, and for people to overact about how the Texans have not beaten anybody and couldn’t produce in a big test against a desperate team.

Win or lose, they’re good and everyone should know it after five games and no losses.

Inactives for tonight, when the roof is closed.

Texans
Packers
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It’s 52 degrees and expected to rain at MetLife Stadium during the Texans-Jets game tonight.

Such weather might hurt the Texans pass game, but the Texans run the ball more than anyone else in the league. So Houston won’t have a problem adjusting the play-calling if the elements dictate it.

But Ben Tate won’t be available to ease the workload of Arian Foster. Tate is out with a toe injury, meaning Justin Forsett is the No. 2 running back.

The Jets are far more banged up, with cornerback Darrelle Revis and receiver Santonio Holmes out for the year and four other starters out tonight. Rookie receiver Stephen Hill, tight end Dustin Keller, fullback John Connor and defensive tackle Sione Po’uha are all out.

A New Jersey native, this is my first time at the new Stadium.

Giants Stadium was still pretty new when my family arrived here, so I feel pretty old. It’s a nice building. That feels like a tighter, more vertical version of Giants Stadium. Of newer stadiums, it’s most in the style of Baltimore.

Here are the complete lists of inactives:

Texans
Jets

RTC: Expecting rest for Jake Locker

October, 2, 2012
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Reading the coverage ...

Houston Texans

Gary Kubiak is concerned about the Texans' run game and run defense, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

To which I say: He’s got to be concerned about something. But this team is good enough that bad days in those departments can be offset by a lot of other stuff. They didn’t run great and allowed Chris Johnson to get on track and they still blew out the Titans.

An injury update on Antoine Caldwell and Quintin Demps, and Kubiak’s thinking on Connor Barwin’s play, from McClain.

Indianapolis Colts

Writes Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star: "The statistics are on Chuck Pagano’s side, with a 90 percent chance of complete remission and cure. And if you know anything about Pagano, you know he will beat this thing into submission."

Shocked and saddened, Colts players are offering their full support, says Phil Richards of the Star.

Their world rocked, the Colts have to get back to business, says Conrad Brunner of 1070 The Fan.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Mike Mularkey is staying positive but he’s willing to make some changes, too, says Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union.

To which I say: There is only so much change that can happen, because there is no influx of talent coming.

Breaking down all six of the sacks the Jaguars absorbed against Cincinnati with Ryan O’Halloran of the T-U.

Tennessee Titans

A Nashville doctor who’s an authority on shoulder injuries but isn’t involved in Jake Locker’s case forecasts a few weeks of rest, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Mike Munchak claims Leroy Harris did well against J.J. Watt outside of the two sacks he allowed, writes John Glennon of The Tennessean.

To which I say: The Titans are fueling Harris’ silly thinking and playing us for fools. Watt was all over the place and won plenty of plays against Harris. An offensive lineman doesn’t win the snap if he simply doesn’t allow a sack.

 

AFC South links: Clint Session's recovery

April, 6, 2012
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Houston Texans

The Texans re-signed Quintin Demps on Thursday to a one-year deal worth $700,000. Demps is a "young player with a huge upside," according to defensive backs coach Vance Joseph.

ProFootballWeekly.com identifies the Texans' top three needs heading into the 2012 NFL draft.

Indianapolis Colts

The team signed free agent defensive tackle Brandon McKinney, who had been with the Ravens since 2008.

ProFootballWeekly.com identifies the Colts' top three needs heading into the 2012 NFL draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars

After struggling to recover from the three concussions he suffered during the 2011 season, linebacker Clint Session finally found relief.

Terrance Knighton has taken being in shape more seriously this offseason. "I don’t want to be remembered for the guy who had weight problems, I want to be remembered for the guy who turned it around, is a positive role model for kids," Knighton said in an interview with Florida Times-Union's Tania Ganguli.

Tennessee Titans

The newest Titan, Leger Douzable, said he considers himself "the steal of free agency."

The Titans need more help at defensive end, writes the Tennessean's John Glennon, and with no clear-cut upgrades still available in free agency, the team will likely turn its attention to the draft.

Inactives from Reliant Stadium

January, 7, 2012
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HOUSTON -- The inactive list should have little bearing on the Bengals-Texans opener of the NFL playoffs.

Houston will be without Troy Nolan, a safety who’s been part of the dime package. He's out with an ankle injury and Quintin Demps will get that action.

The biggest name on the Bengals list is Taylor Mays, a sometimes situational safety.

It’s a beautiful day in Houston, where my rental car said it was 75 degrees about 45 minutes ago. The roof of Reliant Stadium is closed.

Bob Holtzman and his producer extraordinaire, Charles Moynihan, are to my right. AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley is to my left.

Hensley and I will be in the Countdown Live chat along with Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. starting just before kickoff.

The complete inactive lists:

Texans:
Bengals

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