You Got to Love Jim Irsay and his Tweets

That almost sounds like it could be the name of a band--Irsay and the Tweets; if it happens you heard it here first. Anyway...

If you got tired of following the owner of the Indianapolis Colts after he kept saying that a deal with Andrew Luck was close (for about a month) then your missing some real gems from the tweet master himself.

To make the long story short, on Thursday he gave fans a little something to get excited about by teasing us that the Colts are going to make some big trade for a veteran player soon. He later appeared to back off the talk only to get back on and then finally back away a little bit before calling it a night.

In the end it was kind of hard to tell whether the team was looking to make a trade, take a trade, walk the dog, or play pinochle. His intentions were not exactly clear, but that's the genius that is Jim Irsay, Tweet Master.

Today he stirred the pot a little more by once again making it seem like the team is actively seeking a trade. At the same time he talked about watching the waiver wire so what he really meant to say was that the team is looking to improve by any means necessary.

Or the team is looking for a trade.

Or it isn't going to do anything.

Or maybe he is just trying to do a little guerrilla marketing for his team by acting like a crafty, rich fox.

Or maybe he is just bored.

Or maybe he got hacked because he rarely goes more than a tweet or two without somekind of rock reference.Then again, he did tweet some sort of ridiculous contest after talking about the waiver wire/trades Friday. Maybe it is him...

No Expectations and What to do with Austin Collie

(Lexington Herald\u002dLeader/Zuma Press/Icon SMI)

The Indianapolis Colts are in a rather unique position. No one on earth expects them to be any good this season. In fact, the majority of the world fully believes that they are going to be pretty bad. IN a nut shell these guys are supposed to suck and suck bad (and not for Luck this time).

So essentially no matter what they do they are going to exceed the expectations that are being laid out (easy, since there are not any).

Personally, I think these guys are going to shock some people. I think they are going to win more than anyone thinks. They have talent on the team and the coaching staff to put it all together. Yes, there are some holes on the squad, but every team has holes. One of the signs of a champion is being able to overcome them.

One of the guys that many have figured into the plans of the Colts this year is wide receiver Austin Collie. In his last season with Peyton Manning throwing to Colts wide outs he began to show potential making 58 grabs in just nine games for 649 yards and eight touchdowns.

Last year was a step backwards statistically of course--it was for everyone on the Colts roster last season. With Andrew Luck coming in and Collie be shifted out of the slot to the outside it became time for the world to see what he can do.

But maybe we shouldn't.

Collie suffered his third concusion since November 2010 in the team's last contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In case you are not aware that is not good; not good at all.

Too many concussions can cause permanent brain damage and make life in the golden years feel like anything but precious. Once you get one it is easier to get the second, third, and so on (if you continue playing at that point).

As great as the game is, there comes a time when health has to be more important. Collie needs to be asking himself--or someone needs to shout it in his ear--that maybe he should consider calling it a day.

I hate saying it. I like the guy a lot. He's a gritty. tough, inspiring player that plays the game the way it is meant to be played. The sport will be worse off without him. That being said ask any old lineman as his knees creak walking up the steps if he wished he had quit before he got that last major knee injury and I think it is easy to figure out what he'll say.

Second Preseason Game Tells Tennessee Titans a Lot

(Cliff Welch/Icon SMI)

Two of the four teams in the AFC South played in preseason action on Friday night, the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. While all the questions the team had were not answered both say a few things that they had to like:

Titans head coach Mike Munchak was hoping to see Jake Locker take a big step forward in his development tonight and take over the starter's role, but instead it looked like he was not quite ready for prime time yet. Locker was 4-11 for 21 yards and one interception--not exactly much for a head coach to rest his hat on.

Hasselbeck wasn't much better in the yards department with just 29, but his 4-5 throwing is pretty nice.  It's hard to say that Hasselbeck deserves to start though. If the quarterback play is going to be lackluster the team might as well go with Locker. Since he's young the team can at least hope he'll improve.

Titans can believe that CJ2K is back for the time being. Chris Johnson looked like the running back of old against the Bucs. On the night he had 10 carries for 46 yards and two TDs. 

