AFC South: Tyron Brackenridge
- Houston signed defensive tackle Shaun Cody. John McClain says it’s a two-year, $5.75 million contract with $1.5 million guaranteed and that Gary Kubiak thought Cody was the second most consistent lineman to Antonio Smith in 2010. Cody and Earl Mitchell are slated to play the nose for Wade Phillips. I think it’s a big mistake if the team has decided that these players are sufficient and if it doesn’t look to address the position further.
- The Texans also signed No. 2 running back Derrick Ward to a one-year deal, per McClain. Ward was solid as the primary backup to Arian Foster, averaging 6.3 yards a carry with four touchdowns on 50 carries.
- The Jaguars signed defensive backs Tyron Brackenridge and David Jones. They are depth guys, not solutions, at safety and corner, respectively.
We could see a complete overhaul at the spot akin to what the Jaguars did this offseason on the defensive line.
For the second time this season, Gene Smith has taken a player at his team’s worst position and turned him into something for later.
First, he sent Reggie Nelson to Cincinnati for cornerback David Jones and a conditional draft pick. On Sunday, Smith shipped Anthony Smith to Green Bay for a conditional seventh-rounder.
Late picks aren’t gold, but stockpiling whatever he can get for players who don’t have long-term futures here is smart and smooth.
In the meantime, the Jaguars will try to stay competitive this season with what they have. Gerald Alexander, who was cut but later re-signed, will remain at free safety tonight against the Titans. Courtney Greene and converted corner Don Carey are expected to see time at strong safety.
The Jaguars also have Sean Considine and Tyron Brackenridge and recently added Mike Hamlin to their practice squad.
They hope Nelson and Smith will do what’s needed to meet the conditions that net them the picks, and that they'll be able to use those picks to maneuver for guys they like in April, or to find a late-round surprise or two.
Biggest surprises: Three undrafted rookies won spots -- offensive tackle Kevin Haslam, defensive end Aaron Morgan and linebacker Jacob Cutrera. Getting anything for Reggie Nelson was big, and GM Gene Smith managed to send the safety to Cincinnati for David Jones. That’s a surprise. That they also cut another veteran safety, Gerald Alexander, before adding one, also qualifies as a surprise. They seem sure to add someone in the coming days. Right now the starting pairing would come from Anthony Smith, Sean Considine, Tyron Brackenridge and Courtney Greene. I bet Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub endorse that. It’s not clear who the third wide receiver will be with Troy Williamson gone. Atiyyah Ellison was a feel good story a year ago, now he’s gone too. The team has three fullbacks with Greg Jones, Montell Owens and Brock Bolen. Kynan Forney was competing for a starting guard job, lost it and lost his place on the team.
No-brainers: Not a ton. Three linebackers -- Teddy Lehman, Alvin Bowen and Tony Gilbert -- of a weak group of reserves didn’t make it and another (Kyle Bosworth) was placed on IR.
What’s next: Work at safety, first and foremost. The Jaguars will be thorough in their examination and consideration of the waiver wire and free agents. They have room at the back of the roster for upgrades. After safety, look for linebacker to be the spot that gets the most attention as the Jaguars have just five on the roster.
Right guard: It’s third-year man Mike Brisiel, who missed all but the opener last season with an injury, trying to hold off second-year man Antoine Caldwell. I’d think they view Caldwell as having more upside and being more suited to the system, but it seems too close to call still.
Kicker: Kris Brown could be limited with a bit of a foot injury, but it doesn’t sound like it will factor into the decision. He and Neil Rackers have been quite even, so the question becomes does Gary Kubiak stay loyal to Brown or decide a change of scenery will be healthier and go with Rackers?
Outside linebacker: While Brian Cushing sits the first four games to serve his suspension, it's still unclear what the Texans will do. There was a lot of talk about Zac Diles playing strongside while rookie Daryl Sharpton took Diles' spot. Now the local media is talking as if Kevin Bentley is the front-runner.
