The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Pro Sports

May 8, 2014

AFC South in rush to get after Luck

INDIANAPOLIS — Earlier this week, Jadeveon Clowney warned that Andrew Luck "better have his head on a swivel."

The truth is the Indianapolis Colts' third-year quarterback likely already had been heeding that advice.

When the Houston Texans selected Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday's NFL draft, it continued a string of moves by AFC South rivals aimed at dropping Luck onto his back.

Earlier this offseason, the Tennessee Titans signed Shaun Phillips and the Jacksonville Jaguars nabbed Chris Clemons in free agency. Phillips had 10 sacks last season with the Denver Broncos and 19.5 over the past two seasons combined.

Clemons had just 4.5 sacks last season for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, but he had 33.5 total sacks in the three previous seasons and will be reunited with former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley — who is entering his second season as the Jaguars' head coach.

Clowney, of course, will team with J.J. Watt in Houston to form a terrorizing pass-rushing tandem for the foreseeable future.

All of which is certain to put additional pressure on Colts general manager Ryan Grigson to address the offensive line as Indianapolis finally prepares to make its first selection at No. 59 overall Friday.

Fans have been calling for help at center throughout the offseason, and those cries grew louder when Phil Costa — who had signed as a free agent — retired unexpectedly at the start of offseason workouts. Grigson has expressed faith in Khaled Holmes as a potential starter, but he's clearly keeping his options open.

At every position, for that matter.

"We obviously have plans for (Holmes), but again, you have to compete and you have to win a job," Grigson said during his predraft press conference last week. "You're not just going to settle into a job for being average, mediocre or adequate. You have to play at a winning level and ascend to a championship level. We have to do that collectively I think to win a championship."

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