AFC South Notes: Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Jaguars

Texans

Rod Graves, executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, is concerned about how the Texans conducted their general manager search, specifically with how interviews with former Browns GM Ray Farmer and former Lions GM Martin Mayhew were potentially just token interviews to satisfy the Rooney Rule.

“We are concerned about how the Rooney Rule was used,” Graves said via Pro Football Talk. “They brought those gentlemen in quickly, gave the impression they were looking to make a fast decision, and then they came off of it.”

The Texans were strongly linked to Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, and only backed off their pursuit of Caserio when the Patriots filed tampering charges. Reports have said the Texans plan to go into the 2019 season without a general manager, with the assumption being Caserio is still the target when his contract expires in 2020. They have not told Graves this, however. 

“I have not heard definitively that they have abandoned their process of replacing their general manager, but if they have, it is a concern,” Graves said. “It is a concern that two outstanding candidates, Martin Mayhew and Ray Farmer, were not part of their alternative plan even if, in fact, they had an initial option of looking at Nick Caserio first. I understand the reasons why Nick may have been appealing, but through my own experience, we’ve always gone into interviews with a Plan B.”

Graves said the Fritz Pollard Alliance would love to bring additional candidates to the Texans for the job. Otherwise, they could consider discipline for the organization, including a potential fine, for circumventing the Rooney Rule, which mandates teams interview at least one minority candidate for head coach or general manager openings. 

“The fact that they interviewed two outstanding candidates and chose not to make a decision after not being able to get their first choice, to me is a concern in the fact that it does circumvent the spirit of the Rooney Rule,” Graves said. “And if there are other reasons why those candidates are not appealing, then we’d like to know how we can help to possibly bring others to the table. I think there are many others out there who are qualified and who deserve an opportunity to be interviewed.”

Titans

  • Jim Wyatt of the official team website feels confident about Titans TE Delanie Walker‘s availability for the start of the season. 
  • Wyatt is less confident about TE Jonnu Smith, who hasn’t practiced all offseason after an injury last season. The team has also been mum on the details of his recovery. 
  • In Wyatt‘s opinion, RB Alex Barnes, Jeremy McNichols and Dalyn Dawkins are battling for a spot on the practice squad this season. 

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