Left guard: The offensive line’s been a complete scramble in the preseason because of injuries. Presuming Charlie Johnson is set to return as left tackle for opening day in Houston, this spot looks like the one most up in the air. Tony Ugoh was plugged in at the start of camp, but then wound up at tackle when Johnson was hurt. Jamey Richard could also win it, and if the Colts are being secretive, rookie Jacques McClendon could factor in.
Return man: Three newcomers -- Brandon James, Devin Moore and Ray Fisher -- have all gotten looks in games. Moore had the best results with the ball in his hands. But he's been dinged and the other two have made fielding errors with Fisher booting one against Buffalo and James doing the same at Green Bay. How they stack up in-house right now is unknown, and Thursday could certainly still factor into things.
Right guard: Has Vince Manuwai, an incumbent starter, held on to the one open spot on the line? If so he should play on the right. If not, Uche Nwaneri will probably play on the right with Kynan Forney on the left. It seems Jack Del Rio’s decided, but just isn’t sharing yet.
Safety: Both spots are hardly cemented, and it will be a bigger surprise if the team doesn’t add a safety from waivers than if it does. Anthony Smith looks to lead at strong with Gerald Alexander at free, but they have Sean Considine and Reggie Nelson and even Courtney Greene and Tyron Brackenridge in the mix too. None of them has stepped forward and made a huge push so far.
Right cornerback: Jason McCourty is steadier and faster, rookie Alterraun Verner is a bigger playmaker. Jeff Fisher’s left open the possibility of playing them both, but that’s a difficult juggling act that could slow the progress of both. It’s also a good way for the coach to keep quiet on the starter in the opener until just before kickoff.
Returner: Damian Williams is the guy they’d like to win it, but he’s been a little timid and lost a fumble during a return in Carolina. Another rookie, Marc Mariani, is the primary alternative.
Outside linebacker: While Gerald McRath serves his four-game suspension, who lines up with Stephen Tulloch and Will Witherspoon? Colin Allred would appear the leader, with Jamie Winborn the other possibility. Activating David Thornton off PUP and using him is an outside option. I don’t see it considering his scheduled salary of around $5 million, his propensity for getting hurt and his current physical status.
It’s another ingredient in why the NFL is the best thing going in sports, another piece of the unpredictability we love.
Generally, I have trouble forecasting big things for teams that are counting on a high number of unproven players to make simultaneous jumps and be productive -- though they can emerge as far better than I expect, of course. Still, it’s why I am not particularly optimistic about the 2010 Tennessee Titans.
I thought I’d go team-by-team in search of less-than-established spots in the lineup to create an AFC South uncertainty index.
Let’s be clear: you may not prefer Amobi Okoye at defensive tackle for the Houston Texans, Kyle DeVan at right guard for the Indianapolis Colts, Brad Meester at center for the Jacksonville Jaguars or Michael Griffin at safety for the Titans. But they are guys who will play and have a degree of faith from the team.
I’m looking at spots where inexperience is a big factor.
We’re not pretending to know the season-opening depth charts here, simply building off last year’s versions. We’ll look a bit beyond starting lineups with significant roles and return jobs included. Here's our look in order of uncertainty. (Starting positions labeled with an asterisk.)
