AFC South: Tim Connolly

Quality reads

The best mock drafter in the biz, Rick Gosselin, offers his predictions.

Why the draft is a national obsession. It’s about hope, says Michael Rosenberg.

A very nice draft guide from Lance Zierlein.

Sigmund Bloom’s draft viewer’s guide.

I talked with Titans Radio about the draft for the rest of the division.

Houston Texans

Rick Smith likes the new draft format, says John McClain.

Matt Schaub and the Texans are looking to raise awareness about concussions with kids, says McClain.

Richard Justice says the Texans need to finish the deal.

The Texans are after character, not characters, says McClain.

McClain’s final mock, with Ryan Mathews to the Texans.

Justice says there is a trade coming.

Eric Winston has a mock draft. Interesting commentary.

Zierlein also has Houston taking Mathews.

Indianapolis Colts

Says Bill Polian: "It's about the entire process, not just the first round. Our focus is actually greater on the lower rounds than it is the first.'' Mike Chappell’s story.

John Oehser sifts through Polian’s talk with the press, which includes this: “But my personal feeling is that contrary to perception this is not a terribly deep offensive line draft. The top guys will go off early, and then it thins out.”

Nuggets from Polian’s press session, from Chappell.

Indy Football Report’s final mock.

A round up of mock picks for the Colts.

A look at Rodger Saffold, from Terry Hutchens.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are keeping everyone guessing, says Vito Stellino.

Gene Smith approaches the draft the right way, says Gene Frenette.

Don’t expect a quarterback, says Stellino.

Mackey Weaver was promoted to senior vice president of marketing and sales as Tim Connolly moves to Green Bay.

The Jags dealt Quentin Groves to Oakland.

Vic Ketchman gives his best-case and worst-case scenarios.

A case study on bad draft strategy, from Jonathan Loesche.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans will figure out how their philosophies fit and work in the new draft format, says Jim Wyatt.

Wyatt evaluates the Titans’ roster and needs.

Tony Brown got a three-year deal, reports Wyatt. Titans fans who constantly say they don’t re-sign anyone, please take note.

If they make a move for Albert Haynesworth, they should do it before No. 16, says Wyatt.

There will be more time to talk trade, write David Boclair.

Ross Tucker gives LenDale White a 20 percent chance of being traded.

Mike Reinfeldt doesn’t have any regrets about the Jared Cook pick, says Wyatt.

The defensive end pool is deep, says Joe Biddle.

Titans Radio’s two-hour draft preview.
Here’s a recap of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ ticket sales situation from Michael C. Wright.

Jacksonville knows this is a baby-steps process. But the Jaguars basically have to sell 12,000 more tickets to reach their sellout number and be on local TV.

“We sold about 8,000 in 3 1/2 months,” said Tim Connolly, Jaguars vice president of business development. "So now we've got to do 12,000 in four months. But you can't look at the clock or the score. You've just got to keep playing."

The Jaguars, the city and local initiatives to spark sales have done admirable work in a tough situation.

The draft should spark a new wave of interest.

But the fact is they’ve got to pick up the pace to be on TV, and there is no bigger marketing tool in the league than home games on TV.

Until the Jaguars don’t have to sweat that, no matter how much foundation building general manager Gene Smith does and no matter how well Team Teal and Touchdown Jacksonville promote the team, the franchise’s stability will remain in question.

Jaguars ticket sales update

March, 10, 2010
We will not get a full sense of how the Jaguars are doing at the box office until March 19 -- which is when season ticket renewals are due.

But the team's been working feverishly on the marketing end of things and reaching out at rallies and events to spur interest.

Here's an update Vito Stellino provided from the same story in the previous post that focused on fan interest, or lack of it, in Tim Tebow. This came after Gene Smith took questions for more than 45 minutes on a conference call with season-ticket holders:
Tim Connolly, who runs their ticketing department, gave an update on the ticket sales. He said the Jaguars have sold 5,000 new season tickets so far, compared to 400 at this time last year, and gave a lot of the credit to the buzz created by Touchdown Jacksonville, the civic group spearheading the ticket-selling campaign.

Connolly said about 35 percent of the 27,000 season tickets have been renewed, but he said most of the fans renew at the last minute. The renewal deadline is March 19.

A gain of 5,000 is great at this point. The draft will spur more. But the season-ticket renewals key it all. The Jaguars have to hold onto their core while trying to grow it. We'll be looking for that number as soon as Connolly has it.
Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

I suspect we're going to hear this from more teams than not, as they try to stir some goodwill, see if they can't maintain some loyalty with season ticket holders and offer ways to spread payments out.

The Jaguars announced this morning that "there will be no increase in season ticket prices for the general bowl and all multi-year premium seats for the 2009 season."

"Our team is fully aware of the economic challenges that our fans are facing, and maintaining our current pricing structure is the appropriate thing to do," said Jaguars Senior Vice President/ Business Development Tim Connolly. "The Jaguars are generally recognized for having one of the NFL's lowest average ticket prices, and we understand how important that is to many of our fans."

Renewal notices will be sent to season ticket holders in late January and will come with an option for a five-month payment plan.

The Jaguars are 4-9 in a season that started with Super Bowl expectations.

No word on the answer to the logical question: Did they consider lowering prices?

Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

The Jaguars-Bills game will be on television in Jacksonville on Sunday.

From a release the team just sent out:

While there are tickets remaining for the Jaguars' home opener this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, including tickets returned from the Bills, enough tickets have been sold in order for the league to lift the blackout for Sunday's game. The game will be televised regionally on WTEV CBS47.

I spoke on Wednesday to Tim Connolly, the team's senior vice president of business development, and he said they were 1,100 away from a sellout. He felt they were on pace to sell out, planned to tell the league so today without even requesting an extension and expected no blackout.

I was a bit skeptical as I'd never heard of such assurances being enough to ensure no blackout, and told Connolly I'd hold off on writing while I waiting on a return call from a league official. (Still waiting).

So apologies for my doubts, Mr. Connolly. Good work. See you in the press box at Jacksonville Municipal  Stadium Sunday. (I had initially written "Auditorium" instead of "Stadium," as a reader points out below. Apologies. Must have had Kings of Leon tickets for Nashville Municipal Auditorium on my mind.)