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Indianapolis Colts

A Look Around The AFC South: 3.30.17

Intro:’s Andrew Walker offers a comprehensive look at the latest offseason action around the AFC South Division.


INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts weren't the only team with news to share at this week's annual NFL League Meetings in Phoenix.

The 31 other teams and their owners, general managers and head coaches, of course, were also on hand, including the key figures from the rest of the AFC South Division.

The primary news for the Colts was their tentative plans for the upcoming NFL Draft, their extremely active free agency period and a progress update on quarterback Andrew Luck, who underwent shoulder surgery and is expected to miss at least a portion of the offseason workout program.

So what's going on within the rest of the division? Let's take a look:Houston Texans

The top defensive player in the league seems like he'll be ready to go come Week 1 of the 2017 season.

Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien told reporters at the League Meetings that defensive end J.J. Watt, who missed all but the first three games of the season last year due to a back issue that required surgery, is "doing great" in his recovery.

"He's really looking forward to being back in Houston in a couple weeks," O'Brien said, via "He's definitely on track to be ready to go."

Watt said in February that the rehab portion of his recovery was finished, and that he was now getting his core muscles in shape and ready for season.

While the Texans report for offseason workouts on April 17, O'Brien said he's unsure how much of a workload Watt will have as he works his way back to being 100-percent cleared.

"I don't know how much he'll do in OTAs and things like that," O'Brien said. "But he's on track to be ready to play, and I will tell you that knowing J.J. the way I know him, he cannot wait to be back out on the field playing football."

The Texans saw the emergence of Jadeveon Clowney in Watt's absence last season, and still had one of the top overall defenses in the league. But inconsistencies on offense — particularly at the quarterback position — were at times difficult to overcome, and Houston finished with an 9-7 record.

Still, the Texans were able to claim their second straight AFC South crown.Jacksonville Jaguars

It's clear that the Jacksonville Jaguars have talent on their roster, but head coach Doug Marrone knows talent alone gets you nowhere.

He told reporters at this week's Annual Meetings in Phoenix that it's time for his team to turn talent into positive results on the field.

After an active free agency period — one in which the team acquired perhaps the best available cornerback (A.J. Bouye) and defensive lineman (Calais Campbell), among others — Marrone said the challenge now is simply to win after a disappointing 3-13 campaign in 2016.

"Like I told the players last year, 'When do we every get tired of people saying we have all this talent?''' Marrone said, via "Because the more people say we have talent means the more we haven't won.

"People only say that after you start winning. When you're not winning, people are going to say, 'Well, those guys have some talent,' or, 'Those guys are this or that.' … I told players, 'If that makes you feel good, you're not in the right seat. You want people to say you're a good football team and there's only one way to do that. That's by winning football games."

Marrone continued emphasizing his team will need more "grit" to accomplish that goal, a term familiar to Colts fans.

"When you talk about those principles, you're going to be a tough team, a more physical team," Marrone said. "That's what we're trying to do. We're trying to find ways we can practice and play and be a much tougher football team."Tennessee Titans

Will Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson continue earning his nickname "Trader Jon" during this year's NFL Draft?

According to, Robinson has already made five trades — some involving players, other involving draft picks — in the 14-plus months on the job, including trading the No. 1-overall pick last year to the Los Angeles Rams.

So will that theme continue this year?

"With what we did last year, moving around in the draft, I think teams view us as an organization that is willing to position itself and move around in the draft,'' Robinson told reporters at the League Meetings. "We are not a team that is opposed to listening and having conversations about trying to put ourselves in a position to better the team.

"We are just looking to put ourselves in a position to help the team. If that means moving around in the draft, if it means sticking and picking, we are going to do what is best."

Last year, after trading the first-overall pick, Robinson made another first-round move, getting to No. 8 overall to take tackle Jack Conklin, who would put in an All-Pro, Pro Bowl season as a rookie.

The team has two first-round picks (No. 5 and 18, respectively) this year, and Robinson hopes to strike gold again.

"We are just glad that we have those two picks and we are going to come away with two good football players in the first round if in fact we do keep those first two picks," he said. "But again, we are also not afraid to move (in a trade)."

The analysis from those producing content on does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.

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