“I think we have high expectations for him but have a lot of confidence in that whole room as you guys know. Alec (Pierce), one of the things we like about him is he’s a very smart guy. He really has learned the offense quickly,” Reich said, ColtsWire.com. “He’s done a good job so he’s going to have to compete for every snap, right? It’s a very competitive group. But yeah, we’re definitely pushing him. We’re definitely pushing him and want him to compete to get in the mix and get on the field.”
- The Athletic’s Zak Keefer clarifies that the ankle issue Colts LB Darius Leonard was dealing with this spring stemmed in part from something with his calf muscle which wasn’t firing for part of last year.
- That was caused by a nerve in his back and Leonard’s recent back surgery was to address that issue. The team is optimistic he can be ready for the start of training camp despite reports his recovery would sideline him into August.
“Evan’s great,” Lawrence said via Jags Wire. “He adds a lot of speed at tight end. Looking at our tight end room, you have some really good players. Some new guys obviously, but then you have Dan [Arnold] who can kind of do it all, Evan who’s really fast who’s going to add an explosive element to the offense, Chris Manhertz, just a really big guy that can help in the passing game, a great blocker, and then Luke [Farrell] who’s kind of a hybrid that can just plug and play wherever you need him, really good in the pass game, really technical with his hands in the blocking game, run game. We have a really good room, well-rounded and I think that’s going to help us a lot this year.”
Titans third-round QB Malik Willis has already made a positive impression on Tennessee’s coaching staff.
“Engaged. That’s what’s really cool about him when I first met him before the draft,” Titans QB coach Pat O’Hara said, via Titans Wire. “He lights up, just a good person, fun to be around, very coachable, and open to learning. He wants the information, he’s constantly asking for the information.”
O’Hara points out the drastic learning curve for quarterbacks entering the NFL. He pointed out that Willis needs to have a firm hold of everything from pre-snap to processing information as it comes.
“Quarterbacks, when they come in, you really have to teach ‘the operation,’ and that’s really everything you do before you even touch the football,” O’Hara explained. “It’s a huddle, it’s a play-call, it’s a cadence at the line of scrimmage, it’s under center, it’s getting us in the right play at the line of the scrimmage. It’s shifts, it’s motions, and there’s an operation that has to take place during the play clock, a 40-second play clock. There’s tasks, and all of those tasks are part of the operation. Each day, that’s improving and we just keep moving forward one day at a time.”