AFC Notes: Chiefs, Patriots, Texans


  • Dianna Russini of ESPN mentions that the more head coaches and GMs she speaks with around the NFL, the more it’s obvious that Chiefs HC Andy Reid had to have a hand in the firing of GM John Dorsey.
  • One coach who spoke with Russini wondered why the Chiefs would announce Reid’s extension shortly before they fired Dorsey, given that they could have waited until training camp to do so.


ESPN analyst Damien Woody tells Mike Reiss that he expects recently signed LB David Harris to be a two-down linebacker for the Patriots while providing them some solid depth.

“I think he’s a two-down player,” Woody said. “The way I kind of see David, maybe he’ll either start next to Dont’a Hightower or he’ll be in the rotation in the inside linebacker room. We all know Dont’a Hightower misses a couple games a year, by the nature of which he plays and the way the Patriots use him. So to be able to have a guy like David Harris, who is experienced, Coach Belichick knows him very well. The whole team knows him well from having faced him twice a year for the last 10 years. You get a feel for what a player can and can’t do. I’m sure Bill will have a specific role for David, who is smart and a consummate pro. He’s been a signal-caller pretty much his whole career. So while the Patriots run a complex scheme, that’s not going to be a problem for him.”

Woody did, however, admit that Harris and Dont’a Hightower could be too slow to have on the field together against certain teams.

“You’re talking about two linebackers that are both bigger,” Woody explained. “When I think of Dont’a Hightower, I think of a guy that is more of a pass-rusher, the way they line him outside on third down. But he also rushes the passer from the middle of the defense as an inside linebacker. If you’re facing a team like the Atlanta Falcons, with two running backs that are really versatile, that could cause a problem [for a Harris-Hightower combo]. You could try to scheme it up to neutralize that, but neither one of those guys are burners at the inside linebacker position. Could it be exploited? Yes, but you also have to trust the coaching of Bill Belichick to put those guys — if they’re on the field at the same time — in the best situation possible.


Texans HC Bill O’Brien said he’s excited to see how the quarterback position plays out this summer, given that Tom Savage, DeShaun Watson, and Brandon Weeden have looked good up to this point.

All three of them are good guys and fun to be around,” O’Brien said, via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “They worked real hard in our nine-week program. I’m excited to see them in (training) camp.

Even so, O’Brien made it clear that Savage is likely to be the team’s starter this year.

“Tom’s ahead in how he functions with the offense. He’s been here longer. He’s seen things. He knows how to correct things right away within the system.

His biggest issue has been health. The fact that he hasn’t been able to be the full-time starter is more about his (injuries).

“He’s taken advantage of his opportunities when he’s gotten to play, except for his rookie year.

“Now you can tell he has great command of our offense. He threw for almost 70 percent in team drills and 7-on-7. Yes, it was just OTAs (no contact), but that showed he’s accurate and knows where to go with the ball.”

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