Around the AFC South


Houston Texans: Matt Schaub’s health seems to be the biggest story out of Houston. Those knowledgeable of the details have said he will be the starter week 1, but how healthy he will  be is yet to be determined. Lisfranc injuries, or any other leg or foot injuries, are very serious and long-term healing processes. The good news for Texans fans is they still have Andre Johnson, a beastly running game with Foster/ Tate, and a dominant defense. The bad news is their offensive line lost two starters in Brisiel and Winston. For Schaub to stay healthy the Texans need to keep him upright. Reports are out that UDFA wide receiver Dwight Jones, formerly from UNC, has informed the Houston Texans he does not wish to participate in the NFL. This is not really a shocker considering he had questionable character concerns about work ethic, as did several drafted Tarheels.

Tennessee Titans: There is a lot of excitement around the Tennessee Titans this off season, and rightfully so. Defensive Coordinator Jerry Gray has plans of a 43 hybrid defense to attack opposing quarterbacks. Do not confuse this with a 43/ 34 hybrid, but more of a 43 blended with exotic blitz packages from several different formations. The most popular formation as of right now is the “RUBY” package, which consists of 3 down linemen, 2 linebackers, 3 cornerbacks and 3 safeties. I have a feeling that the 3rd safety can be swapped with a linebacker (Zach Brown) or a bigger cornerback (Tommie Campbell). This package is a Gregg Williams special. It is a breathe of fresh air from the Jeff Fisher days in which the opposing quarterback knew exactly what Tennessee was doing because they telegraphed every blitz. With training camp starting we will get a better feel for the changes on both the offense and the defense, as well as updates on the QB competition between Hasselbeck and Locker.

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars missed on Tebow two months ago and now they have swung and missed on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”…which will be bringing their talents to South Beach and the Miami Dolphins. The Jaguars seem to be a team without an identity at the moment. We know what Maurice Jones-Drew brings to the table, but they might become a more pass-happy team with the additions of Justin Blackmon and Laurent Robinson. Blaine Gabbert will have to fight off veteran quarterback Chad Henne to hold onto the starting quarterback spot.

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts have had a fantastic off-season thus far and they certainly want to build off of it. Colts season ticket sales have seen a significant drop-off due to Peyton Manning’s departure, but rookie quarterback Andrew Luck can change that rather quickly. Much like the Titans, the Colts are talking of changes to the former offensive and defensive philosophies. A more balanced offense will help Luck grow into the NFL and its challenges, but the changes on defense won’t be as easy. The Colts might have the worst defense in the league, teaching them new terminology and positions won’t make it any better.

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