Juiciest story line: Head coach Gary Kubiak was brought back despite last season's regression. New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was hired to fix a broken defense. Phillips has had great success in the first year of his last four stops as coordinator. With a Super Bowl-caliber offense and plenty of talent on "D," can Phillips take this team to the next level and save Kubiak's job?
Player to watch: Wade Phillips has turned Mario Williams into the biggest outside linebacker in NFL history. Phillips said Williams will rush the passer at least 90 percent of the time, giving the freakish athlete a chance to put up monster numbers in a contract year.
Strongest position: The Texans are loaded at linebacker, where a trio of former Pro Bowlers — ILBs DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing and OLB Mario Williams — are joined by a strong candidate to break through this season, OLB Connor Barwin, and exciting rookie OLB Brooks Reed.
Weakest position: The Texans say they're happy with their nose tackles, Earl Mitchell and Shaun Cody. Both players have had good camps but have yet to prove they can hold up in Phillips' odd front. Furthermore, there is no depth to speak of behind them.
Juiciest story line: The league's only four-time MVP, QB Peyton Manning, is the NFL's active leader with 208 consecutive regular-season starts. But as of this writing, Manning had not begun practicing after undergoing his second neck surgery in 15 months in May, putting his streak — and the Colts' Super Bowl aspirations — in jeopardy.
Player to watch: The time is now for former first-round RB Donald Brown, who has had a very good camp after disappointing in his first two seasons. Head coach Jim Caldwell said that Brown must fit his talents within the system and let the offense come to him. Moreover, Brown must find a way to stay on the field.
Strongest position: No one questions the talent and depth of the WR position — just the durability of the unit. All-Pro Reggie Wayne is in great shape — his best since his rookie season. Pierre Garcon spent more time working with Manning early in the offseason. Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez have both looked sharp early in camp. Blair White is on the PUP list with an ailing back.
Weakest position: No surprise here: the O-line, though it could turn out to be a strength. With rookie OTs Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana trying to make up for lost time, C Jeff Saturday and ORT Ryan Diem are the only sure bets to start, and Diem struggled in 2010. Second-year OG Jacques McClendon is penciled in at left guard, with Mike Pollak trying to pin down the ORG spot.
Juiciest story line: Head coach Jack Del Rio and QB David Garrard are likely on their last lives in Jacksonville. Can Del Rio revive a dormant "D" and "take control of the division" as he said he would do earlier in the offseason? Can Garrard hold off promising rookie Blaine Gabbert by turning back the clock to 2007?
Player to watch: DLE Aaron Kampman was the team's best defender at the time of his second consecutive season-ending knee injury last season. Kampman has been limited in camp and will have his snaps reduced in an effort to keep him fresh. The Jaguars desperately need their best pass rusher to pick up where he left off last season and be a force off the edge.
Strongest position: The Jaguars added a pair of starting linebackers, MLB Paul Posluszny and WLB Clint Session, meaning they now have $99 million invested in the second level of their defense. "Poz" and Session, paired with underrated SLB Daryl Smith, give Jacksonville an active and physical group that should rival Houston for the best LB corps in the division.
Weakest position: Jacksonville maintains that its unproven group of wideouts can be effective, but until No. 2 WR Jason Hill and rookie Cecil Shorts produce consistently, and until Jarett Dillard proves he can stay healthy, this remains a big question mark. Mike Thomas has been very good in his first two seasons, but he is not a prototypical No. 1 wideout.
Juiciest story line: Chris Johnson wants to get paid. The Titans want him in camp before they begin negotiating. Johnson dug in his heels, allowing the deadline for gaining an accrued season toward free agency to pass without reporting to camp. The Titans' offensive identity is to get off the bus running. Can they really afford to start the season without their most valuable player?
Player to watch: It appears WR Kenny Britt, who head coach Mike Munchak said won't be punished by the club, could also escape the wrath of commissioner Roger Goodell for an offseason filled with transgressions. But that doesn't mean Britt is ready to be the team's go-to guy in the passing game, as he has been sidelined most of camp with a sore hamstring.
Strongest position: The Titans' offensive line returns all five starters. Although the interior play was not as good as expected last season, the club thinks Eugene Amano, who enters his second season at center, will improve, making life easier for OLG Leroy Harris and ORG Jake Scott.
Weakest position: The Titans are unproven at defensive end, where second-year DLE Derrick Morgan has only four games under his belt and DRE Jason Jones is learning a new position. Veterans William Hayes, Dave Ball and Jacob Ford are nice players, but they're not special. This could turn out to be a strength, but it is a relative unknown heading into the season.