Best Offseason in the South: Part 2 of 2

The AFC South should be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL in 2009, as three of the four teams finished .500 or better a year ago, and the last place Jacksonville Jaguars seemingly improved several areas of need. We are going to take a closer look at what these teams did and count down their offseasons from worst to best. Here are the top 2 teams of the AFC South Offseason.


Number 2 - Tennessee Titans - From an outside perspective, the Titans offseason looks like net loss as they failed to retain their defensive MVP, Pro Bowler Albert Haynesworth. Although Haynesworth has been a dominant player in his contract years, there must be a reason why the Titans made a half-hearted attempt at re-signing him. What the Titans did do to replace Haynesworth was sign former Tampa Bay defensive tackle Jovan Haye, as well as draft Auburn's Sen'Derrick Marks in the second round.

To boost up the Titans passing game, the team re-signed Pro Bowl quarterback Kerry Collins, and bought him a nice, speedy weapon in former Steelers wideout Nate Washington. Throw in first-round pick Kenny Britt and third-round pick Jared Cook, and the Titans have a nice set of young pass catchers.

Add in the under the radar signings of backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey and nickel corner DeMarcus Faggins, and the Titans spent the offseason tightening up several areas of need from a team that won 13 games a year ago.

Number 1 - Houston Texans - The Houston Texans finished the 2008 season strong, as they won five out of their final six games to end with a .500 record. 8-8 won't be good enough in 2009 as the Texans had an ultra-successful offseason and plan on busting through to the playoffs.

Houston finally found a pass rusher to play opposite the great Mario Williams as they spent an eight-figure signing bonus on former Arizona Cardinal Antonio Smith. The Texans then added to their defensive line depth with former first-round pick Shaun Cody. Throw in veteran linebacker Cato June, and the young, undersized Buster Davis and the front seven of the Texans defense appears much better on paper in 2009 than they finished 2008.

If that wasn't enough, the Texans spend a first-round pick on USC linebacker Brian Cushing, and a second-round pick on Big East Defensive Player of the Year Connor Barwin. Houston gained some offensive line depth with former Alabama center Antoine Caldwell, and added the best blocking tight end in the draft in Anthony Hill. Add in "Mr. Everything," tight end James Casey, and corners Quin Glover and Brice McCain, and the Texans have the makings of a fantastic draft.

To add some depth under center, Houston initially inked former Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky, then just a few weeks ago came to terms with former Bears first-round pick Rex Grossman. The Texans appear to have solid depth at every position and this offseason could be what turns this team into a winner.


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