AFC Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Chandler Jones


Broncos LB Jonas Griffith is starting to gain the confidence he needs in order to become a starter in the NFL.

You kind of have an illusion of like, ‘I can do this,’ Griffith said, via 9 News. “But when you actually do it, that’s a little bit different…I feel like that was huge for me and big confidence booster going into the offseason.

Griffith plans to compete for a starting role this fall. Broncos starting LB Josey Jewell has noticed the progression in Griffith’s game.

“You definitely saw a couple of steps in the last couple games of last year of where he excelled,’’ Jewell said. “Whether it be the quickness of the recognition of the plays, the guy is always fast, so you always see that on the field and just the physicalness that started to creep up and come into the last couple of games… And just his understanding of the game. Route concepts and stuff like that, so it’s been fun watching him progress so far.


Chiefs HC Andy Reid is impressed with young LBs Nick Bolton and Willie Gay, the two players Kansas City will be relying on in the middle of their defense this season.  

“I think both of them are much more comfortable with what we’re doing right now than what they were at the beginning of last year,” Reid said via the Athletic’s Nate Taylor. “That’s where you see linebackers make a little jump from their first year into their second and third year. They get all these reps with the passing game, and I think that’ll help (Bolton) down the road rounding off his game. And he’s attacking it like crazy right now. He’s really put a lot of effort into that.”

Going against QB Patrick Mahomes in practice is making them even better.

“I know Pat is making me better,” Bolton said. “I like to compete against him, Travis Kelce and the receivers we just got in. I definitely feel I’m trending in the right direction, but I still have a long way to go. I want to be in a (condition) where I can go sideline to sideline. I’m kind of like where I was weight-wise last season (232 pounds), so I’m just going to continue to get in better shape as we go along.”


Raiders DE Maxx Crosby said he and DE Chandler Jones have a great connection and they look forward to pushing each other this season.

We have an awesome connection,” Crosby said via Tashan Reed of The Athletic. “I try to push him every day and he tries to push me. We just look forward to doing that every single day. No matter what, just finding new things to get better at and keep picking each other’s brains and lift up everybody around us.

Jones has been somebody that Crosby has idolized since his collegiate days and he believes that playing alongside him will make him better. Crosby is taking advantage of Jones’ veteran presence and is trying to absorb everything he can off of him.

Seeing it on film is one thing. Then when you see him on the field just talk about it and explain what he’s thinking about when he’s moving and then you see him move — he’s so long and bendy — he’s just a different, one-of-a-kind type of rusher and talent,” Crosby said. “Being around that, I don’t even have to say anything. I just literally sit there and listen. It’s such a different approach: the way he thinks about it. But that’s what makes him great. Just being around him and just soaking up that information is incredible. He definitely inspires me every day to do the things he’s done: win a Super Bowl, 100-plus sacks. He sets the standard. He’s been doing it for years and years. He’s somebody I definitely look up to. And I can’t wait to get out there with him.

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