Titans (10, with three starters)
- *Defensive end: Derrick Morgan
- *Outside linebacker: Gerald McRath
- *Cornerback: Jason McCourty, Ryan Mouton, Alterraun Verner, Rod Hood, Tye Hill
- Third outside cornerback: McCourty, Mouton, Verner, Hood, Hill
- Second running back: Javon Ringer
- Blocking tight end: Craig Stevens
- Second receiving tight end: Jared Cook
- Third defensive tackle: Sen’Derrick Marks
- Punt returner: Damian Williams, Alvin Pearman, Ryan Mouton
- Kick returner: Marc Mariani, Damian Williams, Mark Jones
Jaguars (10 with two starters)
- *Defensive tackle: Tyson Alualu
- *Second and third wide receiver: Troy Williamson, Mike Thomas, Jarett Dillard
- Second and third running back: Deji Karim, Rashad Jennings
- Third or fourth defensive tackle: D’Anthony Smith
- Third or fourth defensive end: Larry Hart, Austen Lane
- Third tight end: Zach Miller
- Nickelback: Don Carey, Scott Starks, Tyron Brackenridge
- Punt returner: Scotty McGee, Thomas, Karim
- Kick returner: McGee, Karim, Thomas
Indianapolis (six, with one starter)
- *Left guard: Tony Ugoh, Andy Alleman, Jacques McClendon
- Third (possibly second) tight end: Brody Eldridge, Tom Santi, Jacob Tamme
- Third defensive end: Jerry Hughes
- Fourth cornerback: Ray Fisher, Mike Newton, Brandon King, Jordan Hemby
- Punt returner: Fisher, Jerraud Powers, Brandon James
- Kick returner: Fisher, Sam Giguere, James
Houston (four, with three starters)
- *Running back: Ben Tate
- *Right guard: Antoine Caldwell
- *Cornerback: Kareem Jackson
- Third (possibly second) tight end: James Casey, Garrett Graham
The first thing of note I’ve seen was this from Adam Schefter via Twitter:
"Colts coach Jim Caldwell is thinking about playing some four WR sets with Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez."
As if three wides and Dallas Clark isn’t enough of a problem.
I automatically started thinking of secondary depth in the division and how it would stack up against that. Nobody in the league has the kind of corner and secondary depth needed to stand up to that personnel grouping with Peyton Manning at the controls.
The Texans and Titans are definitely in the market for a cornerback, and safety is also in play. The Jaguars likely take a defensive back or two as well in the draft.
Teams could obviously use an additional safety in the sort of dime scenarios this could force. Here’s our take on the depth at defensive back for each of the Colts’ division opponents:
Nickel: Glover Quin, Jacques Reeves, Brice McCain.
Dime candidates: Cornerbacks Fred Bennett, Antwaun Molden; Safeties Dominique Barber, Troy Nolan.
Assessment: Contemplating this secondary against the Colts’ four-wide lineup is scary right now. Throw Clark in as the fifth skill player and I don’t know how Houston holds up. Corner and free safety are big draft needs.
Nickel: Rashean Mathis, Derek Cox, Tyron Brackenridge.
Dime candidates: Corners William Middleton, Kennard Cox, Michael Coe; whichever safety isn’t already playing out of Reggie Nelson, Anthony Smith, Sean Considine.
Assessment: Top three are pretty solid, but safety really needs to be sorted out and could have a new piece.
Nickel: Cortland Finnegan, Ryan Mouton, Vincent Fuller.
Dime candidates: Corners Rod Hood and Jason McCourty; safety Donnie Nickey.
Assessment: I am giving the nod as the second starting corner to Mouton right now based on hearing the team is high on him. A draft pick needs to compete for that spot. Overall depth is unproven.
The motivated Texans responded to Gary Kubiak and ended a four-game skid, says John McClain.
A heart to heart Mario Williams had with Kubiak helped spark better play, says Jordan Godwin.
Offensive inconsistency continued in the Texans' win, said Dale Robertson.
Maybe Kubiak subconsciously wanted to make his fight for survival his team’s fight, says Richard Justice.
Kubiak has some concerns about Kris Brown, say Robertson and McClain.
McClain’s report card with a chance for your input.
Alan Burge was impressed.
The Colts secured home-field advantage and a record winning streak, says Phil Richards.
Indy surrendered a record 21 receptions to Brandon Marshall, says Phillip B. Wilson.
Not only doesn’t Bill Polian believe in mojo, he doesn’t know what it is, writes Bob Kravitz.
Dallas Clark led a great red zone attack with three touchdown catches, writes Mike Chappell. An interesting note from this notebook: This was the first three-interception game for Peyton Manning that the Colts won. Previously they were 0-11.
Players want to keep going, but the people in charge will want to get everyone healthy, says Chappell.
It’s now 34 or 35 days until the first playoff game, says John Oehser.
Both undefeated teams should go for it, says Gene Wojciechowski, who I sat next to in the press box.
Will rest mess with the undefeated Colts? Clark Judge poses the question we’ll be talking about for a month.
A look at the Colts from the defensive side, from Jason Cole.
