The AFC South is in the midst with trying to outdo the other with training camp roster moves. Injuries are expected and players will shine, but what is for certain is that one team in this division will play their first preseason game this Sunday.
Shortly after returning to the active roster, Houston decided to cut corner back Cleveland Wallace III and signed former Oregon Ducks offensive tackle Matt Pierson. The Texans defense also took a hit on Thursday with Christian Covington and Ra’Zahn Howard both leaving practice with injuries. However there was plenty of bloviating at camp Thursday. Coach Bill O’Brien raved about newly acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler saying “Now that we’ve had him here in person since whenever, May, the guy is really smart, he wants information, he’s here all the time. He really operates the offense. That’s one thing for [offensive coordinator George Godsey] and I that we’ve been very pleasantly surprised with. Sometimes it takes a while to operate our offense. That’s one thing that he’s done well.” O’Brien also had nice things to say on Jadeveon Clowney’s behalf. “Clowney’s been out here every day practicing hard,” O’Brien said. “He’s a guy that’s gotten better. He understands our system, he understands the scheme and he understands his role in it. I think he’s added a couple of pass-rush moves. He’s getting better every day.”
The main talking point in Jaguars’ camp as of Thursday was the No. 3 overall pick, Dante Fowler. He has received praise from teammates like Jared Odrick, “Dante sticks out just because how explosive he is,” says Odrick. “People say that across the board for football players, you know, ‘he’s got explosive moves’ or ‘he’s explosive off the ball.’ You hear that all the time but Dante is really explosive. I talk to him about that all the time, how to use that explosiveness and harness it and use it in the right way and I think he is doing that so far.” Defensive coordinator Todd Wash also had high remarks for Fowler “He actually had a question in meetings today, asking how do I slow down and not hit people, which is a good thing,” says Wash. “We love the energy and the effort he plays with and we are not limiting him at all right now. He goes out and he is physical but we have to get him to slow down and play within himself. He tries to do too much at times. He’s kind of a bull in a china shop sometimes, but that’s the kind of mental make up we want on defense.” Jacksonville will have a live scrimmage open to the public on Friday at 6:20 p.m.
Up to this point, two players have really impressed coaches in Titans’ camp. Rookie running-back Derrick Henry and veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson have shown what they can provide for this Titans’ team. Henry has been seen running through defenders with force as he did in Alabama and Johnson has remained very consistent, which this receiving corps lacks. Coach Mike Mularkey has said he believes Henry hasn’t hit the right gaps fast enough but he has confidence that Henry will be able to by the time the season kicks-off. Also, as Andre Johnson has continued to impress, the team still awaits wide-receiver Kendall Wright’s return. “It’s really crucial,” Mularkey said, via the team’s website. “This is the time we need him with the passing game. Nothing we can do about it, but I wish it hadn’t happened. But it is what it is. The quicker we can get him back, and he’ll be a large part of that — what he does, how much he’s in that training room. But it’s critical. Every day is critical in camp, and he’s missing. He’s missing a lot every day.”
News in Colts’ camp has surrounded the team’s offense and hopes of returning to near potency with No. 12 back under center. However, defensive end Kendall Langford found himself in the news on Thursday. He waived off questions about the Colts’ offense, “Around Indy, it’s always been about the offense scoring a lot of points,” starter Langford, said at training camp. “We want to be the defense that, when we come out, they’re cheering also — not just when the offense comes out. We don’t want to be labeled an offensive team.” Also, if you are still waiting for football, you’ll get a sample of it this upcoming Sunday for the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio when the Green Bay Packers take on Indianapolis.