AFC Notes: Broncos, Browns, Chiefs

     

Broncos

New Broncos HC Vic Fangio has targeted a somewhat surprising area for improvement in his first year – star LB Von Miller. Despite being among the NFL’s best defenders, Miller has never won Defensive Player of the Year. Fangio wants that to change, and he has a long track record of success with pass rushers.

“Every player is going to have an assignment and a technique on every play,” Broncos LB coach Brandon Staley said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “If you can master those two things, then your beautiful instincts can take over. What Vic has taught Von—and with Vic, you’re talking about the Bill Walsh of outside linebackers, he’s had Kevin Greene, Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Khalil Mack—is, ‘These are parts of your game we think can get better. And it will lead to more for you.’ That’s not a knock on Von. It’s a compliment. There’s another gear he can get to. And to Von’s credit, he has had a refreshing humility about being coached.”

When making his decision to sign with the Broncos, undrafted free agent LB Ahmad Gooden didn’t just look at the bottom of the depth chart in Denver, where the backup linebacker spots are wide open following the departure of Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett. He looked at the players at the top he could learn from, in this case Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.

“Ultimately, those are two of the best in the league right now,” Gooden said via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post. “That was another big thing on my mind when it was time to make a decision, that I could pick their brains and they would elevate my game.” 

  • Broncos OC Rich Scangarello says OT Elijah Wilkinson has surprised him so far early in camp: “He was an undrafted free agent coming out of college. He was a lot heavier, he’s lost weight. He’s very athletic and a great scheme fit. I just like the way he works out here.” (Mike Klis)
  • The Broncos gave TE Jake Butt a day off following three straight practices. (Nicki Jhabvala)
  • Broncos G Ronald Leary also received a maintenance day off. (Troy Renck)
  • Broncos OL Chaz Green had to be carted off the field following Monday morning’s practice. (James Palmer)
  • As a part of his reworked deal, Broncos CB Chris Harris received a $600,000 roster bonus yesterday. He’s set to make a base salary of $9.8 million this year. (Field Yates)

Browns

Browns WR Odell Beckham said he grew so unhappy with football at one point that he considered retiring when he was 24. 

“I could’ve done any sport in the world,” Beckham said via Mark Anthony-Green of GQ. “Not many people know, but I used to talk to my momma and I’d be like, ‘Ma, if I was done doing this now, would you still be proud of me?’ And this was a couple of years ago, about two or three years ago.”

Now, Beckham says he has his sights set on playing long enough to break Jerry Rice‘s all-time receiving-yards record. The business aspect of the game had started to grind on him, but Beckham says he’s come to an understanding of that part of football.

“I said in college that I fear the day that they make the game I love a business and not just the game I love,” Beckham said. “And as I slowly, surely, seen that, it changed my heart about it. But then, at the same time, I have to feed my family. I have to set myself up for one day when I have kids — like, I need to set their future.”

  • According to Scott Petrak, if the Browns don’t extend S Damarious Randall before the season, expect him to hit the open market in 2020. 
  • Petrak writes Browns RB Duke Johnson could hold out to try and force the Browns to trade him. 

Chiefs

  • Though Chiefs RB Carlos Hyde has $700,000 guaranteed in his deal, NFL Media’s Gregg Rosenthal writes that his roster spot isn’t firm, as he’s already on his fourth team in the past 18 months. 
  • Rosenthal also lists LB Reggie Ragland as potentially being on the bubble. 

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