AFC South: Steve Vallos

INDIANAPOLIS -- Center Phil Costa wasn't even around long enough to be asked about dating Hulk Hogan's daughter let alone possibly hike the ball to quarterback Andrew Luck with the Indianapolis Colts.

Costa, in a surprising announcement, has decided to retire.

"Phil feels it's in his best interest to retire from the game," Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement released by the team. "We certainly understand and wish him nothing but the best."

The Colts signed Costa to a two-year, $2.7 million contract that included $450,000 guaranteed last month.

UPDATE: The Colts do not have to pay Costa any of the guaranteed money he was scheduled to make since he decided to retire.

The idea was for Costa to compete with Khaled Holmes for the starting center position, but I got the sense that the Colts were hoping Holmes would win the job. Costa, who started with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011, was beat out by rookie Travis Frederick last season.

Holmes only played 12 snaps and was a healthy inactive 11 times last season as a rookie.

Now the Colts are in serious of need of adding another center to the roster. This isn't a position they should be in with their franchise player Luck. The little bit of good news out of Costa telling the Colts he was retiring is that he did it now and not after training camp had already started. It gives Grigson some time to try to find another center to add to the roster.

Alex Mack?

Nope. The Cleveland Browns quickly matched the offer the Jacksonville Jaguars gave him.

Mike McGlynn?

McGlynn, who plays guard and center, was the best center on the Colts' roster last season, but the team had no interest in re-signing him. McGlynn is now with the Washington Redskins.

Samson Satele?


Kyle Cook, Mike Gibson and Steve Vallos are the three best centers still available on the free agent market, according to Bill Polian's free agent tracker.

Grigson said during the NFL owners' meetings last month that he wasn't overly impressed with the group of free agent centers.

That takes us to the draft. The Colts' first pick is not until No. 59 in the second round.

Here's a recap of the top 10 centers in the draft, according to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.:

1. Marcus Martin, USC
2. Weston Richburg, Colorado St.
3. Russell Bodine, North Carolina
4. Travis Swanson, Arkansas
5. Jonotthan Harrison, Florida
6. Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
7. James Stone, Tennessee
8. Bryan Stork, Florida St.
9. Corey Linsley, Ohio St.
10. Tyler Larsen, Utah St.

RTC: What's next is the question for Luck

July, 29, 2013
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Houston Texans

J.J. Watt says he is more explosive and more agile than he was last year, when he won defensive player of the year, says Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle.

Linebacker Joe Mays, who leveled Matt Schaub and earned a fine for a hit on his last season, got a look from the Texans now that he is a free agent, says John McClain of the Chronicle.

Watt doesn’t buy into talk of likely regression, says Stephanie Stradley of the Chronicle blog.

To which I say: You don’t want a guy saying he can’t match or surpass his last season. But even defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is among the people who think Watt could have a hard time duplicating his 2012.

Rookie Sam Montgomery was in a walking boot on Sunday, says Dave Zangaro of CSN Houston.

Indianapolis Colts

The prevailing question for Andrew Luck is, what’s next? The second-year quarterback wants to be better at getting the ball in the hands of his weapons, says Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.

To which I say: Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton says he wants Luck to manage bad plays better. There is nothing wrong with an occasional check down. I just hope there are not too many.

Year Two of this team with this leadership is going to be better, says Andy Benoit of MMQB.

Rookie guard Hugh Thornton is in a walking boot, says the Star as part of its camp observations.

A lot of video showing stuff unfolding on the first day of camp Sunday, from the Star.

Pagano and Luck have a higher comfort level at their second camp with the Colts, but no one will be complacent, says the AP.

Said Hamilton, via Marcus Dugan at Colts Authority: "We’re going to pride ourselves on not wasting plays and capitalizing on all opportunities, not just big-play opportunities.”

A practice report from Andrew Mishler of Stampede Blue.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Roy Miller anchored a good run defending line in Tampa last season and the Jaguars are looking for more of the same, says Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union.

To which I say: I think he may be the best free-agent addition they made in their limited shopping.

Twenty-three guys who were on the Jaguars last year are currently on other teams after corner Will Middleton landed in San Diego and center Steve Vallos signed in Denver, says Ryan O’Halloran.

A super-detailed practice report from O’Halloran, who says Blaine Gabbert wasn’t great but bounced back from a terrible Saturday.

Receiver Mike Brown has been shining, and taking snaps away from Jordan Shipley, says Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country.

Cecil Shorts has been the best player on the Jaguars so far, says Cole Pepper.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans' identity will be rooted in their offensive line, guys who are largely accustomed to being anonymous, says David Boclair of the Nashville City Paper.

Marc Mariani is still feeling his way back from the horrific leg injury that may mean he’s never the same, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Chris Johnson is fueled by a desire to get to the playoffs, says David Climer of The Tennessean.

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean compares the Titans to the 1999 team that went to the Super Bowl. Advantage, 1999.

To which I say: Steve McNair vs. Jake Locker is a significant gap right now. But the biggest difference between that team and this one is Jevon Kearse. This team doesn't have a pass rusher who demands game-planning attention.

“In their own, different ways, Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene are backs whose production will be as much a product of the offensive line as their own skills,” writes Tom Gower of Total Titans.