The team could find itself in a rather unique situation this season. Darius Reynaud is listed as a wide receiver, but on the night had seven carries for 75 yards including a long of 39 yards.Reynaud did well last week as well running five times for 29 yards, most of coming on a 21-yard romp for a TD. He also returned a punt 85 yards to paydirt.

It will be interesting to see how the team decides to utilize Reynaud going forward. His value as a return man is pretty obvious so far (TD last week; 42-yard return this week). Could the team decide to feature the run this year behind Johnson and Reynaud? 

It has worked in the past (Johnson and LenDale White). Although White was more of a power back and neither Johnson or Reynaud fit that role. It will still be interesting to see what the team will do going forward. if Reynaud keeps making plays like he has been the Titans would be foolish not to get the ball in his hands.

This is Why I Dig Pat Angerer (Coolest Name Ever)

Icon SMI

Anyone that has read my ramblings in the past will know that I think Indianapolis Colts linebacker Pat Angerer (coolest name for a football player ever) is an absolute bad *ss. In a year that had little to be excited about in Indianapolis, Pat was the name flying around and making plays everywhere.

Today I read a quote of his in the USA Today that further backs up his status (at least in my mind) as one of the toughest SOBs in the NFL right now. When asked what he thought about the risk of injuries players take in the NFL and if it was worth it he said:

"Hell yes," Angerer said, "for me it is. Playing now with everybody being so educated on life after football, you know (the risks). It's something you deal with.'' 

Injuries suck, but Pat is right; they happen. All the law suits and crying about getting hurt is ridiculous. Anyone that plays football knows the risk they are taking when they strap on a helmet and pads. Back in the day they didn't make much, but the guys now-a-days are making bank.

Anyone that doesn't get it shouldn't be playing. Last I checked, ignorance is not an excuse for anything, in the football world or real world. Way to tell it like it is Pat.

By the way, have I mentioned that you have the coolest last name for a football player?

Highlights from Week One Preseason Action for the AFC South

(David Scearce 2012/ ISM)

At the time that I'm writing this the Colts are still playing in their preseason opener against the St. Louis Rams, but the early results make me feel pretty good about saying that I feel pretty encouraged about what the AFC South might look this season.

- Andrew Luck looks like he's going to be the real deal. His numbers are going to be a little inflated thanks to Donald Brown's 63 yard trot, but going 10-16 for 188 yards and two TDs is nothing to shake a stick at.

- Speaking of Donald Brown, did I mention the 63 yard touchdown?

- Jacksonville actually did not look inept against the defending world champions and even managed to pull off a win. Yes, I know its preseason, but as bad as they were last season this is pretty encouraging.

- Maurice Jones-Drew might want to rethink his holdout. Rashad Jennings looked pretty capable gaining 56 yards on 12 carries. 

- Blaine Gabbert didn't look like a stud completing just 50 percent of his passes, but the offense didn't look like a train wreck either with him guiding it. Add in his two best weapons, Justin Blackmon and MJD, and there might be hope for this kid just yet.

- Matt Schaub appeared to be fine in his first action since his dreadful injury last November. The interception wasn't nice, but he led the offense just fine and was able to take it right down the field on the opening drive.

- Now if only the Texans could score a few touchdowns after those drives...at least they don't have to worry about missing any field goals with former Texas A&M kicker Randy Bullock booting them through.

- Houston had eight sacks against the Panthers, seven of them from linebackers. The fact that five of them came against Jimmy Clausen and a weak line could mean something, but it could also mean that the team knows how to go for the throat when the opportunity presents itself.

- Tennessee might be okay if they go with the youth trend this year and give Jake Locker a shot. Locker was 8-13 for 80 yards, but more importantly he looked strong and confident in the pocket--good indicators for being able to handle the rigors of the game.

- If Chris Johnson doesn't get it together the team might be able to roll with Javon Ringer and Darius Reynaud. Ringer looked good when he got his hands on the ball (four carries for 22 yards and one catch for 12) as did Reynaud (five carries for 29 yards and a TD; he had another TD on a 85-yard punt return).

