AFC South Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

After the surprise retirement of Andrew Luck pushed backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett into the spotlight, the Colts had to find a new backup to take Brissett’s place. Monday they settled on former Patriots QB Brian Hoyer to come in and hopefully bring stability.

“Brian has the toughness and accuracy we look for in a quarterback and he’s been in offensive systems that are similar to ours,” Colts HC Frank Reich said via Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. “He has a tremendous amount of experience and is a proven leader. Brian’s knowledge will be a valuable resource in supporting Jacoby and the team on and off the field. We’re excited to have him here.”

Jaguars

  • HC Doug Marrone says LB Myles Jack has practiced at running back before and nearly had to play at the position in 2018, per the Athletic’s Phillip Heilman.
  • The Jaguars were one of four teams to place a claim on Redskins RB Wendell Smallwood when he was waived by Philadelphia. (Field Yates)
  • The Jaguars were one of three teams to put in a claim for RB Devine Ozigbo when he was waived by the Saints and ended up being awarded the rookie UDFA. (Field Yates)
  • Marrone said Ozigbo would help bolster the running back depth with veteran Alfred Blue on injured reserve to start the season: “We like where we are with Leonard. We like where we are with (fifth-round rookie Ryquell) Armstead. … When we looked at him, we liked what we saw. He’s a big, tough runner. He had a really good preseason. A lot of other (teams) were trying to get in on him and claim him.” (Heilman)
  • Marrone is also excited about what TE Seth DeValve, claimed off waivers from the Browns, brings in terms of depth for their tight end room: “In 2017, you look at the film, he really had a hell of a year. He had (33) receptions that year. Really did a good job. I know there were some coaches up there trying to, probably, keep him.” (Heilman)

Texans

Texans HC Bill O’Brien discussed the team’s trade of DE Jadeveon Clowney to the Seahawks for the first time Monday. O’Brien said that chief among the reasons Houston elected to ship Clowney to Seattle was that “in the end, we just could not come to an agreement on a long-term deal” with the franchise-tagged pass rusher.

“We had discussions about [tagging him again] amongst each other within the organization and with [Clowney] and [agent] Bus [Cook],” O’Brien said via ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. “And we just couldn’t come to an agreement. We think very highly of Jadeveon Clowney. Let’s be clear about that. He’s a good football player. He made a lot of good plays for us. He had a lot of good Sundays for us. No doubt about it. But we think we made the best decision for him and we feel like we made the best decision for our team moving forward.”

The Texans also made waves with their blockbuster deal for Dolphins LT Laremy Tunsil, though they received criticism for both deals — such as not getting enough for Clowney and for not signing Tunsil to an extension before granting him enormous leverage in contract talks. O’Brien said he understood deals of that nature would stir up the conversation but defended Houston’s decisions. 

“These moves were part of a plan, something that was well thought out,” O’Brien said. “We spent a lot of time on it and tried to execute the plan. It’s not just a plan to improve the team for 2019, it’s a plan to improve the roster for years to come. It’s given us the ability and flexibility to extend our core players while continuing to add and develop talent.”

  • Per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, O’Brien said he was excited about how the addition of WR Kenny Stills via trade from Miami will solidify Houston’s receiving corps: “We feel like we’ve upgraded our wide receiver corps.”
  • O’Brien added the trade for RB Carlos Hyde from the Chiefs provided valuable depth after the injury to Lamar Miller: “Solid first and second-down runner. Has good size relative to position and had production in past. Losing Lamar hard to replace Lamar, trying to add depth to that position.” (Wilson)

Titans

  • Per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Titans RB Derrick Henry should be ready for the season opener: “I’m feeling well. Sad I missed camp. I’ve been practicing these past two weeks.”

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