AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Titans

     

Colts

Colts DC Matt Eberflus reiterated the fact that the decision to acquire DT DeForest Buckner was pretty easy once he saw his tape.

“When Chris Ballard and Frank Reich came to me first about DeForest, and they said, ‘Hey, we have a chance to get this young man here,'” Eberflus told Andrew Walker of Colts.com, “I went back and looked at a few games, in terms of the playoff games and all that, and my initial reaction was exactly what I thought when I watched him in some crossover games, is, ‘This guy is an impact player, and he plays at a high level and he certainly affects the football in a positive way up front.’ My answer was, ‘Yes. Go get this guy…”The question was posed to me, ‘Hey, if we get X player at 13, or this player at 13, or we could acquire DeForest…’ we did some thinking on that, and the thought process was, ‘Hey, we got a known player here that we’ve seen play in the NFL that’s young, that’s played a lot of snaps, has done a great job in terms of impacting football games. If we can get him, let’s go get him.’

Eberflus also says that his buddies around the league contacted him to let him know that he was going to love Buckner as a player.

“As soon as we signed him, a couple of my buddies in the league got a hold of me and said, ‘You’re gonna love him on gameday, but during practice, you’re gonna love him even more.’ The way he practices raises everybody’s level, and his leadership is just that; people lead by example and lead by doing, and he certainly does that in practice. I’m excited to get him on the practice field to watch him work, and to work with him.”

Jaguars

  • NFL Media’s Charley Casserly writes the Jaguars expect first-round CB C.J. Henderson and EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson to both play immediately, with Henderson ideally winning a starting outside corner spot and Chaisson playing as an outside linebacker on running downs and defensive end in pass-rushing situations. 
  • Casserly notes the Jaguars plan to start CB D.J. Hayden at nickel, with Rashaan Melvin and Tre Herndon competing with each other for the final starting outside corner position. 
  • The other key position battle is at wide receiver, with Jaguars starting slot receiver Dede Westbrook competing with Chris Conley and second-round WR Laviska Shenault Jr. to stay on the field in two-receiver sets. 
  • Casserly says the situation with Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue bears watching, as his options will be limited to either signing and playing on the tag or sitting out the 2020 season after July 15. 
  • However, Casserly points out the Texans traded DE Jadeveon Clowney on the eve of the season in a somewhat similar situation last year, so Ngakoue could still have his trade wishes fulfilled. 

Titans

The Titans have been linked to free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney for some time now, but the two sides have not been able to finalize a deal. Part of that could be Clowney’s asking price, but the other side is the inability for Tennessee to get Clowney into the team facility to do a physical. Titans GM Jon Robinson said that close look is critical for a player with Clowney’s medical history. 

“What I’ve seen on Twitter, him rushing off the edge and hitting that bag,” he said, via PaulKuharsky.com. “Anytime you are dealing with whatever the contract is going to command, you want to make sure that the player is healthy, that you are able to allow your doctors to see him, to look at it, to make sure everything is going to be good.”

Another potential free-agent upgrade the Titans would be interested in pending a medical checkup is K Stephen Gostkowski. Robinson is familiar with the veteran from their time together in New England, where Gostkowski is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. If Gostkowski is healthy, he could push current projected starting K Greg Joseph for a spot. 

“We certainly have confidence in Greg Joseph, I thought Greg did a great job for us, came in there at the end of last year and did a great job for us and helped us,” Robinson said. “It’d be his job to lose but we want as competitive a position there as possible. [Gostkowski] is another guy who’d we’d have to come in and check, but yeah, absolutely.”

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