NFL Nation: Tom Santi

There is more than the offensive line that goes into run blocking, of course. That’s why I thought there was a long-shot chance of the Colts trading out of the 31st overall pick in the first round and taking Rob Gronkowski from Arizona.

The Colts stayed put and went with defensive end Jerry Hughes, while Gronkowski went 42nd to the Patriots.

But Indy did address the position at pick No. 162 with Brody Eldridge from Oklahoma.

At 6-foot-5 and 261 pounds, he’s two inches and six pounds bigger than Gijon Robinson, the incumbent blocking tight end, and two inches and 11 pounds heavier than another tight end who can block, Tom Santi.

From what I’ve read, he’s a guy with fullback and interior line experience who’s not much of a pass-catching threat but can bring some fire to blocking work.

UPDATE, 2:00 p.m. ET:

Polian: “We thought Gijon could fill that role, that was his strong suit in college. This young man is much stouter, much stronger.”

Jim Caldwell: “He’s a guy that is a very fine in-line blocker, one that you’ll be able to see can handle the edge, both from a pass protection standpoint and also from a run game standpoint. He certainly will be able to give us some help in our short-yardages situations. He’s a guy that is going to have to develop a little bit, in terms of the passing game, but overall, I think he’s going to be a great addition for us.”

Draft Watch: AFC South

March, 26, 2010
3/26/10
1:00
PM ET
Each week leading up to the NFL draft (April 22-24), the ESPN.com blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today’s topic: Under the radar needs.

Houston Texans

While DeMeco Ryans in the middle and Brian Cushing on the strongside are fixtures, the weakside and linebacker depth rate as a secondary issue for the Texans. They could use a pick on the right guy. Gary Kubiak said early this week that Kris Brown can expect competition as the team’s placekicker starting in OTAs. That allows for the possibility the team could use a late pick on a kicker.

Indianapolis Colts

While the team was pleased with the progress of Antonio Johnson and Daniel Muir and expect a second-year jump from Fili Moala, it could still look to add another bigger defensive tackle. Tyjuan Hagler was the starting strongside linebacker at the start of the season, but when an injury ended his season Philip Wheeler took over. That could be a spot Bill Polian addresses. As the team looks for better run-blocking linemen, is Gijon Robinson judged as a sufficient run-blocking H-back/tight end or might there be a better option available than Robinson or injury-prone Tom Santi?

Jacksonville Jaguars

Linebacker hasn’t gotten as much attention as defensive end and the secondary in pre-draft talk so far, but only Daryl Smith is safe from competition. The Jaguars loaded up with three wide receivers in Gene Smith’s first draft, but they lack playmakers and can use a solid guy opposite Mike Sims-Walker if they smack into one during the draft. Indications are the Jaguars will stick with a David Garrard-Luke McCown starter-backup tandem, but Jacksonville needs to develop another quarterback.

Tennessee Titans

Even presuming Michael Griffin bounces back from a very poor third season, Chris Hope will turn 30 early in the fall and the Titans primary depth at safety is Vincent Fuller, who they need playing nickel. Tony Brown, Jason Jones, Jovan Haye, Sen’Derrick Marks and Kevin Vickerson look like a reasonably talented and deep group, but Haye and Marks underwhelmed in their first seasons. Drafting a tackle wouldn’t be a surprise. If Kevin Mawae doesn’t return as a backup center, the Titans will need an interior offensive lineman to back up the three starters.

Freeney, Mathis in starting lineup

December, 17, 2009
12/17/09
7:31
PM ET
JACKSONVILLE -- The Colts starting defensive ends are active and in the starting lineup. How much dinged up Dwight Freeney (abdomen) and Robert Mathis (quad) play against the Jaguars remains to be seen.

I expect Raheem Brock and Keyunta Dawson will get a lot of early-down action. That would be a smart way to scale back work for their stars, who would benefit from less contact with Maurice Jones-Drew.

Only three inactive Colts were left to be determined after the team declared the status of its injured players on Tuesday. Because five guys were already declared out, there could be guys eligible or dressed tonight who hardly play -- that will be one of the story lines we’ll try to follow for you after kickoff.

For the Jaguars, Russell Allen will start at outside linebacker for Clint Ingram (shoulder) and Attiyah Ellison will move ahead of Quentin Groves for the start at defensive end. As expected, Montell Owens is the starting fullback with Greg Jones (ankle) placed on injured-reserve.

Here’s the full list for both teams.