Getting healthy is the Colts’ top goal, says Vic Carucci.
Will rest produce rust, asks Greg Couch.
Marshall’s record day wasn’t enough, says Rick Gosselin.
Bob Kravitz’s report card.
Small stats helped produce a big win, says Larry Hawley.
There were milestones and memories from a big win, says Jeremiah Johnson.
Inefficient play on third down hurt the Jaguars' offense, says Jeff Elliott.
David Garrard came up small in a big game, writes Gene Frenette.
The Jaguars' offense flopped on the decisive drive, says Michael C. Wright.
Tyron Brackenridge and Gerald Alexander forced two fumbles apiece, says Wright.
Miami held Maurice Jones-Drew under 100 yards, writes Vito Stellino.
The Dolphins felt fortunate to squeak by, says Garry Smits.
An "F" for the passing offense in Frenette’s report card.
So much for destiny.
Don Banks gives the Jaguars only a 10 percent chance of making the playoffs, less than Baltimore, Miami and the Jets.
Opportunities kept arriving, but the Jags were incapable of taking advantage, said Vic Ketchman.
Jags lose the game and maybe the playoffs, says Jay Gray.
A good day was offset a bit by a hamstring injury that knocked Vince Young from the game, says Jim Wyatt.
Chris Johnson had another productive day as he guns for 2,000, writes Gary Estwick.
The defense feasted on rookie quarterback Keith Null, says Estwick.
Keith Bulluck’s big day helped spark the defense, says Estwick.
Kerry Collins proved ready, say Wyatt and Estwick.
Young and the Titans played things right after the injury, writes Joe Biddle.
Wyatt’s report card.
Four downs with Joe Biddle.
The Titans blasted the hapless Rams, says Terry McCormick.
Johnson continues his assault on the Titans’ record book, writes McCormick.
Gary Kubiak has the better quarterback in Matt Schaub, says Richard Justice.
Cortland Finnegan tends to bring out the best in Andre Johnson, says McClain.
The Texans’ recent success is a significant development in their rivalry with the Titans, writes Dale Robertson.
Steve Slaton and Chris Johnson have been running in different directions, says McClain.
Sunday’s games went largely the right direction for Houston, says Alan Burge.
A look back at the Jason Babin trade, from Burge.
Gary Brackett’s late interception helped the Colts avoid the upset, writes Phil Richards.
Despite turnovers, the Colts offense did enough, says Mike Chappell.
Bob Kravitz’s report card.
In place of Gijon Robinson, Tom Santi had a career day, says Chappell.
Matt Stover shows he’s still kicking, says Rick Gosselin.
The Colts bandwagon should have more passengers, says Clifton Brown.
This one had more to do with Brackett than Peyton Manning, says Clark Judge.
John Oehser’s “Coffee with the Colts.” Part 1 and Part 2.
It’s hard to complain about anything, says Deshawn Zombie.
The Colts survived with defense, says Matt Snyder.
Baltimore’s loss clouds the playoff picture, says Steve Wyche.
David Garrard leads another rally for a win, says Vito Stellino.
The Jaguars just keep punching, writes Gene Frenette.
The Jags are in the thick of the AFC race, says Michael C. Wright.
T.O. gave MSW the shirt off his back, says Wright.
John Henderson’s two sacks were part of a pass-rush resurgence, says Jeff Elliott.
Tyron Brackenridge got beat on T.O.’s long TD but did well beyond that filling in for Rashean Mathis, says Stellino.
Frenette’s report card.
Life is good for the Jaguars, says Vic Ketchman.
The Jaguars are growing into contenders, says Cole Pepper.
It’s the first three-game winning streak in nearly two years, says Matt Loede.
Vince Young is at home on the national stage, says Jim Wyatt.
Throwback Oilers merchandise isn’t a big hit, says Terry McCormick.
Wyatt’s game breakdown.
An overdue review of penalties in the AFC South reveals that the young Jaguars have shown great discipline. They have given up the least penalty yards in the league (290) and their 39 penalties are tied with Seattle for second-fewest in the NFL behind Cleveland (37).
