AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

Jaguars

Since his scintillating start to the season when he misfired on just one of his 20 passes in a season-opening win against the Colts, Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew has not maintained that level of play. The Jaguars have lost five straight and Minshew has turned the ball over eight times. While HC Doug Marrone said he didn’t consider benching Minshew in Sunday’s 34-16 loss to the Lions, he didn’t rule out the possibility of making a change down the line. 

“Maybe in the future, I think,” Marrone said via ESPN’s Michael DiRocco. “I mean, I’d be naïve not to say [that’s a possibility]. That’s up for any position, any play that we can do for ourselves to get better. But no, I didn’t feel that way during the course of the game.”

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano note if the Jaguars fire Marrone, OC Jay Gruden is a natural replacement and it isn’t out of the question he could turn the interim job into a full-time one. 

Texans

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano say Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy is viewed as the clear top coaching candidate available this offseason with the Texans already a potential frontrunner. Bieniemy’s contract is up after this season. 
  • The two add Texans interim GM Jack Easterby has massive influence in the organization right now and will have a big hand in hiring a new head coach and general manager.
  • His Patriots roots have fueled speculation in NFL circles about a Nick Caserio/Josh McDaniels pairing in Houston, however, Fowler and Graziano say it’s not clear if Easterby wants to go that route. He would need to sell ownership on McDaniels who still has some baggage after backing out of the Colts job a few years ago. 
  • Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated doesn’t rule out Texans’ receivers Kenny Stills, Will Fuller, Randall Cobb, and Brandin Cooks all being available as the trade deadline nears.
  • Breer adds that this is likely due to Easterby possibly wanting to prove himself worthy of being involved in football operations as he is being watched closely by CEO Cal McNair going forward.

Titans

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano write that Titans OC Arthur Smith is expected to generate a fair amount of buzz and get multiple interviews as a head coaching candidate after this season. 
  • They add that former Texans HC Bill O’Brien could be a candidate to replace Smith given his tight connections with Titans HC Mike Vrabel.
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