Colts:
Jaguars:

Santi symbolic of Colts' themes

November, 22, 2009
11/22/09
7:33
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Tom SantiAP Photo/Nick WassWhile he admits he made some mistakes, Colts tight end Tom Santi made the most of his time on the field in Sunday's win over the Ravens.
BALTIMORE -- The Colts pride themselves on plugging people into holes with no drop-off. They expect that when mistakes are made, they will find a way to overcome them.

Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, as they improved to 10-0 with a 17-15 win over the Ravens, second-year tight end Tom Santi came to symbolize both themes.

The Colts were without Gijon Robinson, a starter who does a lot of blocking in the shadow of Dallas Clark, helping keep Peyton Manning clean and create room for Joseph Addai and Donald Brown. While he was in Indianapolis recovering from a concussion, Santi got the call.

Santi proved himself a capable blocker and a largely reliable target for Manning, chipping in with six catches for 80 yards.

He also had three costly plays -- a lost fumble near the goal line, an apparent alligator-arms moment in another scoring chance and a false start penalty.

“Everybody makes mistakes. You’ve got to watch, how do they handle it afterwards?” Addai said. “He was able to handle it afterwards. He hasn’t been playing a lot. This game he did a lot of good things. Yeah, he fumbled. But you’ve got to kind of let that go. I know he’ll learn from it, but move on. He did a great job for us today and I know he’ll improve from there.”

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Reggie Wayne said of the positive contribution. “He does it every day in practice. So now he just turned it over to the game. I think he did a pretty good job, minus the fumble. But that happens. I’m just glad it didn’t cost us.”

The Colts don’t so much plan to feature a guy as they allow Manning to take what’s available.

Robinson isn’t generally a large piece of the passing offense. Santi had a sense in the middle of the week that he’d be in line for a good share of the work that usually goes to Robinson.

Clark made a spectacular one-handed catch in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown to cap the game’s opening drive. Other than that, Baltimore did things defensively that prompted Manning to look elsewhere, and he turned to Santi for four of his 12 first-half completions.

“We saw some things, and obviously the quarterback is pretty good back there and he does a great job putting us in great position,” Santi said.

Down 9-7 in the second quarter, Manning placed a pass to Santi over the middle and in the middle of a crowd for a 22-yard gain. Santi got nailed, suffering a neck injury that briefly forced him from the game. It was a key play on a touchdown drive that put Indianapolis ahead 14-9.

On a day when he made his first catch of the season, he might have also scored his first touchdown of the year.

Instead, he ended the Colts’ first possession after the half when he was clobbered at the 1-yard line, hit low by Ed Reed and then high by Ray Lewis, who jarred the ball free for Dwan Edwards to recover.

Just about anyone might have coughed it up when scrunched by two eventual Hall of Famers.

Santi didn’t know who the defenders were.

"That’s a bad play on my part," he said. "I definitely left points out there. As far as I am concerned, that’s unacceptable."

The Colts' defense didn’t allow it to translate into points. While Baltimore moved 84 yards on the ensuing possession, Billy Cundiff missed a 30-yard field goal wide right.

Later, with Dawan Landry closing fast, Santi seemed tentative on a ball he could have pursued more aggressively on a second-and-goal from the 7. Just before the 2-minute warning, he was whistled for a false start.

He said both errors were a matter of lost focus. On the pass, he needs to come out of the break faster and be ready for it quicker.

“I definitely left some plays out there,” he said. “As you can see we’ve got a good team with a lot of great veteran leadership and that’s what we’ve talked about the whole year. Play the next play, next man up and when it’s your time, go out there and perform.”

He will enjoy the win, review the film, then shred it, mentally, as he knows his coaches will.

Then, if still needed, he will plug back in to the next-man-up, play-the-next-play philosophies that are a big part of why the Colts are the AFC’s lone undefeated club.

He’ll simply look to be the kind of player Wayne says all of the Colts are supposed to be.

“We’re like machines,” Wayne said. “They program us to keep pushing, don’t fall. Keep chugging away, chugging away. There is no time to point fingers or put your head down. Just keep going, keep going and find a way to get it done.”

Halftime thoughts on Colts from B'more

November, 22, 2009
11/22/09
2:47
PM ET
BALTIMORE -- Some halftime thoughts I imagine I’ll be expanding on later.