- Kenny Britt may not be missed if he does get suspended. Rookie Kendall Wright looked good when he played (three catches for 47 yards), but it was a 2010 7th round pick from Montana (Marc Mariani) that led the way with two catches for 52 yards.

No need to remind me that it is preseason here guys; I know not to read too much into it. However, that isn't going to stop me from being excited that it's here!  

A Little Something About Everyone in the AFC South

Indianapolis Colts:

I know this guy is no longer on the Colts team, but after the year that Curtis Painter endured in Indianapolis last season I wanted to give the man a shout out here.

Thursday night, with his new team--the Baltimore Ravens, Painter completed 5 of 10 passes for 64 yards and three TDs. Yes, the much maligned Purdue grad looked pretty good. He was the beneficiary of some top notch defense, but the man made the plays when they counted. I know its only preseason, but so what; I'm happy for him.

Good for you Curtis.

Jacksonville Jaguars:

These guys don't suck! 

Again, I know its preseason, but these guys did not look horrible in their first action of the preseason against the defending world champs.Blaine Gabbert was not bad, Brian Robbiskie was a little surprising, and the team didn't miss Maurice Jones-Drew with the way Rashad Jennings ran (12 carries for 56 yards).

The defense needs to stiffen up. Its never good to give up three TDs in a row to a team like the Giants. However, hats off to the 3rd and 4th string guys for putting up a good fight in the second half and coming back to win 32-31.

It may not technically matter since its only a preseason game, but no one ever hates winning.


Tennessee Titans:

What in the world is Kenny Britt thinking? The man has been arrested 8 times since becoming a pro. He just got sent to the principal's office (I mean commissioner) for a talking too and possible punishment. Time to walk the line , right?

Not this guy. Rather than mind his ps and qs he tweets a picture of the team fine levied against him for missing a rehab session along with some rather choice (colorful) words. 

What the *&^%?!?!? Kenny--please learn from Terrell Owens here. TO is a proven elite talent and no one was willing to give him a chance because of his attitude. You are not a proven talent let alone an elite one. Lately teams are concerned about image so you might want to button it up before you are looking for a job (and become the next joke).

Houston Texans:

It all begins for the Texans on Saturday when the face off with the Carolina Panthers. For years they've been a good, middle of the road team, but after last year's breakout the team now has expectations. The defense largely returns--not something Cam Newton wants to hear, but the offense is missing one side of the line.

The play of the line has been stellar for the last few seasons and key to Arian Foster and Ben Tate working their magic. Matt Schaub appears to be fine, but he is not getting any younger. With his injury history tacked onto concerns for his age the team has to protect him. 

Of course, as if replacing two guys was not hard enough the line has had injury issues in camp so far. At least the Panthers D-Line is not expected to be real tough (but watch out for that weak side linebacker.

Jaguars Are Now One Player Short of Having Triplets

We got a QB and a WR\u003b now wheres our RB?

Triplets are like the holy grail of offense. Every team wants to have one--a stud QB, RB, and WR-- but most are not lucky enough to be able to put the pieces together. Jacksonville is hoping they might have the makings of one.

To call Blaine Gabbert and Justin Blackmon studs at this point would be pushing it at this stage in their careers. Gabbert has yet to do anything of value, but he hasn't had any tools to do anything with either. The team did pick up Laurent Robinson in the off-season, but the real addition is in former Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

His holdout was a little on this side of ridiculous. Blackmon did screw up. He should not have been shocked that the team wanted to add some protection into his contract. A stud player is just another convict when he gets arrested.

In the end the team did not get much of anything included in the way of protection. They did get a good chunk of his signing bonus deferred, but that's it. I suppose the team figured that they needed a play-maker more than they needed protection in case he screwed up again.

That leaves running back Maurice Jones-Drew.

MJD is one of the best. Sadly he became as good as he is about half way through his current contract meaning that technically he can't bank on his game for another couple seasons (although an extension after this season would not be unheard of).

For Blaine Gabbert and Justin Blackmon to have the time they need to get on the same page they need to have MJD in the backfield. With him there the focus of opposing defenses will be on the run giving Gabbert and Blackmon some much needed time to develop.

