NFL Nation: Darius Walker

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Peria Jerry and Evander Hood are possibilities for the Colts in the first round, writes Mike Chappell.
  • No. 6 on John Oehser's list of the top 25 picks of the Bill Polian era.
  • Bringing back Matt Giordano was a good move for the Colts, writes Oehser.
  • A look at defensive end in the draft, from Oehser.
  • Polian says he is rarely surprised by what unfolds in the first round, says Colts.com.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • The Jaguars got a No. 1 receiver in Torry Holt, writes Michael C. Wright.
  • A breakdown of receivers in the draft, from Wright.
  • Vic Ketchman's mailbag from Jaguars.com.
  • Five players the Jaguars could consider at No. 8, according to Cole Pepper.

Tennessee Titans

  • Jim Wyatt reviews his Sunday talk with Vince Young.
  • A look at Percy Harvin from a Tennessee perspective, from Jim Wyatt.

Reading the coverage: Green on IR

November, 26, 2008
11/26/08
10:41
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Hope you've got a half day, or better yet, the day off as you get ready for Thanksgiving. The AFC South Blog will be in Detroit for Titans-Lions and bring you everything we can get at Ford Field Thursday.

Here are this morning's headlines...

Houston Texans

  • Ahman Green is on injured reserve and with Steve Slaton and Ryan Moats banged up, the Texans have added Darius Walker.
  • The Texans will look to show they aren't a weakling in their first Monday night game, according to Megan Manfull.
  • A lot of big-time corners have given up more yards, catches and touchdowns than Jacques Reeves, writes John McClain.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Jeff Saturday doesn't know when he will be back from his calf injury, writes Phillip B. Wilson.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Punter Adam Podlesh is finished for the season, while George Wrighster and Jeremy Mincey are finally ready to play, says Vito Stellino.
  • A Q&A with receiver Mike Walker.

Tennessee Titans

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Late change in travel plans. I'll spend one more day in Nashville, then hit Houston for practice Friday and Saturday night's Texans-Broncos game.

Now, the best stuff I found this morning on the division...

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

  • Keith Bulluck considers 2008 a decisive year for him. Going into the final two years of his contract, he can't help but ponder the awkward endings to the Titan careers of Eddie George and Steve McNair, reports Jim Wyatt.
  • After his brother was paralyzed, Titans receiver Paul Williams wanted to quit football. Now the memory of Curtis Williams, who passed away six months after sustaining his football injury, drives Paul Williams, writes Gary Estwick.
  • Titans notes from The Tennessean: Injuries creating opportunities for young guys with the first team, Leroy Harris gets a turn as starting right guard, the Rams visiting means Jacob Bell will matchup against Albert Haynesworth again.
  • Wyatt provides five things to look for as the Titans square off against the Rams in practice starting Wednesday morning.

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

 
 AP Photo/David J. Phillip
 Ahman Green (30) runs during a training camp workout Saturday.

HOUSTON -- I watched the Texans practice in pads this morning with the intention of answering the most popular question I've fielded from Houston fans: How do the running backs and the running game look?

I'll go chronologically through my notes, and hope to offer some tidbits that qualify as answers.

During positional work, D-line coach Jethro Franklin told his charges that Sunday they started well and finished poorly. If they are going to be inconsistent, he pleaded, he wants that pattern reversed and prefers a big finish.

• Alex Gibbs, the assistant head coach who's basically the run game coordinator, and John Benton, the offensive line coach, finished one period working exclusively with guards and centers -- eight guys in all. That's a 1:4 coach-to-player ratio, an impressive number for a practice in July. It has to help the learning curve.

Gibbs isn't as loud as the last time I watched him work, during Atlanta practices in Nashville a few years ago. But the intensity is the same. He offered small reviews on every little thing to multiple guys after each snap, at a breakneck pace.

• In a team period, a 9-on-7 period and a red-zone team period, I did my best to keep track of the touches of the four running backs who worked. Chris Brown was out with back issues.

Rookie Steve Slaton had 10, Ahman Green (the starter) and Chris Taylor had seven and Darius Walker had six. There seemed to be an effort to keep them all involved, a good mix of inside and outside stuff and a decent number of pass-catching chances. While some of Slaton's came at the end of each period with second- or third-teamers, I felt like they all got some chances with the ones on offense.

Two bad moments of note for Walker: On a play-action, check-down in a team period, he seemed very timid as he collected a short pass in the middle of the field. While he may have been expecting a lick, he lost a chance at additional yards as no one arrived immediately. On one bad play in 9-on-7, Walker got folded in half by safety C.C. Brown.

Chester Pitts told me Sunday the Texans are doing a better job of using the whole field in the run game, and I could see that is the case. It looks like everyone involved in the run game is making progress with the new zone-blocking scheme, though obviously the offensive line isn't cut-blocking teammates. I'll have another entry further addressing some of that soon.

Matt Schaub was 4-for-5 in his first run through in 7-on-7 passing, hitting Owen Daniels on a nice midrange ball but overthrowing Green up the right side when the back had a half-step on linebacker Morlon Greenwood. Sage Rosenfels was 1-for-3 with a drop and a throw-away. Later in a team period, what I thought was Schaub's deepest throw of the day didn't make it to Andre Johnson as rookie cornerback Antwaun Molden stayed with him up the left side and broke it up. Offense was heavy on short stuff passing-wise. Based on it being my second padded practice, I can't tell you if that's a trend or was just the way the morning unfolded.

• I felt like Daniels did the most damage receiving-wise, pulling in a handful of midrange passes. He was a big part of last year's offense. He should be a bigger part of this year's. More to come on him. If you don't like to spend high fantasy picks on Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzalez, get a read on where Daniels is being drafted and take him a round earlier. [Disclaimer you'll see often: I never win my league.]

• Johnson didn't have a lot of balls come his way, but when they did, you can see how smooth he is. He just carries himself, runs and moves like a top-flight receiver.

• Play of the practice: linebacker Chaun Thompson made an excellent leaping grab in front of Daniels inside the 5-yard line near the boundary in red-zone work. A very pretty interception. I didn't write down who threw it, but as it was the fifth play of a period that lasted about 20, I suspect it was Schaub.

When the entire team was gone, DeMeco Ryans and Rosenfels were still around doing interviews. (Thanks to both.) Molden and fellow corner Derrick Roberson were the last two players on the field working, catching balls shot out of a Jugs machine.

I hope that provides some insight. I can't always look for everything you ask about, but when I have the opportunity to watch a session start to finish, I will certainly try to concentrate on the most frequently asked questions or some that are especially unique.

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