AFC Notes: Colts, Texans, Titans


Colts’ backup QB Nick Foles said that HC Frank Reich has always taken a calm approach with him during games. 

“He was always calm. If I made a mistake, he wasn’t chewing me out on the sidelines,” Foles said, via Zak Keefer of The Athletic. “I remember, I threw a pick (in that game). I wasn’t worried about it. All right, it’s a pick. Doesn’t matter. He’s like, ‘You’re good. Your feet are good. You look great. This is a great day.’”

Foles confirmed that Matt Ryan is the starting quarterback and is the leader of their quarterback group. 

“This is Matt’s team,” Foles said. “He’s the leader and he’s running the ship. … I think anytime you have a QB room like this, you’re excited to go to work every day. You’re excited to work alongside an MVP.”

Colts WR Michael Pittman had high praise for Ryan’s throwing accuracy. 

“The ball is just right there, and you just turn and catch the ball. I mean, it just makes it easy. … Matt can pretty much put it wherever he wants.”


Texans WR Brandin Cooks voiced his belief in GM Nick Caserio and HC Lovie Smith after receiving a two-year, $39.6 million extension this offseason. 

“It was huge, not just for my family and I, but believing in what this organization is trying to get done and what Nick and coach Lovie are building,” Cooks said, via Aaron Wilson. “It’s definitely a blessing. I’m glad we can put that behind us and get back to work.”

Smith called Cooks one of their “best players” and a leader of their organization. 

“Brandin’s one of our best players, he produces,” Smith said. “He’s also one of our best leaders. He does it the right way, practices hard, reps our organization on and off the field the way you want him to. He says a lot that surprises me. That’s who he’s been all his life. He’s that guy that I lean on quite a bit and the rest of our team does.”

Cooks believes that QB Davis Mills is showing leadership and more confidence entering his second year in the NFL. 

“I just think his leadership and his confidence is really taking control in that huddle,” Cooks said. “He’s not that rookie anymore. He comes in, he knows that’s his huddle, and that’s what you look for in your quarterback and he’s definitely doing that.”


Titans’ second-year WR Dez Fitzpatrick feels that he has “a lot of motivation” to make improvements this season and expects a bigger role going forward. 

“I had no idea what to expect my rookie year coming in,” Fitzpatrick said, via Jim Wyatt of the team’s official site. “Now I have a year underneath my belt, and I kind of know what to expect, how things are run certain ways. (Last year provided me with) a lot of motivation going forward, from how things started, to how I was able to deal with it. I just continued to work my tail off. And I am excited for this year and expecting to have a big role – I am trying to.”

Titans GM Jon Robinson feels that Fitzpatrick “grew as a player” last season and is developing his skillset. 

“I think Dez really grew as a player,” Robinson said. “I think he has developed his skillset, and he understands what the pro game takes now – he did not understand that (last) August. But he has grown, and I am just really proud of the steps he has taken.”

Titans QB Ryan Tannehill praised Fitzpatrick’s performance in OTAs and is excited about his development. 

“Dez is working,” Tannehill said. “He came down to Florida and threw with me for a few days, we got some good work down there. I’m excited to see the progress he has made. He made a tough catch (Tuesday), coming across the middle, safety on his back, through the contact. It was just great play strength to finish the play and make the catch across the middle.”

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