AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Davis Mills


Following the retirement of TE Jack Doyle, the Colts gave TE Mo Alie-Cox a new three-year deal. Cox knows that being the starting tight end in Indianapolis is no small thing and is ready to bring his leadership skills to the locker room. 

“Being the leader in the room, going first in every drill, setting an example and just showing all the new guys what it is. It’s me,” Alie-Cox said, via “I’m going into Year Six, the next one is Kylen (Granson), he’s going into Year Two. So, it’s just like being a mentor to all the young guys in the room, showing them little things to do day in and day out and showing them how to be a pro.”

Alie-Cox is also aware that his new QB Matt Ryan is fond of throwing to his tight ends.

“Working with Matt these last couple of weeks, we can see he really likes the tight ends and coach has been making an effort to get us involved and you could see even with some of the sets we had today,” Alie-Cox said. “Me and Jelani (Woods) were out there, Drew (Ogletree) and Jelani and even big Mike (Michael Jacobson) made a play today. It’s going to be fun.”


Jaguars HC Doug Pederson chose to exempt some players from this week’s mandatory minicamp.

“I’m still having the mandatory minicamp, mandatory three days, but I’m only doing the rookies, selected veterans, and our injured players,” Pederson told reporters, via Pro Football Talk. “The injured players are guys that may be finished the season with an injury that worked all offseason. I just require them to stay here and still get treatment and rehab. So, it’s a chance to really work with our young players and some of the selected vets on a little more of a one-on-one basis. We’re going to do that next week, so the veterans are done. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.”

“I mean listen, they worked extremely hard,” Pederson added. “We’ve had great attendance all spring. We had the three-day extra minicamp back in April.” (Teams with new coaches are permitted to have an extra three-day voluntary minicamp.) “The guys are in good spots, so I felt that it was the right time to give them a little extra rest before we get ready to get cranked up in July. I wanted to see this group work and work together. It wasn’t final until just within the last week or so for me to make the decision. Again, these guys have worked extremely hard. They’ve earned it. They deserve it. We got done, as a staff, what we needed to get done and we’re getting ready for camp.”


  • Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, there’s some real optimism about Texans QB Davis Mills entering his second season given he arguably outplayed some of the other quarterbacks who were drafted much higher than him in 2021. 
  • One NFL assistant coach said of Mills’ rookie performance: “He was just playing the position really well. He didn’t have a lot around him, and he didn’t have many rookie mistakes in the games I saw. He can work through the progressions from the pocket, great mechanics, fundamentally sound, accurate at all three levels, can drive the ball and layer the ball. Really checked a lot of boxes.”
  • However, an AFC executive cautioned the Texans are still rebuilding and Mills might not have the support to reach his ceiling, which might be more limited than others from the 2021 class: “Talented kid. Love [OC] Pep [Hamilton] coaching him, too. But his team stinks. And his upside isn’t as high as some of the others.”
  • According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Texans gave fourth-round RB Dameon Pierce $25,000 more than they had to, leading other fourth-round picks around the league to ask for the same and a general league-wide delay in getting those picks under contract.

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