AFC South Notes: Colts, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

Indianapolis Colts GM Chris Ballard continues to suggest that wide receiver is less of a priority than many believe this offseason. 

“Well, I know what the fans they think it is. Receiver,” Ballard said via Kevin Bowen. “‘We have to get another wideout.’ I get it. We all want one. I would love to go pluck one off of a tree and I would love that…I want to continue to add defensively, to the talent level on defense. I still believe you win games with good defenses. (Scoring) is at a record pace with the numbers. It’s incredible what offenses are doing. But I just think there’s points in the season, where you get into the playoffs, you are going to have to stop people. You have to get stops. That eventually is what is going to allow us to get over the hump.”

Ballard added the team is high on 2018 sixth-round WR Deon Cain, but won’t put all its eggs in one basket. 

“We think he’s good enough, but he hasn’t played and he’s coming off a knee injury,” Ballard said.  “We love Deon Cain. We think Deon has big upside. To say he’s going to be that guy next year, that’s…(Ballard is interrupted with another question)”

Texans

The Houston Texans officially announced their 2019 coaching staff on Tuesday. Some of the notable hires include:

  • Tim Kelly – offensive coordinator
  • Carl Smith – QBs coach
  • T.J. Yates – offensive assistant
  • Wil Lawing – TEs coach
  • Akeem Dent – defensive assistant
  • Doug West – assistant to the head coach
  • Brian Cushing – assistant strength coach

Aaron Wilson mentions that Wes Welker is no longer listed on the team’s coaching staff. 

Titans

New Titans OC Arthur Smith told reporters on Tuesday that he’s hoping to help QB Marcus Mariota in part by not asking him to change a lot.

He’s already changed enough,” Smith said, via PaulKuhrsky.com. “So, when he comes in here, he’ll know exactly how we’re reading plays, he’ll know exactly how we’re calling plays. It just allows him to take another step… I think as the whole offensive improves in Year 2, it will help the quarterback.”

Smith also stressed the importance of play-calling and making a conscious effort to ensure Mariota stays healthy.

“You make sure you keep changing the launch points for him, that helps,” Smith said. “The way the game is going, you’re able to run the ball or you’re able to move people off the line of scrimmage, it opens up a lot of things for him. So yeah, there’s certain areas of play-calling that go into it, and understand what your matchups may be week-to-week.

“Whether they’re inside or outside, the percentage these guys are going to blitz you in certain situations. That all factors into it. But, play-calling definitely can help. It’s not the end-all be-all, but there definitely will be a conscious effort to keep him healthy.

  • Titans DC Dean Pees, who dealt with some health issues last year, said he’s feeling good and returning for the 2019 season was an “easy decision” for him: “Feeling as good as I’ve felt in a long, long time. Easy decision to come back.” (Paul Kuharsky)

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