AFC Notes: Broncos, Raiders, Texans


  • Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic reports that former 76ers GM Sam Hinkie spoke to members of the Broncos scouting, analytics, football administration and conditioning departments about “how to best use the influx of data” that teams collect to benefit all areas of the organization.
  • Mike Garafolo explains that the Broncos have not hired Hinkie as a consultant, but he spent a day with the team.
  • Garafolo stresses that while Denver met with Hinkie, they plan to continue focusing on old-school player evaluation to build the team.


Regarding the team’s recent decision to trade for QB Christian Hackenberg, Raiders HC Jon Gruden explained that they’re simply looking to increase the level of competition for the backup job.

We’re looking for players,” Gruden said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “We’re looking to get better every day, and Christian Hackenberg was available. He was a second-round pick. He did some really encouraging things at Penn State. He had some ups and downs. We’re going to look at him, and we’re going to make it very competitive to see who Derek Carr‘s backup is.”


New Texans S Tyrann Mathieu explained that he chose to sign with Houston in part because they planned to allow him to focus on playing just one position.

“This is why I chose to play for the Texans,” Mathieu said, via “[In Arizona], I had a lot on my plate. I couldn’t really focus on really one position. I think a lot of times coaches may ask me to strictly rely on my instincts, but am I really getting better at football? I think those were questions I needed to answer, and I think Romeo answered those questions for me.

“I played four or five different positions, I had four or five different responsibilities and I never could really perfect one craft. I think right now, for me, it’s just committing to safety, playing safety the best way. From there, like I said, the game plan kind of dictates, too, where I’ll line up.”

Mathieu did, however, admit that he hasn’t ever focused in on playing the safety position.

“I haven’t really played the safety position,” Mathieu said. “I’ve played it in the past, but I haven’t really practiced it. So that’s been an adjustment for me, [but] it definitely helps me slow things down. Just focusing on one position, trying to be the best at that rather than just being good at everything. So I think it’s important for me to just embrace it like I have been and just trying to continue to grow as a safety.

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