AFC South: Vonta Davis

Colts super thin at CB for Packers

October, 5, 2012
We wrote a bit earlier in Final Word that the Colts could face serious problems against the Packers even with a healthy secondary. It turns out that starting corner Vontae Davis (ankle) and nickel back Justin King (groin) are out of Sunday's Indianapolis-Green Bay game.

Cassius Vaughn will start opposite Jerraud Powers. Darius Butler or Josh Gordy will be at nickel in two different versions of the package.

It could be catastrophic, but interim coach Bruce Arians has no choice but to be optimistic.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for guys,” Arians told Indy reporters Friday. "...We’ve got some guys, some new guys, that are going to get a great opportunity to go up against a very formidable opponent and show what they’ve got.

“You know, Wally Pipp; you can earn a job, that’s where the whole next man in line got started. We believe in it. If you’re a Colt, you play like a starter when you’re on that field.”

There is no other way to move forward of course.

But I feel pretty confident that Vaughn, given up on in Denver before he was traded to Indy, and Butler, given up on in New England, aren’t going to be cornerbacking versions of Lou Gehrig.

'Hard Knocks': Vontae Davis details

August, 28, 2012
Things we learned from Tuesday night’s episode of "Hard Knocks" about the trade of cornerback Vontae Davis from the Dolphins to the Colts.
  • The Colts initiated trade talks via text to Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, presumably from counterpart Ryan Grigson.
  • Ireland expected a big contribution from Davis this year and thought he'd be tough to replace, but questioned Davis' role with the team in the long term, which is why he considered dealing him.
  • Miami’s defensive-backs coach thought the pass-interference penalty that put Davis in position for an interception he returned for a touchdown -- nullified by said penalty -- in the preseason loss to Atlanta was “ridiculous” and showed “just a total lack of awareness.”
  • Presuming he was listening to the television in his office, Ireland knew Colts owner Jim Irsay was tweeting about a potential trade, as the report on the TV had a broadcaster reading one of the tweets.
  • Ireland told coach Joe Philbin the offer started at a fifth- and sixth-round pick, then went to a third-round pick, then a second-round pick -- which Ireland said was not enough -- to a second and a conditional sixth, which is what the trade brought Miami.
  • Davis’ immediate reaction upon being told by Ireland he was traded to the Colts was a desire to call his grandmother.
  • Ireland told Davis he has the ability to be great, but that the up-and-down waves in his consistency needed to be smaller for it to happen.
Reading the coverage…

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Houston Texans

Shayne Graham knows he’s got to earn the kicking job every week whether or not he’s the line kicker on the roster. There are some quality alternatives out there, including Neil Rackers, the Texans' former kicker who left for a free agent deal but got cut in Washington.

The canny Texans are built around character, says Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.”It's about identifying good people, giving people space to be themselves, and being imminently willing to reward your own as you develop a young core.”

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts gave up a lot to get a player with some baggage, but Vonta Davis is a risk worth taking, says Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star. I agree entirely. He gives them a chance to be a lot better on defense, especially if the other top corner, Jerraud Powers, can stay healthy.

Keeping Andrew Luck upright is priority one for the Colts, and it’s not something they’ve proven to be good enough at yet, says Mike Chappell of the Star.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Unsurprisingly, Rashad Jennings is officially in line to start the Jaguars’ season-opener against Minnesota, says Vito Stellino. If Maurice Jones-Drew doesn’t show up today, it’ll be the 34th day of his holdout.

Four Jaguars went to IR and linebacker Clint Session and defensive end John Chick went on PUP as the Jaguars got their roster to 75, says Stellino.

Tennessee Titans

Packages mean that Jordan Babineaux and Robert Johnson will both get starts at safety according to defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, says John Glennon. I hate anything that puts Michael Griffin at strong safety and asks him to come into the box, and when they signed him to a big contract that’s not what anyone should have been envisioning. He needs to be a centerfielder.

Leroy Harris is still rounding into form after a couple offseason surgeries, says Glennon.

Andre Johnson did not practice on Monday, says John McClain.