RTC: Whitney Mercilus emerging

Reading the coverage ...

Houston Texans

The Texans have started to get Whitney Mercilus on the field with the defense and he’s looked good, says Tania Ganguli of the Houston Chronicle.

To which I say: Wade Phillips said Mercilus wasn’t ready sooner. It’s good for them to have a variable and to be able to rest Brooks Reed and Connor Barwin at times.

Notes from Lance Zierlein of the Chronicle blog on the Ravens-Texans include some good thoughts: Matt Schaub doesn’t look often to the young receivers, Garrett Graham is growing as a competitive blocker, Tim Dobbins did well in coverage and it’s time to start giving Kareem Jackson his due.

A new HD scoreboard should enhance Houston’s Super Bowl bid, says John McClain of the Chronicle.

Indianapolis Colts

Five storylines in advance of Colts-Titans from Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star. Included: The need for the Colts to play better on the road.

How Jerraud Powers foiled the Cleveland Browns’ final play, from Zak Keefer and Mark Alesia of the Indianapolis Star.

Where things stand heading into Week 8, from Nate Dunlevy of Bleacher Report. “A narrow win over a bad team at home doesn't tell us anything about Indy that we didn't already know. The stat sheet for Indy is riddled with holes and concerns, but that's nothing that four wins in seven games can't fix.”

Jacksonville Jaguars

A surgeon tells Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union that Blaine Gabbert should be able to play with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder.

To which I say: If he plays, and with Maurice Jones-Drew out, Gabbert can do wonders for himself by rising to the occasion.

The firing of Marty Hurney in Carolina ratchets up the fan heat on Jacksonville’s Gene Smith, says Gene Frenette of the T-U.

To which I say: What happens in Carolina should have no bearing on what Shad Khan does in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville re-signed Keith Toston for running back depth with Jones-Drew on the shelf for a while, says Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.

The Raiders did a lot to try to get the Jaguars a win on Sunday, but the Jaguars couldn’t take advantage, says Dunlevy.

Tennessee Titans

When he’s ready, Jake Locker should get the Titans' starting quarterback job back, no questions asked, says David Climer of The Tennessean.

To which I say: It’s easy to make a blanket declaration. And I think the Titans will go back to Locker. But if they’re carrying a three-game winning streak with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback, is it really so simple?

Five Titans who need to be better, from Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. He starts his list with defensive coordinator Jerry Gray.

Cornerback Jason McCourty is the Titans' new union representative, says Wyatt.