Colts' Brown must improve play in '11

Posted Jan. 16, 2011 @ 1:52 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

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

• Colts RB Donald Brown notched his first 100-yard rushing effort in the Week 15 win over the Jaguars but carried the ball only nine times in the final two games and did not get on the field in the wild-card loss to the Jets. The way we hear it, Brown's absence down the stretch was a result of his limitations in pass protection. RBs Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes are more accomplished blockers, making Brown a nonfactor at the end of the season. Word is Brown will likely be back with the club in 2011, but he will be expected to take a major leap in his third season after two disappointing years to begin his career. We're also hearing that the Colts would like to bring back Rhodes, who was a valuable contributor and should be rather inexpensive to sign.

• It is curious why Maurice Jones-Drew, who last week underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee that bothered him for the better part of the season, did not have the procedure done back in August when the injury first became an issue. The recovery time for the procedure is not long, and Jones-Drew missed two full weeks of training camp while dealing with the injury anyway. Some sources close to the team think that, if Jones-Drew had undergone the surgery before the season, perhaps he would have been available for the team's final two games.

• As it stands, we hear the Titans' top priority re-signing among their free agents on offense is likely OLG Leroy Harris, who has four years of service. Harris, who moved into the starting lineup this season, can also play center. Also, at quarterback, we hear it's likely that re-signing Kerry Collins will be more of a priority than bringing back Chris Simms. The majority of the Texans' free agents are on defense, with Pro Bowl DE Jason Babin and leading tackler MLB Stephen Tulloch the most notable names.