NFL Nation: Luke Richesson
- Gary Kubiak says the Texans need a boost from Amobi Okoye and Duane Brown, writes John McClain.
- DeMeco Ryans has fired his agent, Kirk Wood, says McClain in a blog entry.
- Links to radio interviews with linebacker prospects Clay Matthews and Clint Sintim, courtesy of Lance Zierlein.
- In a new version of his mock draft, John Oehser has the Colts taking Evander Hood.
- The Colts.com position-by-position series looks at special teams.
- Maurice Jones-Drew was not at the first official workout of the Jaguars' offseason conditioning program, reports Michael C, Wright.
- Strength coach Luke Richesson says, "If you aren't here, you're against us." Cole Pepper looks at the start of Jacksonville's conditioning program.
- The Texans kick off their offseason conditioning program Monday, says John McClain.
- Prospects Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews have been told by the doctor who administers the league's drug policy that they did not fail drug tests, says Jason Cole.
- Rice tight end James Casey long-snapped for the Texans during his workout, says Alan Burge.
- Bob Kravitz sorts through the financial issues of the Capital Improvement Board, which runs Lucas Oil Stadium.
- I can hardly keep up with John Oehser's series on the top 25 picks of the Bill Polian era. Here are No. 21 and No. 20.
- Colts.com looks at Polian's draft-day trades.
- The Jaguars kick off their offseason conditioning program Monday and new strength coach Luke Richesson and some players will talk to the media. I hope to bring you some of that later.
- Vince Young may have his sights set on starting, but Patrick Ramsey means competition for the No. 2 job, blogs Jim Wyatt.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
- The Sporting News ranks Albert Haynesworth as the second-best free-agent-to-be.
- Vic Carucci of NFL.com says the Manning brothers are having a good time together in Hawaii.
- New Jaguars strength coach Luke Richesson talks to Jaguars.com about how he will evaluate players.
- Jevon Kearse got a DUI charge reduced to reckless driving, reports Jim Wyatt.
- A check-in with Owen Daniels at the Pro Bowl by Nick Schenck of HoustonTexans.com.
Want to alter a team's culture without changing the head coach?
The best avenue might just be through the team's strength coach, the one assistant who deals with everyone on the roster with some regularity throughout the NFL year.
In Jacksonville, Jack Del Rio recently hired a new man for the job, Luke Richesson. In Houston, Gary Kubiak still has an opening at the spot.
|Denny Medley/US Presswire|
|Jack Del Rio hopes a new strength and conditioning coach will help turn things around for the Jags.|
Gone from the Jaguars' staff is Mark Asanovich, said to be a steady and uncompromising personality. Gone from the Texans' staff is Dan Riley, a stronger presence some categorize as cantankerous.
With open offices, Del Rio and Kubiak had a chance to be sold on a different kind of training regimen and decide what sort of approach might work best for their rosters. But they also had a chance to gauge personalities and the ability of a new assistant to buy into the team's philosophy and to be an effective disciple of it.
"Those guys probably spend as much time, if not more time, with your players than you do," Kubiak said. "I know they are with players a great deal of time from the standpoint of being in the weight room doing their work. Then when they are not with us in meetings or in practice, that's usually the first place players go. The mentality of your football team and a lot of those work habits are developed down there in that atmosphere."
In Richesson and the Houston hire -- which rumblings suggest could be Ray Wright, a Riley assistant who remains on staff -- the Jags and Texans hope they'll have a coach who players come to consider both a resource and a model.
Richesson joined the Jaguars from Athletes' Performance, a company that trains college players looking to post great workout numbers at the league's annual scouting combine. Indications are he may not have been the Jaguars first choice, but Del Rio is confident he will be a difference maker. (When teams don't get their first choice, I'm always compelled to remind people how far basketball coach Roy Williams was down the list before he got the job at Kansas and how well that turned out.)
Richesson's biggest challenge may be broadening his repertoire in a way that embraces a more diverse pool of athletes. At Athletes' Performance, his focus was narrow -- elite college athletes were sent to him by agents looking to boost draft status. In the Jaguars' locker room, he'll deal with veterans and rookies with more established routines, some of whom are emboldened by status or paychecks.
Bob Kravitz wonders if the Colts got rid of the right assistant coaches.
An I-was-wrong-alert. I thought the Jaguars might hire Mike Trgovac when he decided to leave Carolina, because he and Jack Del Rio are friends. But Trgovac landed in Green Bay as defensive line coach. Vito Stellino reports it's official: Mel Tucker is the new defensive coordinator, Russ Purnell is the new special teams coach, Charlie Jackson is the new defensive line assistant, Luke Richesson is the new strength coach and Johnny Cox is the new quality control coach.
Gene Frenette says the Jaguars should take the best available player with the eighth pick in the draft and expects Jack Del Rio will be running the defense no matter who's the coordinator.
Wyatt thinks Jeff Fisher is leaning to Chuck Cecil over Dave McGinnis for defensive coordinator. I agree and think the announcement hasn't come because Fisher wants to get his other ducks in a row first.
A look at the free agents in the Titans defensive backfield from Gary Estwick.