AFC Notes: Colts, Jaguars, Titans


It’s no secret Colts owner Jim Irsay was livid over the team’s collapse to end the 2021 season, including a loss to the Jaguars in what was basically a win-and-in playoff game in Week 18. Irsay made some of his first public comments on the matter this past week. 

“No disrespect to Jacksonville, but I mean, they’re the worst team in the league,” Irsay said via the Athletic’s Zak Keefer. “I mean, if you play well for the first quarter, you know, they’re looking to go to the locker room, you know? I can’t emphasize how shocked and disappointed (I was). I don’t have the words to describe the level of that letdown … I mean, I’ve never seen it in my life.”

Irsay had been concerned earlier in the season with the Colts’ 1-4 start. They had clawed back but the collapse reignited those worries. He talked to veterans in the locker room and came away believing the loss to the Jaguars “clearly wasn’t an accident.”

“You search for the right chemistry with any team,” he said. “Football is as important as any sport there is. If that chemistry is off, if it isn’t there, it can be extremely detrimental and lower performance to a degree that is stunning, you know, and shocking.”

The biggest change Irsay determined the team needed to make was obviously at quarterback, and the Colts traded away Carson Wentz just a year after giving up a first-round pick for him due in large part to Irsay’s input. 

“Carson is not the scapegoat,” Irsay said. “It simply didn’t work out for us and what we are trying to accomplish. I mean, he’s a good man, a good father and a guy who put a lot of effort into the year and worked really hard and wanted to have success. It just didn’t work out. And sometimes you feel like you have to move on because you can’t always persuade people to do things differently if they don’t want to do them differently.”

  • Irsay mentioned at the owner’s meetings that the team was considering a trade for a young quarterback: “You know we looked at a young guy or two, it was probably one, but really, in the end, he wasn’t available, after all was said and done. For a number of other things happening, reasons, it would have been something else happening to make him available.” (Stephen Holder)
  • Irsay on the trade for QB Matt Ryan: “I really feel strongly that Matt is what the franchise needs. I really think we have an opportunity, and he’s young enough, to win a world championship with him. We feel like we have that capability.” 
  • Irsay defended GM Chris Ballard and HC Frank Reich, noting that they lost a generational talent in QB Andrew Luck: “I don’t think people understand (the impact) of Andrew stepping away. I’d like to see how any other franchise could possibly survive a generational talent at 29 years old…who walks away in the middle of preseason. Just gone.”


Jaguars WR Christian Kirk admitted that it would’ve been hard to turn down the contract Jacksonville offered him, but he noted the intrigue of playing under HC Doug Pederson and with QB Trevor Lawrence.

Well, I think No. 1 is the opportunity to play with a quarterback like Trevor (Lawrence) who’s a young player with a ton of potential and a ton of talent,  I think who showed flashes that he can be one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL,” Kirk said, via Jags Wire. “Like I mentioned, playing under coach Pederson but also the opportunity to be a primary target in that offense and be able to keep going out there and competing.

Kirk plans to get together with Lawrence this offseason and work on timing and routes.

Yeah, 100 percent,” Kirk said about putting together workout sessions. “I know he did something similar last year, and we’ve had preliminary talks about getting everybody together. I think it’s important getting all the skill guys out there and getting that connection down, getting the timing down.


Titans GM Jon Robinson knows that DE Jeffery Simmons is someone that the team plans to keep going forward.

“Jeff’s a good player,” Robinson said, via Ben Arthur of the Tennessean. “We want to keep as many good players as possible. He’s certainly in that top group of guys that we want to keep in Nashville.”

  • According to Aaron Wilson, Titans’ director of college scouting Jon Salge and secondary coach Anthony Midget had a private meeting with Baylor CB Kalon Barnes

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