AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders


New Broncos GM George Paton has some big decisions to make in his first few months on the job coming up. But arguably none are bigger than what to do at the quarterback position, where Denver has former second-round QB Drew Lock and a ton of questions. Paton hasn’t had much time to dig into the film and make any determinations but did say he liked what he saw of Lock as a prospect. 

“I liked Drew coming out of the draft. A big arm, athletic, a play-maker,” Paton said via Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post. “I haven’t gotten into a lot of tape. I’ve only been here four days. I’ve watched enough tape to know that he’s talented. He can develop.”

Broncos team president John Elway added that while he is high on Lock’s potential still, there are obvious questions and Paton will be the one tasked with finding an answer. 

“I’m still high on Drew. I think he’s got the physical abilities to do it. I think this year was essentially his rookie year,” Elway said via Fredrickson. “I think he was put behind the eight-ball with everything that went on with Covid, with no offseason, especially with a young offense and new offensive coordinator. It was not by any means an ideal situation for Drew. 

“Obviously we’re going to continue to look at that position, you always are, and look at opportunities that you have. George will go through that whole process. If there is an ability for us to get better in that position, better than what we think we have, then I think George will make that decision. There will be a lot of thought that goes into it.”

  • Paton will also have a big decision to make with Broncos OLB Von Miller, but didn’t drop any hints at what way he’s leaning: “All those tough decisions start when I can meet with the coaches and the scouting staff. That’s when you get your plan for the offseason.” (Fredrickson)
  • Elway reiterated that it will be Paton making those decisions, though he will make himself available as a sounding board and resource. (Aric DiLalla)
  • Paton mentioned at some point he’ll be making additional front office hires: “Eventually I will be hiring a right-hand man.” (Mike Klis)


Chargers CB Chris Harris worked with his new head coach Brandon Staley when the two were together for a year in 2019. Staley was just the outside linebackers coach but Harris saw potential in him even then. 

“I knew that he could be a D-coordinator,” Harris said via Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times. “I knew that he should be a D-coordinator. But just to see how fast he’s skyrocketed, I mean, that’s pretty amazing.”

  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that Bears DL coach Jay Rodgers could potentially join Staley’s staff if he is not offered a coordinator position by Chicago.
  • Akron HC Tom Arth has emerged as a potential target for Staley’s staff as well. (Pete Thamel)


  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora mentions that the Chiefs will hopefully be keeping QB coach Mike Kafka, who is viewed as a future offensive coordinator and potential head coach in the NFL.
  • Chiefs’ HC Andy Reid on OC Eric Bieniemy and his interview with the Texans: “Everybody knows what I think of Eric and what kind of head coach I think he’d be. Maybe the best I think I can tell you is I hope he goes to the NFC…somebody I would have loved for my son to have played for.” (Mark Berman)
  • Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes remains in the concussion protocol. He reportedly was removed from the game because, in addition to exhibiting some physical symptoms like motor instability when he tried to get up following the hit, he gave a wrong answer to one of the series of questions posed to him as a part of the protocol that was related to the specific game. (Carrington Harrison)


  • Former Raiders DB coach Jim O’Neil is leaving to take the defensive coordinator job at Northwestern. (Adam Rittenberg)

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