  • The Ravens secondary gave up some monster plays on the Colts’ first drive. But it recovered nicely for two picks of Peyton Manning, who forced the first and didn’t look off Ed Reed on the second. Baltimore’s secondary was supposed to be a big issue here. It’s more than holding its own up to this point. But the offense needs to cash in with more than field goals.
  • While we’re on secondary play -- the Colts don’t get enough credit for theirs, and it’s been very good. Even Tim Jennings, considered the weak link in the current group, had a nice break up of a Joe Flacco pass intended for Derrick Mason. A lot of hands on a lot of passes so far.
  • Considering the Indy turnovers, the defense has to be happy about holding the Ravens to field goals. You always have to think that Manning and the Colts offense are going to take advantage of any team that settles too often for field goals. Baltimore has not been very aggressive on the plays just before Billy Cundiff’s been called on for field goals.
  • Plug them in and play. Gijon Robinson stayed in Indy with a concussion. Tom Santi is not only blocking well in his place, he’s making big catches, too. Manning can make a lot of players look good, but the Colts have been developing depth behind Dallas Clark and Robinson for a while now with Santi and Jacob Tamme in the background. Santi, who has four catches for a game-high 61 yards, got popped on a big reception late in the first half and was hunched over on the sideline for a time but appears OK now.
 
  Scott Boehm/Getty Images
  New coach Jim Caldwell has made a number of changes and the Colts appear happy with the alterations.

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS -- Dwight Freeney didn't shoo Tony Dungy out the door and wasn't begging for alterations to a formula that has brought the Indianapolis Colts great success.

But Freeney is content with new coach Jim Caldwell's changes at defensive coordinator and special teams coach. The Colts' star defensive end surveys a landscape that no longer includes Ron Meeks and Russ Purnell and feels just fine.

"I think that's one thing people need to understand: We had a lot of success in the years with Meeks and Purnell and, yeah, we are changing personnel as far as those coaching positions are concerned. But change is not always a bad thing," he said. "If you look at the end result, and I'm not saying it was their fault, but we only achieved the end goal once even though we were very successful.

"And I'm not saying it was because of them. But there is always room for improvement. You never know -- you change things around, it brings new energy, it brings new fire. We could see some bigger things."

Camp Confidential: AFC South
Titans: Mon., Aug. 3
Jaguars: Sat., Aug. 8
Colts: Sat., Aug. 15
Texans: Fri., Aug. 21
Training camp index

That energy was palpable early in camp from a team that overcame a lot to go 12-4 last year, then botched a big opportunity in a playoff game in San Diego.

The Colts have had a smooth transition because they anticipated the change and had Caldwell serve as associate head coach under Dungy. Caldwell removed Meeks and Purnell, replacing them with Larry Coyer and Ray Rychleski, respectively.

But the other key people in the organization who provide major stability are still in place -- Bill Polian is still the team president and Peyton Manning is still the quarterback.

Like Freeney, Polian believes some change can be a good thing.

"Sometimes that's good -- you hear a different voice, you hear a different approach, it gets the message across in a different manner," Polian said. "Both are excellent coaches, both are terrific guys.

"They're both organized and they're both good teachers, so I don't think there is any real change there. But maybe the way the lesson is taught might be a little bit different and it's probably, in the end, good."

Key questions

1. Can the third-down defense get Manning the ball back?
The Colts tied for second worst in the league in third-down conversion rate, allowing teams to convert on third down 47.4 percent of the time. Bend-but-don't-break is going out of fashion under Coyer, according to many of his players. And with third down as a focus, they hope to get the offense back on the field and allow their best people to spend more time working.

Only six teams fared worse in time of possession than the Colts (28:39) last year. No matter how opponents try to play keep-away, getting Manning and the offense on the field more must be a priority.

Gonzalez
Wayne

2. Does Manning have the weapons and protection?
Reggie Wayne has been the de facto No. 1 receiver for a while already. And Anthony Gonzalez is primed for a great year in his third season, with a lot more opportunities to come. Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie were both impressive early in camp and appear primed to be steady contributors, and Donald Brown provided a second running back with dynamic possibilities.

The protection question may be a bigger conc
ern. Charlie Johnson has been inserted at left tackle. While he has been an effective fill-in, if he is the guy for 16 games, defensive ends named Mario Williams and Kyle Vanden Bosch are going to find the holes in his game. Perhaps Tony Ugoh responds to the demotion and seizes the job back. Either way, could Manning have to worry more about getting hit from a blind side rusher than he has in the past?