Shahid Khan has to know that he needs his best player in camp. Rashad Jennings (MJD's current backup) is not bad. In limited action during the '09 and '10 seasons he averaged over five yards a carry when he played. The man is no MJD though.

Fans can only hope that the two (Khan and MJD) will find some middle ground and get the team's best player into camp--soon!

Beware the Blackout in Indianapolis and Jacksonville

The NFL lowered the ticket threshold teams had to meet in order to keep the game from being blacked out on local television. While the idea may appear to be a boon to the fans, it wasn't a smart business decision for the teams so guys like the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars declined to take the option.

This means that unless the team sells out every home game the home town fans not in the stands might not be able to watch their team play.

For Jacksonville the struggle is nothing new; its been one they've had to deal with the last few seasons. Should the team not get two thirds of its dynamic trio into camp soon they will likely be looking at having those issues again.

Without Maurice Jones-Drew in the lineup the team will not have a running game. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon is expected to give them a much needed threat at wide receiver. It's widely believed that someone like Blackmon is needed so the team can see if Blaine Gabbert is the QB of the future.

Jim Irsay should have seen this issue coming in Indianapolis. After years of selling out every game with ease and having a season ticket waiting list as long as Kenny Britt's rap sheet, the team has over 1600 season tickets still up for sale. With the team not expected to be much better than the one that took the field last year fans just aren't willing to pay the high cost of tickets.

The teams are trying to empower the fans by saying that they can't affect the game from home, but in this economy spending a couple hundred to sit in small seats rather than a comfy couch is not too appealing.

Chuck Pagano Wants the Colts to Hit People

When the team cut Peyton Manning and just about every other recognizable veteran (besides Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney, and Reggie Wayne) it was pretty clear that the team that fans would get in 2012 would be far different from the one they were accustomed to watching. 

The change is going to be much more than in personnel this season. The philosophy is going to be different as well; something that had to be expected when defense-minded Chuck Pagano was hired to take over as head coach. 

I could tell you what it's going to be, but I think it might come best from the head man (Pagano, not owner Jim Irsay) himself:

"[We will] See who will put their hat on people, strap the 'Riddell' on and see who's going to put the screws of that 'Riddell' on people and take people on. Guys that will come off and fire off the offensive line and we talked about we've got to be able to run the football and stop the run period. That's our mindset and that's the mindset we are trying to develop." 

Before anyone wants to cry foul and compare him to anyone that was once on the coaching staff of the New Orleans Saints, he is not promoting helmet-to-helmet hits or anything dangerous like that. What he's saying is he wants a team that is going to be aggressive and hard-hitting.

What football players are supposed to be like.

Sounds good to us Chuck; make it so.

Could the Titans Ditch Troublesome Kenny Britt?

(Tom Berg/Icon SMI)

More and more these days it does seem as if the NFL is starting to be concerned about image. With all the convicts (actual and wanna-be) that have taken over the NFL these last few years it's understandable (and about time). With that in mind fans of the Tennessee Titans have to be wondering:

Could their team possibly cut wide receiver Kenny Britt?

The idea really isn't that far-fetched. With eight arrests in just three seasons in the NFL Britt has proven to be a bit of a magnet for trouble. The only way he could probably get into more would be to walk into a police station in a suit made out of marijuana (leaves, not hemp) while toking on a bong and twirling nun-chucks.

Is he worth the trouble?

That question is hard to answer at this time. Should Kendall Wright play as well as the team hoped when they drafted him in the first round they might think about it. People love to win, but they are getting tired of the ridiculous acts of some many players. 

On the other hand, even if Wright pans out they might not want to get rid of him. Should the first two weeks of last season not be a fluke it would be nice to have two quality wide receivers. However, Britt may also have trouble with his knees (three surgeries since last season).

The idea has come up--at least in the media--since the Lions decided to cut cornerback Aaron Berry after he was arrested for the second time less than 24 hours after settling his first case (DUI) in court.

So far it doesn't appear as if the Titans are thinking about letting him go, but the season has barely started. Only time will tell.