AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

  • The Athletic’s Stephen Holder writes that if the Colts continue to strike out with some of their other big-name pursuits at quarterback, pending FA QB Jacoby Brissett has to be in the conversation to re-sign with Indianapolis given his past starting experience. 
  • Left tackle is another major hole on offense, but Holder notes that the age of some of the top options on the market like 49ers LT Trent Williams, Panthers LT Russell Okung and Steelers LT Alejandro Villanueva, could make them more of band-aid solutions. 
  • Holder thinks the Colts will let WR T.Y. Hilton test free agency to set his market, while also bringing back RFA WR Zach Pascal. He adds his sense is they’re looking to upgrade from TE Trey Burton.
  • There’s a decent chance the Colts bring back both DEs Justin Houston and Al-Quadin Muhammad, per Holder. But getting more from their edge rushers is a need in 2021.
  • Holder says the Colts could face stiff competition to re-sign CB Xavier Rhodes this offseason. 
  • When discussing Burton’s future with the team, owner Jim Irsay said he believes he can still produce in the NFL: “We’ll see how the future plays out. But I think Trey can still produce in this league.” (Kevin Bowen)
  • Colts GM Chris Ballard praised Burton following the conclusion of the 2020 regular season, describing that HC Frank Reich pushed to sign him last offseason: Trey Burton has been a really good addition. I’ll give Frank credit for that. He was on me about signing him. I was a little leery because of the injury history. I knew he was talented, but I was leery. Great teammate, good player, made some really big plays for us. A true pro. Did some things that didn’t always get noticed. Just a really, really special guy.”

Jaguars

  • New Jaguars director of sports performance Chris Doyle was the highest-paid strength coach in college football until he was terminated by Iowa last year for allegations of mistreatment and racism. 
  • Jaguars HC Urban Meyer said he’s known Doyle for 20 years, vetted the hire and is confident there will be no issues with Doyle. (Michael DiRocco)
  • Jaguars OC Darrell Bevell told reporters Jacksonville won’t be trading the No. 1 pick and is looking forward to working with the “young QB we’re going to bring in here.” He’ll be at Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence‘s workout on Friday. (Mark Long)
  • New Jaguars DC Joe Cullen didn’t say whether Jacksonville would run a 4-3 or a 3-4, adding he has experience with both. (John Oehser)

Texans

Texans’ president Jamey Rootes announced on Wednesday that he is resigning from the organization and initially began considering leaving Houston after the passing of former owner Bob McNair in 2018. He intends on joining another franchise. 

“It’s not a new idea for me,” Rootes said via Fox 26’s Mark Berman. “When (late owner) Bob (McNair) started to decline, I started thinking about am I good with making the transition from someone that’s a hero to me? I thought you know it’s kind of selfish. It’s important that the organization as stability in this window and when Bob passed I thought about it again. I love (chairman/CEO) Cal (McNair) like a brother. I really felt like I owed it to him to be here during a period of time to allow there to be a smooth transition to his leadership. As the year wound down this year I really felt like the organization is in a great place from the business perspective. We’ve got a tremendous leadership team that’s been with me, probably the average tenure is 16 years. I just thought the time was right for me to go do something different. I’ve been here for 20 years. The average tenure (for CEOs) is five years and only 20 percent that last past 10 years. It’s really not normal for someone to be in this kind of leadership position for this long. I’m young enough that there’s a new opportunity for me to go and create something which is my forte.”

  • According to Pro Football Talk, Rootes wanted to announce his resignation following the Texans’ search for a new general manager after his work on the search committee was “ignored.”
  • Houston “persuaded” Rootes to prolong his resignation in order to prevent the perception of Houston’s front office’s dysfunction.
  • ESPN’s Dianna Russini confirms that Rootes’ resignation has been “in the works for weeks.”
  • The Texans hired former Lions character coach Dylan Thompson in a similar role. Thompson was a quarterback at South Carolina while Texans EVP Jack Easterby was a character coach for the basketball team. (Aaron Wilson)
  • Thompson’s title will be director of team development. (Albert Breer)

Titans

  • Per Jim Wyatt of the team website, the Titans have added Erik Frazier as an offensive skill assistant and Jason Houghtaling as an offensive line assistant. 
  • Frazier was most recently the WR coach and passing game coordinator at Montana State. He also interned for the Giants, Vikings and Chiefs as a Bill Walsh Minority Intern. 
  • Houghtaling was the OL coach at Colgate in 2020 and was previously the head coach at Wagner for five years. 
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