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Saturday, July 26, 2008
Reading the coverage: Haynesworth has four ways to avoid second franchise tag


Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

A morning trip around the AFC South. Did I miss something? Have a question? Hit my mailbag. I'm in Terre Haute Saturday, Houston Sunday.

Houston Texans

It all starts with Matt Schaub for the Texans, and backup Sage Rosenfels provides a degree of comfort too, writes the Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice. A better run game means more play action means, hopefully, a less intimidating pass rush against the Texans this season.

Signed after OTAs, Rosevelt Colvin has some catching up to do, writes Meghan Manfull of the Chronicle.

Running back Chris Taylor is trying a bit of fullback in order to be more versatile and more valuable.

Indianapolis Colts

Jim Sorgi came out of his first full practice as the Colts' top quarterback with a new appreciation for the hard work it takes to run the first-team offense for an entire session. He looked better than I expected, but his big issue is decision making under pressure and that's not tested so much in a non-padded practice. Check out the Indianapolis Star story about it.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Matt Jones was embarrassed by his recent drug arrest, but "declined to answer questions about his innocence," the Florida Times-Union reports.

Gene Frenette encourages people not to get riled up by lists, like the Yahoo.com one that ranked Wayne Weaver as the worst owner. But Gene, that's why we write them.

Tennessee Titans

Albert Haynesworth's agreement to sign the franchise tender came with four avenues for him to avoid getting tagged again. Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean (my former colleague and good friend) gives us this list:

• Makes the Pro Bowl.
• Plays 60 percent of the team's defensive snaps.
• Plays 53 percent of the team's defensive snaps and the Titans win 10 games.
• Plays 53 percent of the team's defensive snaps and the Titans finish in the NFL's top five in total defense.

The first avenue is probably the easiest, and it's the one Haynesworth has the most control over. If he approaches last year's play, he'll be a Pro Bowler easily.

"We're just going to play this situation out and see how it goes," Haynesworth said. "Regardless, I am making ... a lot of money. So I am happy they are giving it to me and we'll see what happens next year."

Some good Titans notes: The team is confident first-rounder Chris Johnson will be signed and on the field soon, maybe Saturday... Receiver Roydell Williams (ankle) is on the PUP list and could be out for two more weeks... Stephen Tulloch, a middle linebacker by trade, will work at outside linebacker until David Thornton returns from his brother's wedding on Sunday.