AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders

     

Broncos

Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy had some highlight games where he showed off his first-round talent. But mixed in were a lot of drops, including five in one game against the Chargers. Becoming more reliable and consistent is Jeudy’s main focus heading into his second season. 

“I had a lot of opportunities come my way that I didn’t take advantage of,” Jeudy said via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post. “I know that’s the biggest thing I need to do [in 2021].”

  • The Broncos hired Pierre Ngo as their new assistant strength coach. He was with the Bears the past six years. (Mike Klis)
  • Dallas hired Broncos assistant strength coach Cedric Smith to their strength and conditioning staff. (Klis)

Chargers

Chargers QB Justin Herbert said he plans on getting in touch with Drew Brees to talk about new OC Joe Lombardi‘s system, who was on the Saints’ staff for the last 12 years. 

Drew is definitely one of those guys I plan to reach out to,” Herbert said, via Jeff Miller of the LA Times. “He’s been able to do it all.”

Herbert added that he intends on speaking with multiple veteran quarterbacks this offseason on how they study film and prepare for defenses. 

“I’m going to try not to bother them too much,” Herbert said. “I’ve got a bunch of questions about how to watch film, how to prepare for defenses. There are things that I can always get better at. These guys have had so much success. If I didn’t ask them, that’s on me. It’s an opportunity for me to learn from them. I’ll definitely be reaching out. I’ve talked to a couple of them already.” 

Herbert was told that Lombardi will implement some of the Chargers’ offensive scheme from last season while also installing some components he’s bringing from the Saints. 

“I think we’re going to take a little bit of that,” Herbert said. “They’re also going to bring in some of their stuff that has been able to work. I think it’s kind of a mix-and-match. But a lot of the stuff that we were able to do last year, I think that will carry over.

  • The Chargers make a lot of sense as a trade partner for the Ravens and OT Orlando Brown, but the Athletic’s Daniel Popper notes trading the No. 13 pick for Brown would go against GM Tom Telesco‘s usual philosophy of being conservative with picks, as Brown would require a massive extension before next season. 
  • He and the Athletic’s Ravens reporter, Jeff Zrebiec, note there could be some mutual interest in a trade swapping Brown for Chargers WR Mike Williams, as it fills a need for the Chargers, unloads Williams’ sizable $15 million cap hit on the fifth-year option and fills a need for the Ravens who also liked Williams coming out of the draft. However, the cap hit is hard to swallow for Baltimore and Los Angeles values Williams highly as a team leader.

Raiders

Up until the Super Bowl, the Raiders were one of just two teams to have beaten the Chiefs. It was a promising sign given they are division rivals and the entire AFC is chasing the Chiefs, though the Raiders finished 8-8 and out of the playoffs. Raiders TE Darren Waller thinks the gap between the two teams is closer than their records suggest. 

“I really don’t think there’s much because the first game we won, the second game they score at the end and if you ask people on defense, they say we can’t happen but those are two games that we feel like we should have won,” Waller said via NBC Sports’ Josh Schrock. “We don’t feel like the gap is that big, honestly. It’s easy to show up and play them because they are so good and so talented that you naturally want to play your best. We feel like our best is right there with theirs.”

Becoming more consistent is what Waller says is the key to closing that small gap, as the Raiders collapsed in the second half of the season for the second straight year. 

“The Chiefs do it Week 1 through Week 22,” Waller said. “We just found a way to pick our spots. We can do it the first nine weeks fairly consistently, but at the end, it’s not the same. The Chiefs you’re getting that same product every week and you better come ready or it’s not going to look good. So we have to reach that level of consistency that they have. They have a historically great level of consistency that we haven’t reached yet.” 

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