3. Can special teams provide a boost?
Mediocre to poor special teams have been the norm for the Colts, and under Dungy there seemed to be a level of tacit acceptance. Enter Rychleski, a fiery and passionate special teams coach who Caldwell hired from South Carolina. As in many of the departments where the Colts ranked poorly in the past, just a moderate improvement can make a big difference.

The return games have been the worst element. T.J. Rushing is the leading candidate right now, but rookies Collie and Jerraud Powers could provide a boost. Another rookie, Pat McAfee is slated to be the new punter.

Market watch
Working predominantly as the third receiver last season, Gonzalez had 664 receiving yards. Bumped up to No. 2, he should be poised to top 1,000 yards and improve on the four touchdown catches he totaled in 2008. He is typecast by too many as a slot guy, but in three wide receiver sets it appears more likely that Wayne or Collie will line up inside.

Gonzalez is a complete receiver who has established a great rapport with Manning -- so much so that Manning invited the receiver to serve as his caddy at a pro-am golf tournament in April.

 
  Scott Boehm/Getty Images
  The Colts are counting on Donald Brown to have a big impact in his rookie season.

Newcomer to watch
While most analysts figured the Colts would look wide receiver or defensive tackle late in the first round, Polian spent the 27th pick in the draft on highly productive UConn running back Brown. An indictment of Joseph Addai? Perhaps. An upgrade over Dominic Rhodes? Absolutely.

The Colts' plans for Brown and their opinion of Addai after an off year in which he struggled with with knee trouble are both unclear. But Caldwell has made it clear he anticipates significant work for his top two backs. Brown was effective in his first preseason action, even as it came against a mix of second- and third-string Minnesota defenders. High draft picks on offense are expected to help right away and rookie running backs regularly plug in and excel. It's what Addai did in 2006 as the league's leading rookie rusher and it's what Brown may well do in the same offense.

Observation deck
Kicker Adam Vinatieri (hip) isn't expected back until the very end of the preseason. When he's kicking again, he will work intensively with McAfee, his new holder, to get their rhythm and timing down. ... If everyone is healthy in the secondary, work as the dime won't be sufficient for safety Melvin Bullitt. Expect the Colts to creatively find other ways to get him on the field regularly. His development likely means Antoine Bethea won't be re-signed when he becomes a free agent. ... Ryan Lilja is the best run blocker on the line and will also help Jeff Saturday provide an additional veteran influence on the younger players in the offensive line meeting room. ... While Harrison was locked in to lining up in the right, Reggie Wayne will move from the left into the slot, making him tougher to predict and defend. ... Curtis Painter's preseason play could determine his fate. The team doesn't intend for the rookie quarterback to be Manning's backup this season -- that's still Jim Sorgi's job. But injuries and numbers at other spots could impact their ability to keep three signal-callers. Ideally they would have Painter on the practice squad, but what if someone else wants to sign him away? ... Gijon Robinson can block and catch and qualifies as a starter. Buy the development of two second-year right ends could cut into his time. Jacob Tamme runs good routes and has good hands, qualifying as more of a pass catcher while he's emerging as a better blocker. Tom Santi can be a combination guy but has had health issues. ... Because the Colts added three big bodies to the defensive tackle mix -- veteran Ed Johnson and rookies Fili Moala and Terrance Taylor -- two guys who contributed in the interior last year could see far less action. Keyunta Dawson has been moved to end and Eric Foster could get caught in a numbers crunch. ... If Philip Wheeler and Clint Session lock in the outside linebacker spots, then Freddy Keiaho and Tyjuan Hagler will give the Colts something they have not often had -- veteran linebackers available for a lot of special teams work. ... Dante Hughes looks to have fallen out of favor, which creates a lot of opportunity for Powers. ... Maybe I just caught him on a good couple days of practice, but receiver Taj Smith looks like a guy with real potential to develop. Look for him on the practice squad again.

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
 
  Bill Baptist/Getty Images
  A healthy Chris Brown could be a big plus for Houston.

Houston Texans

Training camp site: Houston, Texas

Campfires: Weakside linebacker appears to be the biggest battle for a starting spot. Xavier Adibi has bulked up in an effort to become more rugged and withstand the 16-game pounding. Zach Diles appears to be an underdog here, as does veteran Cato June, who signed up after spending time in Indianapolis and Tampa Bay.

Finding a back to complement Steve Slaton is a big priority, but the Texans didn't spend much to increase their options. A healthy Chris Brown could do well in the role, but Houston is living on the edge if it's counting on 16 games from him. Undrafted rookies Jeremiah Johnson and Arian Foster are in the mix along with Ryan Moats and Clifton Dawson

The safety position remains an issue, with Nick Ferguson and Eugene Wilson in line to start now. But the team will allow for the possibility of Dominique Barber to nudge his way into the lineup.

