AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders



Broncos’ QB Drew Lock believes he can be the franchise quarterback in Denver and will only get more comfortable as he develops chemistry with teammates over time.

“Without a doubt, I feel I can be the guy here and will be the guy,” Lock said, via Troy Renck of KMGH. “That’s always a weird question to answer because I know, personally in my head and the way I feel, without a doubt. How comfortable I got with this offense toward the end of the year, and the guys around me — you want to be the guy here. Everybody wants to be the guy here with all these young guys we’ve got running around. I’m excited to give everything I can in this offseason to still be the guy going into next year, but I do believe I am.”

  • However, Broncos HC Vic Fangio said Lock still has work to do to lock up the starting job for sure next year: “He’s going to have to improve.” (Andrew Mason)
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora mentions there was some momentum building for the Broncos to possibly hire 49ers executive Adam Peters as their next GM. However, La Canfora reports “several” NFL front-office members believe Peters would be better suited with the Carolina Panthers.


One yearly challenge of navigating the coaching cycle is working around interviewing candidates on top teams who are in the postseason while not missing out to other teams who may make hires sooner. Chargers GM Tom Telesco said he’s not going rush the process of hiring a new head coach, however. 

“If it’s something that we have to wait for. We’ll wait. We’ll wait and we’ll make it work,” Telesco said via Joe Reedy of the Associated Press.

It helps that the Chargers appear to have the clear-cut top head coaching vacancy available this year, with star first-round QB Justin Herbert a major draw. 

“We have an opportunity to ascend and ascend quickly,” Telesco said. “We’ve got work to do. Obviously, it’s nowhere near a perfect roster, but I think we got a bright future here.”


The Raiders made upgrading their receiving corps a major priority last offseason, drafting Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards in the first and third rounds respectively. Both got a lot of hype during camp about how quickly they’d be able to contribute, but the end of year stats for both ended up being quite modest. Ruggs caught just 26 passes for 452 yards and two touchdowns but Raiders HC Jon Gruden said his impact was felt in other ways. 

“We’re not being defended like we’ve been defended in the past,” Gruden said via the Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “I’m not sure how many passes Cliff Branch caught when he was a rookie, but that’d be a good story for you guys to look into. The threat of Ruggs is prevalent when he’s on the grass. We’re going to get him the ball more, but right now we’re more interested in trying to find ways to win than trying to fuel somebody’s stats. We’re really pleased with Ruggs and excited about him being here.”

As for Edwards, he was even less involved, finishing with 11 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown while being limited to 12 games due to injury. The injury also allowed veteran WR Nelson Agholor to step into the starting lineup and he never gave his spot back. Raiders QB Derek Carr was singing many of the same praises about Edwards at the end of the year as he was the beginning though. 

“He’s a very violent football player,” Carr said. “He’s aggressive and I love it. I love throwing the ball up to him. He was able to get a go route for a touchdown on a deep ball. Those are exciting things because I can throw him different than I throw Nelson. He’s a bit of a jump-ball, contort-your-body type of receiver. He kind of got caught behind Nelson’s breakout season. I thought Bryan was going to play a lot going into the year, but Nelson came on so hot. We’ve got to pay that man and get him back, but I thought because of how well Nelly played, his playing reps went down. Bryan and Henry are going to be really great players for our franchise going forward.”

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