AFC Notes: Chargers, Chiefs, Steelers

Chargers

  • Gilbert Manzano of The Orange County Register believes the obvious name to watch for the Chargers’ head-coaching job is Bills’ OC Brian Daboll, due to his relationship with GM Tom Telesco and for his development of Bills’ QB Josh Allen.
  • The Chargers and Jets are the only teams to have requested interviews with Daboll, but there has been some speculation that the Eagles’ were interested in Daboll but they have yet to request an interview with him.
  • Manzano speculates that the current finalists for the vacant head coaching job are Daboll, Eagles’ Assistant HC Duce Staley, Chiefs’ OC Eric Bieniemy, and Giants’ OC Jason Garrett.
  • Manzano also notes that Panthers’ OC Joe Brady and Colts’ DC Matt Eberflus also interviewed but may be out of the race at this point as the team would have likely conducted second interviews.

Chiefs

Chiefs OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out of playing the 2020 season in order to put his medical background to use toward COVID-19, said he particularly misses playing now that Kansas City is in the playoffs.  

“Way more. I feel like after a few years in the NFL I’m a guy who loves to perform when it gets cold, and the stakes are high,” said Duvernay-Tardif, via John Kyrk of the Toronto Sun. “The last six games of the season always have gone by really fast for me. I love playing at that time of year. It’s kind of special. Maybe because I’m Canadian, I’m used to the cold. You wake up, it’s dark, you work out, then you go to work on the field when it’s starting to get dark, and you go home in the dark. I just love that grind, when there’s nothing else but football, and taking care of your body. I miss it. I miss the games. I miss playing in front of, like, 80,000 people — but nobody is playing in front of 80,000 people this year. That actually helped me cope with it a little better. Playoffs are amazing. I’ve been waking up every day the past few weeks going, ‘OK it’s Tuesday. Are they going to practise? Will Thursday be a full-padded practice? How will they manage?’ I’m just asking myself all these questions.”

Duvernay-Tardif intends on returning for the 2021 season and has been trying to stay in shape from home. 

“I’m staying in the best shape I can be right now. I have a gym set up on my roof. I’m trying to use this year off to show up in spring mini-camp, or whatever we can show up in Kansas City for, and be in the best shape possible. I feel like I’m on my way to be stronger. I don’t know about quicker, because it’s harder to run here. But I feel like I can be stronger than I was last year on the same date. I feel that’s a positive for me. And then after that I feel like it is going to come down to fighting for a spot. It’s a competitive league, and I think I’m going to have to go out there and battle. That’s my mindset. Same with after my big injury in 2018. Everybody I know was like, ‘Oh, you’re going back.’ And I’m like, ‘I’m going back to earn back my spot, because it’s a business and nothing’s guaranteed. If things don’t go the way I want, it’s not going to be because I wasn’t in good shape.’ That’s my mindset. That’s all I focus on”

Steelers

  • Sean Gentille of The Athletic takes a look at twelve potential replacements for OC Randy Fichtner with the Steelers, including former Chargers’ HC Anthony Lynn who has recently expressed interest in returning to being an offensive coordinator in the league.
  • Gentille also lists Matt Canada, Jim Caldwell, Brian Schottenheimer, Darrell Bevell, Mike Kafka, Alex Van Pelt, Doug Pederson, Duce Staley, Luke Getsy, Shane Waldron, and Pep Hamilton as other potential fits under HC Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh.

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