Those are very good developments for a young team, and speak to the ability of Jack Del Rio and his staff to get a message through to a roster filled with newcomers and to the ability of veterans to spread the word about how to do things the right way.
Thanks to Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Information for running the numbers.
Here’s a team-by-team look at penalties and the primary offenders:
Penalties: 39, tied for 2nd fewest
Yards: 290, fewest
- Maurice Williams: 4 for 25
- Tyron Brackenridge: 2 for 20
- Courtney Greene: 2 for 20
- John Henderson: 2 for 10
- Vince Manuwai: 2 for 10
- Rashean Mathis: 2 for 10
Penalties: 43, tied for 7th fewest
Yards: 331, 5th fewest
- Pierre Garcon: 5 for 45
- Antonio Johnson: 3 for 25
- Philip Wheeler: 3 for 25
- Ryan Diem: 3 for 15
- Dwight Freeney: 3 for 15
- Peyton Manning: 3 for 15
- Jacob Lacey: 2 for 23
- Antoine Bethea: 2 for 22
Penalties: 56, 7th most
Yards: 480, 7th most
- Duane Brown: 5 for 35
- Dunta Robinson: 4 for 49
- Antonio Smith: 4 for 30
- Connor Barwin: 3 for 25
- Brian Cushing: 3 for 25
- Eugene Wilson: 2 for 30
- Vonta Leach: 2 for 25
Penalties: 49, tied for 15th most
Yards: 397, 16th most
» NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South
Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky
Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 8:
|Jason Miller/US Presswire|
|It is important for Titans quarterback Vince Young to start the game well.|
The 49ers will have a shock factor: They will have worked all week on stuff they are sure is going to work, and Peyton Manning will undo a piece of it with some sort of ridiculous completion. As that unfolds, a team unfamiliar with playing the Colts is likely to start wondering just what it has gotten itself into. If the 49ers fall behind, watch Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis attack Alex Smith. Things could get ugly. Smith used to drop the ball a lot. Mathis and Freeney do a great job of knocking it free.
The flags will be flapping in Buffalo: Wind is always an issue at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Houston’s win at Green Bay last year was a benchmark moment. Now comes another weather challenge on the road in a game that could really boost the Texans into the pool of AFC teams considered playoff contenders. Can the Texans find the recipe where they show a commitment to the run but still find big chunks of yardage with their precision passing? It could be a good week for a bigger pass rush -- defensive line coach Bill Kollar joined the Texans from the Bills and likely has some special insight they can put to use.
A contest of corner depth: Vincent Fuller returns for the Titans who probably get Cortland Finnegan back too, but they will be without Nick Harper. That means Jason McCourty is likely in the mix. The Jaguars are without Rashean Mathis (finger) which probably means Tyron Brackenridge or Scott Starks is in the lineup. Which substitute corner can hold up the best? Can coordinators Dirk Koetter and Mike Heimerdinger dial up stuff for David Garrard and Young, respectively, to take advantage?
Sanders vs. Gore: Pound Frank Gore and try to build from there. That’s the one game plan you’d think the 49ers will try to stick with. The Colts seem more susceptible up the middle than around the edges, but Bob Sanders is likely to be sharper in his second game back from a knee injury. Look for a couple top notch collisions between a back averaging 5.3 yards a carry and a safety looking to re-establish himself as a bruising run defender.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
The Jaguars resisted any temptation to flip their cornerbacks during the course of their season-opening loss at Indianapolis.
They have confidence in rookie Derek Cox and didn’t feel like they’d solve any problems by moving him away from Reggie Wayne and putting veteran Rashean Mathis on the Colts’ top receiver.
“I think at halftime we felt good about those guys playing left and right,” defensive coordinator Mel Tucker told Jacksonville reporters on Friday. “I think Derek made some decent plays in the first half so that was not a major concern at that point in the game.”
I understand the reluctance to make the move. Asking Cox to start is a big assignment. Asking him to be able to play on either side right from the start is even bigger.
Tucker didn’t offer up much when asked about the Jaguars’ plans for Arizona, who’s got a receiver who can be even more difficult to cover than Wayne in Larry Fitzgerald.
