AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Raiders


Broncos S Justin Simmons feels that the organization is “really close” to becoming a contending team. 

“I feel like we’re really close,” Simmons said, via Kevin Patra of Around the NFL. “We’re finally having a year where we’re having coordinators come back and guys are familiar with the schemes and the systems, both on offense and defense and on special teams. I feel like we’re really close. I feel like this could be the year and I’m really excited for that. I’ve been itching for it ever since I came into the league — 9-7 is the closest I’ve been. And so I’m really looking forward to this season.”

Simmons stressed the importance of the Broncos’ defense remaining productive given they play against “high-powered offenses” in the AFC West. 

“In our division, we got teams like the Chiefs, the Raiders, and the Chargers, those are some high-powered offenses,” Simmons said. “So we’re going to need a defense that’s ready to go week in and week out because we play the best in our division. In terms of team defensive goals, we want to be No. 1. We have the talent across the board to be able to get after the quarterback, get some turnovers, that’s an area that we’ve struggled in the past couple years. So we’re just really looking forward to competing out there and going against some of the best offenses in the league. Like I said, from a defensive standpoint, we feel like we can be No. 1, and so that’s our goal.”


  • Daniel Popper reports LA Superior Court judge granted Chargers owner Dean Spanos’ motion to move his family trust dispute to San Joaquin County.
  • Chargers CB Chris Harris said he knew QB Justin Herbert was the real deal when he first saw him in practice: “This is like a once in a generational type talent.” (SiriusXM)


Raiders QB Derek Carr is entering his fourth year with HC Jon Gruden, which is three or four more than most thought he’d get with the coach notorious for having a wandering eye at the position. Many made fun of Carr for buying a house next to Gruden’s in Las Vegas given the expected divorce but that’s turned out to be emblematic of how the two have grown close. 

“What people don’t understand is how close we are,” Carr said via the Athletic’s Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed. “Not just football, but off the field. Whether it’s him texting videos of his dog and what they’re doing, and I’m sending him videos of my kids hitting baseballs in their first game.

“We love one another. We grind together. He pushes me. I push him. It’s a great relationship. … This has been the most fun playing quarterback I’ve ever had.”

  • Tafur and Reed add that if Carr plays well and the Raiders make the playoffs in 2021, Carr will get an extension before his contract year in 2022. If he doesn’t, Las Vegas will explore its options with other big-name quarterbacks like potentially Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson

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