AFC South Notes: Colts, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

  • According to the Athletic’s Stephen Holder, Colts QB Andrew Luck does not have a high ankle sprain, but he does have pain in that same area of his ankle and his calf. 
  • The Athletic’s Zak Keefer says DT Denico Autry and second-round CB Rock Ya-Sin have really flashed as playmakers on the defensive side of the football. 
  • Keefer notes RB Jonathan Williams seems to have pulled ahead of RB Jordan Wilkins, who has been hurt, for the No. 3 running back position. 
  • According to Keefer, UDFA TE Hale Hentges has made a strong case for a roster spot due to his similarity to Colts TE Jack Doyle. Hentges says he’s tried to learn everything he can from the veteran: “Every route I do, every blocking technique, I’m always picking his brain. What did I do wrong here? He’s always so helpful with me. I’m just trying to learn because he’s one of the best at what he does. One of the hardest workers I’ve ever met … he spends like two hours a day on the Jugs machine.”
  • The Colts believe shifting DE Justin Houston to full-time 4-3 defensive end will bring out the best in him and allow them to create matchup problems. (Terez Paylor)
  • On offense, the team believes RB Marlon Mack is one of their top breakout candidates entering his third season. (Paylor)

Texans

  • Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Texans HC Bill O’Brien was non-committal on if LB Jadeveon Clowney would play for Houston this season: “We haven’t really seen him since the end of the season, so I really don’t know,. I could do my best to answer your question. I really don’t know.”
  • O’Brien continued: “When he arrives, we’ll handle it when he arrives. That’s his prerogative. He doesn’t have to be here right now. That’s part of the franchise tag and all those different things. We’ll do the best we can.” (Wilson)
  • O’Brien did later say he thought Clowney would return to the team: “At some point, yeah, he’ll come in, I believe. That’s up to to him.” (Wilson)
  • Texans OT Matt Kalil believes he’s recovered enough to finally play without worrying about being hurt. Kalil missed the entire 2018 season due to injuries. (Sarah Barshop)
  • O’Brien says first-round OL Tytus Howard has “done a good job” working at both guard and tackle. (Wilson)

Titans

The Titans plan on offense in 2019 is to build off of the success they had late in the year rushing the football. Titans RB Derrick Henry exploded for 625 yards rushing over the final five games when the team committed to giving him enough carries. Tennessee has a powerful, physical offensive line that excels at run blocking and Henry led the NFL in yards after contact per carry. 

“Absolutely, Derrick can get hit at the line of scrimmage and fall forward 5 yards,” Titans OL coach Keith Carter said via ESPN’s Turron Davenport. “You add him to that mix, he isn’t just running and avoiding people. He’s stiff-arming and breaking tackles and running guys over. He is so dang big and hard to bring down. He’s a huge element.”

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