AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans

     

Colts

Colts HC Frank Reich spoke about the competition between running backs Marlon Mack, Jonathan Taylor, and Nyheim Hines, noting that Mack is clearly the starter.

“Marlon is the starter. He’s earned it and has had a couple of really good years for us,” said Reich, via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan. “But we are going to continue to take the same approach that we’ve had where it’s week in and week out, hot hand, all those things. We are expecting big things from all our backs but in particular Marlon. He looks good and just feels good about how the backs complement each other. That’s a strong room for us.”

Reich also discussed S Malik Hooker, who is entering a contract year after the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option.

“I think Malik is going to handle it really well because Malik has been on this trajectory since we’ve been here as a staff where he just keeps getting better,” said Reich. “I think physically and with the scheme, he’s coming into his own…It is what it is. This is the NFL. You have to earn it every day here. Guys aren’t surprised when a contract situation comes like Malik’s situation. You just have to go out and have a great year and we expect him to do that.”

Jaguars

New Jaguars OC Jay Gruden is finally getting the chance to install his offense hands-on with the players as the team opened camp. Gruden said the team is “still in diapers right now” in terms of their actual progress in his offense but he’s encouraged by the progress everyone is making. 

“We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m excited about the guys,” Gruen said via John Oehser of the team website. “You have guys who are willing to learn and willing to work. These guys are willing to learn and do things the way we want to do things now. Some things will be similar. Some things will be a little different. We have a long way to do, but I’ve been impressed with every one of them so far.”

  • ESPN’s Michael DiRocco lists left tackle as the biggest position battle on the team, as the team moved G Will Richardson over to compete with former second-round OT Cam Robinson

Texans

The Texans and HC Bill O’Brien are banking on WR Will Fuller to stay healthy and be a top performer as he enters a contract year, playing on his fifth-year option.

“We’re excited about having him for 16 games,” O’Brien said, via Aaron Reiss of The Athletic. “He looks as good as he’s ever looked, and that makes us happy. It makes us feel like we’re going to get off on the right foot here.”

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