AFC South: Rick Denison

Reading the coverage…

Houston Texans

Gary Kubiak’s endorsement of Rick Dennison as a head coaching candidate is a lot like Mike Shanahan’s once was for Kubiak, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

“None of this is calculus,” says Dale Robertson of the Chronicle. “If the Texans’ giveaways are fewer than their takeaways in their Foxborough encore, the statistical odds suggest they have a reasonable chance of reversing the outcome of a month ago when the Patriots administered a painful 42-14 razor cut at Gillette Stadium.”

Ben Jones versus Vince Wilfork is a key matchup, says Reid Laymance of the Chronicle. Jones should get a ton of help.

A look at the Texans’ worth beyond wins and losses from Loren Steffy of the Chronicle.

More consideration of the red-zone issues from Stephanie Stradley of the Chronicle blogs.

Houston’s offensive line played the best of all the teams that were in action on wild-card weekend, says Phil Gaskin of The Pulling Lineman.

Indianapolis Colts

Bruce Arians’ return to Indianapolis included at least a stop at another hospital, says Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star. But he’s said to be fine and is likely to start interviewing for head coaching jobs at the end of the week.

Reggie Wayne thought Ray Lewis’ final celebration Sunday was disrespectful, says Chappell.

A fan post at Stampede Blue by “JPZ” offers some interesting thoughts on free agents and draft picks the team could target.

Season awards for the Colts from Josh Wilson of Stampede Blue.

Receivers let down Andrew Luck in the loss to Baltimore, says Kyle Rodriguez of Colts Authority.

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Jaguars GM David Caldwell is likely to bring Chris Polian with him as director of pro personnel, says Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

Gene Frenette of the Times-Union offers Caldwell advice on his new job. It includes this: “A lot of popular/veteran players -- Rashean Mathis, Derek Cox, Terrance Knighton, (Daryl) Smith and Brad Meester -- have expiring contracts. Forget sentiment. Put on the tape, then let your scout’s eye dictate whether to bring them back.”

To which I say: I doubt a new guy's going to have any sentiment for people who have been part of a previous, unsuccessful regime.

What Caldwell does at quarterback will define him as the Jaguars general manager, says Vito Stellino of the Times-Union.

Tennessee Titans

Tight end coach John Zernhelt felt good about the work he did and was surprised to be fired by Mike Munchak, writes Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

To which I say: All the change so far has been to the offensive staff. Surely some alterations to a defensive staff that oversaw a unit that allowed the most points in the NFL are coming as well, right?

Derrick Morgan says pass rush coach Keith Millard helped him get better, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

“Ultimately, what happens next will determine how this season is remembered,” says David Boclair of the Nashville City Paper. “Either it will be the beginning of the end for Munchak’s time as head coach, which began with so much promise, or it will be the crucible that forged resolve and development among the many younger players currently on the roster.”

 
I was fortunate enough to have a bit of an e-mail back-and-forth with Eric Winston after learning that offensive line architect Alex Gibbs had left the Texans for Seattle.

“I think Gibbs is the kind of guy that likes to build things,” Winston wrote. “I think he has built a young, solid offensive line here in Houston and has effectively taught his scheme to the coaches as well as the players and for him, it was time to move on. I think he is a great coach and he will make a difference in Seattle, I’m sure.”

The Texans remain well stocked with offensive line coaches: John Benton, Frank Pollack and Bruce Matthews all work with the linemen. New offensive coordinator Rick Dennison brings an offensive line background.

Winston doesn’t expect any dramatic alterations in the post-Gibbs line.

“I would seriously doubt any changes -- major scheme changes -- would be made, especially [with] Dennison taking the OC job,” Winston said. “I think Benton likes the zone runs as much as everyone else. With that being said, every coach likes to make a little adjustment here and there and it will be no different next year. Hell, you might even see us run a power play as a changeup. LOL.”

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