“I think that’s going to be one of those things where there’s going to be a lot of interest going into the game,” Tucker said. “I think we’ll just have to see what happens. We’re going to do what we feel like is going to give us the best chance to win.”
"They move [Fitzgerald] around. They do a nice job offensively. They have multiple personnel groupings. There’s a shift or a motion on almost every play. They have a good scheme. They have a great quarterback and excellent skill players. It seems like they’re starting to find a running game, so they have a lot to defend. We’re going to have to be at our best.”
Arizona does move Fitzgerald around and it’s not as if their other receivers can’t hurt a defense, particularly one that doesn’t generate a consistent pass rush. I’d expect Cox and Mathis and Tyron Brackenridge all to get chances to work against him.
Cardinals at Jaguars is a very intriguing game to me. The home team is built to run it and wear a defense down; the guests are built to throw it and break a defense with big plays. Each offense could use at least a small dose of what the other does well to achieve more balance.
I’ll be at Texans-Titans and will always lean heavily towards games pitting two AFC South teams. But if I was picking one non-division Jaguars’ home game this year to be at, this would be the one.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
The situation: The Colts are up 7-6 with 10:11 on the clock in the third quarter, facing a third-and-9 from their own 30-yard line.
Peyton Manning lines up in the shotgun, between tight end Dallas Clark on his right and running back Donald Brown on his left. Reggie Wayne is in the slot to the left with Austin Collie outside of the numbers left and Pierre Garcon spaced the same to the right.
Against three-wide and expecting pass, the Jaguars are in dime personnel, with Tyron Brackenridge (who lines up near the line between the left end and defensive tackle) and Scott Starks on the field along with only one linebacker, Brian Iwuh, who starts off to the offensive left.
Here’s what I saw unfold after the snap:
- Manning fakes a handoff to Brown who heads up the middle.
- Left tackle Charlie Johnson rides right defensive end Derrick Harvey wide and right guard Ryan Lilja arrives to help make sure Harvey has no chance to recover and get in position to influence the play.
- Right tackle Ryan Diem gets chip help from Clark, whose contribution actually puts left end Quentin Groves on the ground. Clark then draws the attention of Brackenridge.
- Right guard Mike Pollak and center Jeff Saturday team up to stymie defensive tackle Derek Landri.
- Brown cuts right near the line of scrimmage and has a step on Iwuh who is in pursuit. A bit deeper, Wayne has cut behind Brown on a similar cross.
- Manning delivers the ball to Brown in stride and he catches it, continuing to the right but dipping his left shoulder to angle for yardage before safety Reggie Nelson arrives and cuts him down.
Ultimate outcome: The third-down conversion makes Manning five-for-five throwing in such situations. The Colts go 60 more yards in five more plays, pulling ahead 14-6 when Manning hits Wayne with a 35-yard touchdown strike.
Biggest surprise: The Jaguars continue to be willing to part ways with veterans who disappoint. While their depth is questionable at cornerback, they cut Brian Williams, who’s played corner, safety and nickel for them. Tyron Brackenridge, an offseason waiver claim from the Jets, joins Scott Starks and Brian Witherspoon as the depth with rookie Derek Cox likely to start opposite Rashean Mathis. Two undrafted players made it -- defensive end Julius Williams and linebacker Russell Allen, while expensive veteran offensive lineman Tony Pashos did not.
No-brainers: Nate Hughes was productive all through camp and in his preseason action and on a team that drafted three receivers and brought in Torry Holt, he still had to make it. He stayed and could start, while the third of the drafted wideouts, Tiquan Underwood, was cut. Ernest Wilford, brought back recently when he was let go in Miami, made the team as a tight end ahead of Richard Angulo, who was seen by some as “just a guy.”
