AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Titans

     

Colts

Colts RB coach Tom Rathman says that the role of RB Nyheim Hines shouldn’t change this season, despite the fact that the team already has RB Marlon Mack and drafted RB Jonathan Taylor out of Wisconsin.

“I don’t believe so,” Rathman told Andrew Walker of Colts.com of a possible role change for Hines. “I mean, I think Nyheim is a very talented running back who has really developed his skills, not only as a third-down back and a guy that plays in empty formations but as an every-down back. I mean, if you look at him and what he’s done with his opportunities when he’s had the opportunity of playing on first, second down as an every-down back, I mean, he’s done very well. And he continues to show development, growth, and that’s really what you look for as a coach. And we talk about consistency, playing at a high level — I mean, those things are things that he’s taken his game to that level.”

Rathman also spoke about the possibility of the team having two 1,000 yard rushers in the upcoming season.

“That’d be great to have two 1,000-yard rushers,” Rathman continued. “But, you know, we’re just gonna take it game by game. That’s all we can do — really, play by play. You know, make sure that you do all the fundamental things right, you’re right on target what you’re asked to do, and that’s really gonna be the key to the improvement of our operation here, is everybody doing it the way that it’s coached and the details that are taught and at the level that we’re talking about. And the expectations out of whoever is in as a running back are the same, whether you’re the starter or you’re a practice squad player: when you take that huddle, and you’re in that huddle, there’s a certain expectation that we expect.”

  • Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan notes that Colts GM Chris Ballard said on several occasions this offseason that it’s time to see what the Colts have in their high draft picks on the defensive line.
  • According to Bowen, DE Kemoko Turay must remain healthy, DL Tyquan Lewis must show more consistency and play at the defensive end position, and DE Ben Banogu must turn his athleticism into production.
  • While his fifth-year option was declined, Colts S Malik Hooker is still projected as a starter and is entering a key contract year. (Bowen
  • Bowen notes Colts CBs Xavier Rhodes, Rock Ya-Sin and Marvell Tell are battling for the last two starting spots at corner. 

Jaguars

  • The Jacksonville Jaguars announced Friday that they will open the 2020 season with approximately 25 percent capacity at TIAA Bank Field.
  • The team came to this percentage of fans after consulting with state and local officials along with the CDC.
  • Guests planning to attend games in 2020 will be required to wear face coverings as required by current guidelines.

Titans

The Titans’ prolonged interest in free agent DE Jadeveon Clowney shows they’re not satisfied with the current state of their pass rush. But if they can’t sign Clowney, there are other avenues of improving the pass rush in 2020. Tennesse brought back Kamalei Correa and added Vic Beasley in free agency. But they also have hopes for internal development, namely 2019 fifth-round EDGE D’Andre Walker who missed his entire rookie year due to injury. 

It was hard last year, but everything happens for a reason,” Walker said via Jim Wyatt of the team website. “The players and the coaches made sure I didn’t hold my head down last year, and they taught me to have faith in myself, to know that I am still good, and I belong here. I know what I am capable of doing, and now I just have to keep my head up, and I have to work. I feel like I am on a great team, a family, and I want to do my part, starting on special teams. I feel healthy, 100 percent, and ready to go. I am ready to play football, and I’ll do whatever the team asks me to do.”

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