AFC Notes: Bengals, Broncos, Raiders

Bengals

Bengals LT Jonah Williams said it “means a lot” for HC Zac Taylor to talk about the confidence he has in him and he’s hoping to prove his coach and team right in the end. 

 

Since he became the 11th overall choice in 2019, Williams has played only 10 games while missing 22. He missed his entire rookie season with a shoulder injury and ended last season on injured reserve with a right knee injury.

“He had some really good tape from last season,” Taylor said. “Obviously, he’s had his ups and downs from an injury standpoint that have prevented from really taking off. When you just go back and after the season you watch it, as a whole — all of his snaps — he put some really good stuff on tape. He doesn’t even have a full season of 16 games under his belt, so I think we’re going to continue to see steady improvement working under [offensive line coach] Frank [Pollack]. He’s a really smart player, and I think he can really take his game to the next level, and I’m excited to see what he can do.”

Broncos

Broncos RB Melvin Gordon believes Denver’s offense deserves more respect but they are walking into the 2021 season with a “chip on our shoulder.” 

“We definitely aren’t talked about enough, but it’s expected,” Gordon said, via Kevin Patra. “If you don’t win as many games as you should, people don’t bring you up. It is what it is. But it’s better that way. It gives us a chip on our shoulder. We’re going to give them a reason to talk about us. I know everyone there is working with a mindset to go get it. We have a lot of leaders back, we have a lot of guys back, and hopefully, we stay away from the injury bug. But I think with our offense going up against our defense every day. We got the pieces.”

Gordon added that their offense is a young but experienced group, which makes the Broncos easier to overlook than other teams around the AFC West. 

“We’re young, but we can’t let that be an excuse. Everybody has suited up on game day, been out there, and had their reps, so we’re young, but we’re not going to let that be an excuse to not do what we need to do. If we got to be the youngest team to go out there and go get it, then that’s what we’re going to be. We have the leaders to go out there and do what we need to do. So, yeah, we’re overlooked. You got Patty Mahomes over there. Herbert went and had the season he had. Like you said, the Raiders, they got that dope stadium. So it’s easy for us to go overlooked. That just is what it is. We’re in a tough division. Our division has got a lot going on at this point in time. But (if) we go out there and win games, a lot of things can change quickly.”

Raiders

Raiders WR John Brown believes the team’s offense is “set up nicely” and feels that they are “up and coming.” 

“The offense is set up nicely and I just wanted to be a part of it,” Brown said, via W.G. Ramirez of the Associated Press. “I know this is a team that is up and coming and they’re building, so I felt like I can help out.”

Brown is working on his chemistry with Derek Carr and thinks he can provide veteran leadership to the younger receivers on the Raiders’ roster. 

“With Derek, it’s always great going in with a new quarterback, trying to figure guys out,” Brown said. “I feel like I can help out in the role and teach the guys how to become a veteran because we have a great group and these guys, they play well. And I think they’ll do even better this year. We’re trying to figure each other out. And I can bring a veteran standpoint, be able to help out.”

Regarding Raiders’ second-year WRs Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, Brown is confident that Ruggs can “dominate the game” with his speed, while Edwards provides an aggressive physical presence.

“(Ruggs’) speed alone, he can definitely dominate the game, he can really take over the offense,” Brown said. “With Bryan Edwards, he’s physical and he’s really aggressive. So, with him bringing that energy right there, a lot of guys can feed off of that.”

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