AFC Notes: Colts, Jets, Texans

     

Colts

Colts second-round RB Jonathan Taylor is facing the same challenges his fellow rookies entering the NFL this year are — how to prepare for your first NFL season without being able to practice in at the team facility. Given that the coaches won’t care why a rookie is ready, they’ll just play who is, Taylor says that puts an extra onus on himself and other rookies to proactively prepare. 

“You know you’ve got to be ready,” Taylor said in an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio via Pro Football Talk. “You’ve got to do all these things to ensure you’re prepared and you understand you don’t have that time with the strength and conditioning coaches and your teammates to kind of get ready together. Now more than ever it’s kind of that period where you know you’ve got to be ready but now it’s just a different level of focus. You got to do everything in your power to make sure you’re ready on your own.”

Jets

While rumors persist that the Jets may still re-sign WR Demaryius Thomas, Vyncint Smith believes that he is poised for a big season in New York.

“I watch the other receivers like Davante Adams,” Smith said, via NBC Sports. “He’s not the fastest receiver, but he knows how to control everything to make the defensive back go where he wants him to go to get open. I’m excited with everything that’s going on and trying to stay focused and get ready for the season. It’s going to be a big year.”

Texans

  • Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Texans WR Keke Coutee is itching to prove himself in 2020 after landing in the doghouse last season: “Very hungry, very hungry. Not a lot of talking, just ready to work. Results speak for themselves in 2020.”
  • The Athletic’s Aaron Reiss thinks that while 2019 second-round CB Lonnie Johnson will improve from his rookie season, it might not be enough to shore up a secondary that’s projected as a weak spot in 2020. 
  • Reiss says the Texans are open to keeping CB Gareon Conley beyond 2020 despite declining his fifth-year option. However, the fact they declined it despite it being the last year first-round options weren’t guaranteed probably indicates their current interest is lukewarm at best. 
  • Reiss expects the Texans to use LB Jacob Martin more as a situational pass rusher in 2020. 
  • With $20 million in available cap space, Reiss could also see the Texans adding more to their secondary before the start of the season. 
  • Reiss thinks Texans HC Bill O’Brien‘s job is safe even if the team falls on its face in 2020, as he’s under contract through 2022. 
  • Texans assistant special teams coordinator Tracy Smith is the logical in-house replacement for retired Texans ST coordinator Brad Seely, per Reiss.
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