AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

  • Per the Athletic’s Stephen Holder, Colts LT Anthony Castonzo said he took a hard look at opting out, but ultimately felt comfortable enough with the safety precautions to jump on board what he thinks could be a special team. 
  • Castonzo says new Colts QB Philip Rivers might love football more than any player he’s ever been around and left long hype messages for the offensive linemen using voice text this offseason. (George Bremer)

Jaguars

  • Per Mark Long of the Associated Press, Jaguars HC Doug Marrone believes QB Gardner Minshew, who landed on the COVID-19 list this weekend, “will be available soon.”

Texans

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes that Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes‘ deal is such an outlier in terms of length and average annual value that it probably won’t factor that much into the Texans’ negotiations with QB Deshaun Watson.
  • Watson doesn’t appear willing to do a deal that long, so a better comparison is Seahawks QB Russell Wilson‘s deal at $35 million AAV. 

Titans

After established veteran DC Dean Pees retired from his post with the Titans this offseason, the plan for Tennessee in 2020 appears to include HC Mike Vrabel taking a larger role on that side of the ball. However, Vrabel has indicated that when he’s not around, the voice in charge on defense during meetings will be OLB coach Shane Bowen‘s. 

“Ultimately, my job, first and foremost, is to get these outside linebackers to play at a high level and to continue to develop them to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to do and contributing the way they’re supposed to on defense,” Bowen said via Jim Wyatt of the official team website. “But Mike isn’t always going to be around, so they need somebody to help him out, and I’ve been with him a long time. One thing I will say, I think I’m an extension of him when it comes to our defense and what he expects and what he wants. I think that’s where it has competence, and comfort level comes with me just because we’ve been around each other for a while now. So, I think that’s kind of where it stems from but ultimately, for me, it’s about these outside linebackers first.”

  • Titans S Kevin Byard said that while they’ll miss Pees and secondary coach Kerry Coombs, the team has confidence in Bowen: “It’s going to be different, for sure. Dean was my guy. Legendary coach. (And) Coombs, a ball of fire. But we’re all professionals. … Shane is a very knowledgable guy. When he speaks, everybody listens.” (Erik Bacharach)
  • One of Bowen’s goals has been to reduce the snaps Titans EDGE Harold Landry needs to play in 2020 as he thought he wore down to close last season. But Landry says it was just a “cold spurt” and he’s ready to do whatever the team needs. (Bacharach)
  • Titans TE Jonnu Smith said he learned a lot working behind veteran TE Delanie Walker as a “fly on the wall.” Smith will be Tennessee’s starter this year. (Terry McCormick)
  • Smith called Titans third-round RB Darrynton Evans “a very fascinating player” after seeing his athleticism on display while working out with him in Florida this offseason: “Athletic as can be. Quick as can be.” (Bacharach)
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