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AFC South Whispers

Colts newcomer Tryon making presence felt

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By PFW staff

Following are several whispers we've been hearing from around the AFC South:

• DB Justin Tryon, whom the Colts acquired in a trade with the Redskins last month, has been a valuable addition. Tryon held his own at nickel back in Week One while Jacob Lacey recovered from a concussion. He is also quickly becoming a standout on special teams, as witnessed by his recovery of a muffed punt in the first quarter of the win over the Broncos.

• The Titans' signing of OLB Will Witherspoon has paid dividends, as he has bolstered an already solid Titans pass rush with three sacks in his first three games. Witherspoon has shown this sort of ability before — he had seven sacks with St. Louis in 2007. On top of his contributions on the field, we hear Witherspoon has been a good addition to the locker room.

• Jaguars WR Tiquan Underwood was impressive filling in at kick returner while rookie Deji Karim was out with a thumb injury. Now that the thumb is healed, Karim, who the club feels is a bit more instinctive and does not run as straight-up as Underwood, will get a chance to show what he can do. Yet, Underwood proved that he is more than capable of handling the job.

• Texans RB coach Chick Harris said third-year RB Steve Slaton, now the club's top backup after two seasons as the starter, has taken a professional approach to his new role. "Steve is still working hard to help our football team, and he's not complaining," Harris said. "... He's ready when called upon."  Noted Harris, "It's a long season, and many different stories will be told about the season," referring to the importance of good depth in the backfield. Harris also praised third-string RB Derrick Ward, signed in September, for his practice habits and for his work learning the offense. "He'll get an opportunity," Harris said. "Like I said, the season is long, and you have to use your entire depth at running back to make it through the season." Harris said rookie RB Ben Tate, who's out for the season with an ankle injury, is attending meetings and can garner some benefit watching the team go through the rigors of the season.

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