AFC Notes: Bills, Colts, Titans

     

Bills

Bills HC Sean McDermott was used to having elite play from the middle linebacker position when he was the defensive coordinator in Carolina with Panthers LB Luke Kuechly. When McDermott got his head-coaching gig with the Bills, the team put a priority on finding similar impact in that position, drafting LB Tremaine Edmunds in the first round in 2018. During joint practices between the Panthers and Bills, Kuechly says he can see the 6-5 Edmunds blossoming into an elite player in his own right. 

“He’s big, he’s athletic, he runs, he’s long, he’s like the perfect body type for this defense,” Kuechly said via Jenna Callari of WKBW. “McDermott’s got a great defense and I think he’s gonna thrive in it.”

Colts

Colts HC Frank Reich said each player the team sat for Week 1 of the preseason is expected to play in their game against the Browns on Saturday.

Right now the general plan is for everybody to play,” Reich said, via Andrew Walker of the team’s official site. “There may be an exception to that; we may at the last minute choose to make an exception. But for right now the plan is for everybody to play.”

The following players are expected to play after missing Week 1: WR T.Y. Hilton, CB Kenny Moore II, RB Marlon Mack, S Clayton Geathers, TE Ross Travis, LB  Ben Banogu, LB Darius Leonard, OT Anthony Castonzo, C Ryan Kelly, TE Jack Doyle, TE Eric Ebron, DL Denico Autry, and DE Justin Houston.

Reich said it would be “ideal” to get each player who missed the first game “a series or two” in Saturday’s game. 

Those guys who didn’t play the first game, getting them a series or two just to feel it out there in a game situation (would be ideal),” said Reich. 

  • After a rough start to camp, the Athletic’s Zak Keefer notes WR Daurice Fountain has come on strong and will be tough to cut. Unfortunately, Fountain was carted off during Thursday’s practice with what could end up being a serious leg injury. (Mike Chappell)
  • Keefer adds Chad Kelly could pass Phillip Walker for the third quarterback position, which has a good chance of making the final roster to start the season if Luck can’t go, with another strong preseason game against the Browns. 

Titans

With the durability issues of Titans starting QB Marcus Mariota, Tennessee made adding a quality backup a priority this offseason, swapping late-round picks and sending a fourth-round pick to the Dolphins for QB Ryan Tannehill. Given Mariota’s uneven career to this point, speculation has naturally bubbled up that Tannehill could displace him this year. The former No. 2 overall pick, however, says he’s not competing against Tannehill, but against himself as he enters a contract year. 

“Having Ryan in our room has been a tremendous addition,” Mariota said via Jim Wyatt of the team’s official website. “That competition, year in and year out for me, is with myself. I just look to be the best version of myself, but Ryan adds a guy who has done it, has experience, can talk about things we see in practice. Even today, different things the Patriots are doing, just being able to communicate and be there, be another set of eyes for each other. But when it comes down to it, I am just competing against myself. I just try to be the best version that I can be, day in and day out.”

  • Titans TE Delanie Walker participated fully in joint practices against the Patriots Thursday and expects to play against them in the preseason game. (Wyatt)

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