Camp will be a downer if: Anything bad happens to Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson or Slaton. This is an offensive team keyed around that trio, and the loss of any of them for any extended time will be a huge setback.

Schaub's been labeled as injury prone, but it's really been more about being unlucky. It's not as if other quarterbacks would have played through some of the things he's faced. Still, Gary Kubiak's talked about how players can learn how to stay on the field, and he needs his signal-caller to do that.

Camp will be a success if: A defensive identity develops under new coordinator Frank Bush, who's pledged to be more aggressive.

Division Camp Previews
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Wednesday: NFC East | AFC East
Thursday: NFC South | AFC South
Friday: NFC West | AFC West

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Camp battles: AFC | NFC

Schedule: Training camp dates
With new coaches overseeing the defensive line and the defensive backs, there is a real chance for new messages and approaches to have a  bearing on players and units.

The Texans need some preseason success on both sides of the ball to carry into the regular season, because another shaky start will be cause for concern based on the team's history. If Houston is to plot a course to its first playoff berth, it needs to avoid a poor start.

Second time around: Slaton was a revelation as a rookie, and while there is uncertainty about who else will get carries, the line should be better. It's the second year for the group under Alex Gibbs running his scheme, which should mean better and more consistent play.

Additionally, not only does the unit have Gibbs and John Benton as coaching resources, but can look to assistant Bruce Matthews, the Hall of Famer who's now part of the staff.


Indianapolis Colts

Training camp site: Terre Haute, Ind.

 
  Donald Miralle/Getty Images
  Peyton Manning's receiving corps will be without Marvin Harrison this year.
Campfires: Targets for Peyton Manning are crucial, of course, and that's why there is such a large focus on the three-way fight for the No. 3 receiver spot. Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and Roy Hall will draw a lot of attention as that's sorted out. Garcon seemed to be getting a lot of positive reviews in OTAs and min
icamp, with Hall not generating much buzz.

Returning defensive tackles Keyunta Dawson, Eric Foster, Raheem Brock (an end on early downs) and Antonio Johnson will be fighting for roles at a position that welcomed back Ed Johnson and has two young, thick additions from the draft in Fili Moala and Terrance Taylor. Getting bigger inside while maintaining athleticism was a priority for the Colts.

The plan at linebacker is for Clint Session to play on the weakside and Philip Wheeler to replace him on the strongside. But guys with starting experience like Freddy Keiaho and Tyjuan Hagler will be looking to take the team away from that blueprint.

Camp will be a downer if: Left guard Ryan Lilja, perhaps the team's best run blocker, can't make it back after the knee injury that cost him all of 2008. Trouble on the return path for cornerback Marlin Jackson (knee) would also be a bad thing.

With those injuries, the two surgeries on Manning's knee, a dinged Joseph Addai and a bunch of additional problems for the offensive line, the Colts got to show that they could survive. It's not anything they want to be in position to prove again.

Camp will be a success if: New head coach Jim Caldwell sets an early tone that gives the team no room for doubt about the transfer of power from his mentor, Tony Dungy. The players also must take to the thinking of new defensive coordinator Larry Coyer (a bit more aggressive) and new, fiery special teams coach Ray Rychleski.

It also would be great if Manning develops increased rapport with Anthony Gonzalez, who's graduated to No. 2 receiver with Marvin Harrison gone. Manning also needs to gain a real feel for the guy who wins the battle for No. 3 as well as the young tight ends, Jacob Tamme and Tom Santi.

Off the record: Even with a new coach and changes on his staff, it's unlikely there will be any different emphasis on preseason results. Indianapolis is 3-15 in the preseason over the last four years and 51-13 in the regular seasons that followed.

The Colts have a good feel for how to get ready and don't have to worry about building fan enthusiasm with preseason wins. Everyone knows to look at smaller things early in the game to gauge the team's readiness.


(Read full post)

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Good morning. Hope you can put these links to use while sipping your coffee. Or at lunch. Or during a break. The staff of the AFC South Blog cannot endorse you reading while working. But we are happy to look the other way and not say anything.

I'm sorry to report the AFC South chat is on a brief hiatus. I'm unable to chat Thursday and will be bringing you details from Titans-Lions on Thanksgiving. We will resume in December.