What's next: Backup quarterback was going to be one big concern, but the team dealt an undisclosed draft pick to Tampa Bay for Josh McCown. Todd Bouman will likely be gone once McCown passes his physical. With fullback Greg Jones likely to be the top alternative for carries to Maurice Jones-Drew and rookie Rashad Jennings the only other running back on the roster after Alvin Pearman and Chauncey Washington were cut, the team is thin at the spot. Expect a practice squader, or two, at least.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It was billed as a scrimmage. A somewhat clumsy scoring system was in place, but it wasn't well translated by the scorekeeper who was controlling the JumbroTron.
It's hard to declare a winner in a glorified practice anyway, which is what unfolded at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in front of 14,112 fans who took advantage of a free night.
Some highlights, lowlights and developments from the AFC South Blog's final training camp night with the Jags:
- Line judge Tom Symonette talked with offensive tackle Jordan Black after one series about how he was coming close to drawing a holding call near the end of an early period, saying he could tell Black was doing it more as he got tired.
- At the end of a 2:00 drill period, on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, David Garrard pitched to Maurice Jones-Drew who probably would have been taken down by a defender if things were live. MJD threw a wobbler to the right side of the end zone, and Mike Walker made a great play to go up and take it away from Reggie Nelson.
- Rookie receiver Jarett Dillard went up to pull in a 25-tard gain to convert a third-and-11 from Garrard. It's the sort of catch Dillard's failed to make on a consistent basis in the last several days.
- Defensive back Brian Williams put a shoulder down and crushed Todd Peterson after a mid-range reception. It was called incomplete, but the replay on the stadium scoreboard suggested he'd gathered the ball and taken a step. I asked Symonette about it and he said we'd "have to take it to replay." It was the sort of hit a lot of coaches wouldn't have been happy with in this setting, but that the Jaguars seem not to mind while working to instill their physical mentality.
- Garrard looked for Troy Williamson in the back middle of the end zone from maybe 20 yards out and was picked by rookie corner Derek Cox. Garrard said he'd like to have the throw back, but it was a situation where if the team had game planned it probably would have looked to a different route.
- Kicker Josh Scobee was impressive again, nailing all five field goal attempts from 35 to 52 yards all with quite a bit of room to spare. I was wondering if he's at a point where he should start dialing it down a little, a 27-year old maybe saving a little to help his chances as a 37-year old. Or is it good that he makes plenty of long kicks with eight or 10 yards to spare? There was a practice pause right after the field goal period, and since Jack Del Rio walked by right as I was thinking it, I asked him. He kind of shook his head and laughed, but then told me about how things have really clicked in mentally for Scobee.
- Walker was hurt somewhere along the way, but Del Rio said afterward that a lower leg X-ray was negative and the team was optimistic it wouldn't be a big cause for concern.
- Backup quarterback Todd Bouman threw a nice TD to tight end Greg Estandia over Gerald Alexander in the back left corner of the end zone. Not long later, Bauman was picked off by Scott Starks, who wrestled a pass away from Tiquan Underwood.
- Tyron Brackenridge pulled in a pick of third string quarterback Paul Smith, who's not looked good while I've been here. The throw was a bit behind Clarence Denmark and defensive back Kennard Cox jostled him as it was arriving. It would have gone for a pick-six if officials didn't whistle a stop to the return.
- In the final period, the offense got the ball at its own 35-yard line with 58 seconds on the clock. They got across the 50 in two plays, but the drive died as Garrard threw a terrible ball that Kennard Cox picked easily in front of Williamson. Wasn't much of a finish to the night.
- Two-minute drill receiving totals provided by the team: Underwood 2-26, 1 TD, Dillard 1-25, Alvin Pearman 1-1, Estandia 1-11, Rashard Jennings 1-15, Zach Miller 2-28.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Playing for a team thin at cornerback, William James' periodic work as the nickel was so poor at times for the Jaguars in 2007 that they sometimes stayed in their base defense against three-wide formations.
Which led a few of us on the sidelines of the team's recent minicamp to wonder, "How is he still here?"
He's not anymore.
The Jaguars announced Thursday they have cut James and first-year tight end Charles Davis.
Jacksonville has to be able to find better cornerback depth than James, with rookie Derek Cox challenging for a starting spot and Scott Starks, Brian Witherspoon and Tyron Brackenridge in the mix for roles.