AFC Notes: Browns, Steelers, Titans


Regarding Browns QB Jacoby Brissett missing WR Amari Cooper on a potential touchdown on the opening drive of Week 1, OC Alex Van Pelt believes they’ll execute at a higher level going forward. 

“We will make those plays,” Van Pelt said, via Mary Kay Cabot.The corner actually fell down on the play. I do not know if Jacoby saw him fall down. He would’ve driven that ball a little flatter and more sudden to Amari, quicker to him. Those are plays, we’ll just grow through those and expect to make them moving forward.”

Cooper pointed out that he released in a different direction on that play based on how the cornerback lined up against him. 

“Yeah, see that’s the thing about games, you’re not always going to get the look that you prepare for,” Cooper said. “Like on that particular look, usually on that route I release outside, but the corner jumped so far outside that I had to release inside. I just reacted to it and Jacoby wasn’t accustomed to seeing that look on that play. It was just a different type of look. As far as can it be fixed? Absolutely. The next time we see it I’m sure he’ll drill the ball right in there.”

Coper takes some satisfaction in drawing multiple penalties against the Panthers in Week 1. 

“Of course, obviously you want to score the touchdown because the things about the flags, you can’t score touchdowns,” Cooper said. “The penalties can’t score the touchdowns for you, even though it might put you close, you still have to do it as an offense. You want to actually score the touchdown when you have the opportunity, but of course, just being able to give the team the opportunity to get closer, definitely we take satisfaction in that.”


Regarding Steelers DE T.J. Watt missing at least four games on the injured reserve, DC Teryl Austin said there are going to be some changes with their system but overall expects things to stay the same structurally. 

“It’s gonna change because he’s not there,” Austin said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “Obviously, everybody knows what he does really well, which is a lot of things, but I think structurally we’re gonna remain the same. We’re gonna do the things that we think are good, that are sound fundamentally. … We know we may not get the type of production T.J. had, but if we get good, solid varsity players, we’re gonna be fine.”

Steelers DT Cameron Heyward reiterated that they don’t need to change their “entire scheme” without Watt. 

“Obviously, you don’t want to play without a guy like that, but guys gotta step up,” Heyward said. “We’re not reinventing the wheel. We’re not going out there saying that we have to change up our entire scheme and stuff, but we just gotta make sure we do our jobs.”

As for OLB Alex Highsmith recording three sacks in Week 1, HC Mike Tomlin said they expect him to continue performing well. 

“I don’t know that any of us are shocked by the performance,” Tomlin said. “As a matter of fact, I think most of us expect it to continue. You’re not going to get three sacks each and every week, but he’s a good player and he’s a man to be reckoned with for sure.”


Titans OC Todd Downing took full responsibility for a questionable play-call that took place in a one-point loss to the New York Giants in Week 1.

“That was a bad call,” Downing said, via AtoZ Sports Nashville. “I take full responsibility for that call. Played a percentage off of what we had seen from that defense in short yardage. Obviously, had a little miscue earlier in the game on short yardage and got a little too aggressive with that call. Should have gotten something downhill, and that’s on me.”

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