In the meantime, feel free to hit the mailbag. As always, I welcome comments, suggestions, links, criticism and anything else you can throw at me in the mailbag.

Houston Texans

  • The Texans will look for a fresh run game to be a key against Cleveland, writes Megan Manfull.
  • John McClain hears the fans calling for Richard Smith's job.
  • McClain's chat transcript is heavy on what chances people think the Texans should make.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Reggie Wayne walks on water in a new commercial, says Phil Richards.
  • Tom Santi to IR, Jamie Petrowski to the 53-man roster, reports Mike Chappell.
  • One last review of Colts-Texans, from Phillip B. Wilson.
  • John Oehser's weekly chat with Tony Dungy at Colts.com.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • What's gone wrong? Cole Pepper ponders with percentages.
  • Jack Del Rio may be losing his grip, says Vic Carucci of NFL.com.
  • Mike Tice is content as part of Jack Del Rio's staff, but would like another chance as the top guy, writes Mark Craig.
  • A Q&A with Josh Scobee.

Tennessee Titans

  • The Titans are doing well in fan Pro Bowl voting, says Jim Wyatt.
  • With a win and three other results, the Titans could clinch their playoff spot this week, writes Terry McCormick.
  • A look at how the playoffs would stack up right now from SI.com's Dom Bonvissuto.

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Meet Erin Barill.

You've probably never heard of him before today. But if you're paying attention to developments regarding Peyton Manning's left knee, you heard seven references to Barill in Manning's first public comments in nearly a month.

Here are two of the premium mentions:

"Like I said, this has been a totally new process for me and I have learned to put my full trust in Erin. He and I have had some pretty heated discussions. Certainly it has not been the most enjoyable process that I've been through, but he's been great because he's challenged me and he's really kept me on an even keel as far as trying to make constant progress. Certainly all along that has been our goal, to try to get back on to the field in order to play in that first game. As to when I'm going to be back on the practice field, that has yet to be determined. It just depends on how everything goes from here on out. I need to have a good week this week. Obviously the sooner, the better for me, but I'm still sticking to Erin's advice and going based on how I feel and I feel that's the best plan for us at this point."

And:

"I know I have the right guy in Erin leading me down the right path and hopefully we can just keep progressing."

Barill, 38, is in his sixth season with the Colts, his third as director of rehabilitation. He holds two degrees from West Virginia. Before joining the Colts, he worked for 11 years as a physical therapist and athletic trainer at Methodist Sports Medicine Center in Indianapolis.

One other thing that struck me out of the transcript of Manning's comments today. The Colts have said that rookie tight end Tom Santi, who had the same surgery two weeks earlier, has been kind of a test case for them. I've repeatedly written we can look to Santi's progress to guess where Manning will be in two weeks.

The quarterback did his best to tamp that down Tuesday without offering any specifics.

"It really isn't [similar], actually," he said. "Somehow that's gotten out there that that's been the comparative bar. That's probably been the biggest misnomer. That has not really been an accurate comparison. I've had some different things to deal with than Tom has and that's probably provided a little bit more of a challenge to me. Hopefully he's going to be out there soon, but I've had a little bit of different things to deal with than Tom."

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

A quick tour around the division this morning.

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • The Colts' second-round draft pick, their top pick this season, is a hard worker and an accomplished guitar player. The Indianapolis Star gives us a nice look at guard Mike Pollak. Though he isn't signed yet, his agent said "A deal is on the horizon and he'll be in camp on time."
  • Rookie tight end Tom Santi, who will start camp on the PUP list, is recovering from the same surgery that Peyton Manning had -- an infected bursa sac was removed from his knee.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Virtually every coach and GM in the league is talking confidently about getting their rookies into camp on time. That's the case with Jack Del Rio regarding two first-rounders -- defensive ends Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves, according to the Florida Times-Union.
  • The team's last rookie holdout was quarterback Byron Leftwich in 2003. Like Leftwich, Harvey is represented by CAA. But there are CAA clients on the Jaguars roster, too.
  • Despite his recent arrest on drug charges, receiver Matt Jones will be with the team when camp opens Friday, Del Rio said on his radio show.

Tennessee Titans

  • The Titans have added lights to one of their three outdoor practice fields, allowing for outdoor night practice without having to go inside or to LP Field, The Tennessean reports.
  • Vince Young and Kevin Mawae say the Titans aren't young and inexperienced anymore. (One aside, Eugene Amano and Leroy Harris are competing to replace the departed Jacob Bell, not Jacob Ford, who's a defensive end and still around).

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