AFC Notes: Chiefs, Colts, Raiders

     

Chiefs

Chiefs K Harrison Butker has one of the strongest legs in the league, as evidenced by a video of a 77-yard-field goal he attempted and made in practice. That would have shattered the NFL record of 64 yards but Butker says there are plenty of kickers who could break the record if given the opportunity. He’s hoping he’ll be given the chance in 2020. 

“In terms of the NFL record, there are a ton of kickers that have the leg to make a field goal . . . in a game situation,” Butker said via ESPN’s Adam Teicher. “It’s just, does the coach want to put the kicker out there, because if he misses, now the other team gets the ball with great field position? So you kind of have to get set up with end-of-half, end-of-game situations. I don’t think we’ve had that situation where it would have been that long of a field goal. But I think definitely when it’s warm out, I’d be prepared to make that kick. I feel super comfortable kicking from distance. Obviously, we’re not going to be kicking field goals from [77 yards] most likely in a game, but it’s going to help me a lot when it’s a 55-yarder, wind’s in your face in January and February. That’s what I’m training for, to be able to make those kicks.”

  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano points out a key difference between RB Le’Veon Bell sitting out a season under the franchise tag and Chiefs DT Chris Jones threatening to do the same is Bell had already been tagged once. 
  • If the Steelers had tagged Bell a third time, it would have been prohibitive on their cap. For Kansas City to tag Jones again if he sits out 2020, it would cost just over $19 million. 
  • Graziano adds that while the new CBA includes a provision that a player loses an accrued season toward unrestricted free agency by showing up to training camp late, that doesn’t matter for Jones who already has accrued his four years of service time. 

Colts

Luke Rhodes joined the “Quarantine Football Podcast” and discussed making the transition from linebacker to playing long snapper for the Colts.

“That’s a good question. I get asked that a lot because of the success I had at linebacker,” Rhodes said, via ColtsWire.com. “Up and through my rookie year in the NFL, I was playing linebacker and my special teams coach, Tom McMahon at the time, I was working with him kind of after practice a little bit here and there long snapping, kind of just showing him I could do it and if he really wanted me to do it, I would practice it.

“I was still doing both my second year of training camp—playing linebacker and kind of transitioning into long snapper. I was competing for the job in training camp and then eventually won the job and coach named me the long snapper,” Rhodes added. “It was a credit to him for putting a stress to me and our head coach at the time, Chuck Pagano. We decided that was going to be a good plan for the rest of my career.

Raiders

Raiders RT Trent Brown believes their team “definitely got better” over the offseason after making progress throughout the 2019 season. 

“I feel like we definitely got better this year,” Brown said, via Anthony Galaviz of the Fresno Bee. “We took strides last year and we’re going to continue to take strides and just put one foot in front of the other.”

Brown called Raiders RB Josh Jacobs “one of the best backs in the league” and mentioned the same sentiments about their offensive line. 

Even with the additions last year, me being one of them, you can look at those guys and trust the organization … to put the right players in place for us to win some games and win championships. With Henry Ruggs, and we still got one of the best backs in the league and we got the best offensive line in the league. I mean, it’s about to be scary,” Brown said.

As for the lack of OTAs this offseason, Brown called that portion of camp “a waste of time for veterans.” 

“I’m really glad we’re not in OTAs,” Brown said. “I feel like OTAs are a really a waste of time for veterans, and it’s really too long. I can understand if they want to maybe (go with) a month or two weeks for the vets, and they keep the young guys for the full time, but really and truly the biggest takeaway for me is to spend time with my family and my kids and just continue to see them grow and just be around them.”

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