AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Patriots



After going 4-1 in his stint as a starter to end the season, it appears the Broncos are ready to build around QB Drew Lock. Rather than stand pat, Denver made the move to bring in OC Pat Shurmur to help develop Lock. And with needs along the offensive line and in the receiving corps, it appears the Broncos aren’t done bringing in help for Lock. 

“I thought he was going to be good without a new offensive coordinator,” Broncos LB Von Miller said via Pat Graham of the Associated Press. “And now they’re bringing in all these guys to help him be successful? The sky’s the limit for him.”

Despite missing a huge chunk of time on injured reserve with a thumb injury and facing a major transition from the spread offense he ran in college, Lock stepped in and was confident right away, inspiring a similar feeling in his teammates. 

“Whenever you have a confident quarterback out there balling and doing all the great stuff he does, everybody feeds off that,” Miller said. “It gets everyone excited.”


  • Jay Glazer clarified Tuesday he was not reporting that the Chargers have “moved on” from QB Philip Rivers during an appearance on Fox Sports’ “The Herd” show yesterday.
  • Instead, Glazer says he just offered his opinion that he doesn’t expect Rivers to be back in Los Angeles for the 2020 season. 


After trading for DE Michael Bennett this offseason, the Patriots ended up trading Bennett at the deadline because he clashed with DL coach Bret Bielema. Bennett wasn’t the only player to be shipped out of New England because of difficulties working with Bielema, as Chiefs DT Mike Pennel revealed Monday he was released in the preseason because of a “disconnection” with Bielema. It worked out for Pennel, who is playing in the Super Bowl and happier with his new coaching staff. 

“I’ll definitely keep the particulars of that to myself,” Pennel said via NESN’s Zack Cox. “But it was just with how the preseason was going and everything like that, me being a veteran, I kind of knew what was going on with the (decreased) reps and everything like that. I didn’t really understand what was going on and didn’t really get any answers. So after that point, it was a little bit of confusion, a little bit of relief when I got cut. But I’m just glad to be somewhere with a lot more transparency.”

  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss mentions coaching assistant Carmen Bricillo and assistant RB coach Cole Popivich as in-house candidates to replace retired Patriots OL coach Dante Scarnecchia.
  • Former Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski said he doesn’t want to close the door on returning to play, but added he’s happy with what he’s doing right now. (Doug Kyed)
  • Gronkowski mentioned he’s 250 pounds right now, 10-12 pounds off his playing weight. (Kyed)
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