AFC Notes: Colts, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

Colts’ owner Jim Irsay said they would “ideally” be able to acquire a quarterback able to start right away. 

“We have a tremendous nucleus of players that are capable of competing for the Super Bowl very soon,” Irsay said, via George Bremer of The Herald Bulletin. “So, ideally, if you can get someone to come in this year and several years after who is ready to go, it gives you your best opportunity and you don’t have as much of a maturation aspect of seeing them develop and get to that level that they need to get so you can get to a Super Bowl and win it.”

Irsay said he would prefer to draft an elite quarterback prospect, but added that there are “other ways” to address their need at the position. 

There is no question that we look to get an elite person at that position and preferably in the draft,” Irsay said. “But there are other ways you can do it, and you have to do it those other ways until that (draft) opportunity presents itself.”

Irsay feels that the Colts are just a couple of players away from being a Super Bowl-caliber organization. 

“There is such a great nucleus to build from, and when I said I thought we were the most complete team in the league, I really believed that from the three phases of the game because I thought we did so many things so well,” Irsay said. “It just didn’t quite gel at the end, and that can happen. We really have some special players. I mean All-Pro, multiple All-Pro special players, type of players that can be wearing yellow jackets some day, and the great news is they are in their prime. The fact that we’re such a young team really benefits us a lot and gives us a great opportunity to seize upon that.”

Texans

  • Regarding the Texans hiring David Culley as its next head coach, owner Cal McNair said that the new coach’s “vision” and ability to bring teams together weighed heavily in their decision. (Aaron Wilson)
  • New Texans GM Nick Caserio reiterated that they don’t have any plans on trading QB Deshaun Watson: “Organizationally, want to reiterate our commitment to Deshaun Watson.” (Wilson)
  • Caserio added that he plans on spending “more time” with Watson this offseason to address the quarterbacks’ concerns. (Wilson)
  • Culley called Watson a “Houston Texan” and is eager to work with the quarterback going forward: “The only thing I knew was I was being interviewed for head coach. Deshaun Watson is a Houston Texan, that’s all I was concerned about and all I knew. He is a Houston Texan I want him to be a Houston Texan.” (Wilson)
  • Culley went on to say that he was hired to be the Texans’ head coach with the idea Watson was his intended starting quarterback: “The reason I’m in this position today is because I know [Deshaun is] going to be a Houston Texan.” (Sarah Barshop)
  • Culley has prior experience with the Chiefs from 2013-2016, the Bills in 2017-2018, and recently with the Ravens as their assistant head coach: “I was very fortunate to move with Andy Reid to Kansas City and move to Buffalo and from there with John Harbaugh.”  (Wilson)
  • According to Tom Pelissero, the Texans’ front office and coaching staff are preparing as if Deshaun Watson will be their quarterback with the belief that they will continue “building around” him beyond 2021.  
  • Pelissero mentions that hiring Culley, retaining OC Tim Kelly, adding QBs coach Pep Hamilton were all focused around Watson.
  • However, Pelissero adds that Watson still has leverage over the organization by potentially holding out, to which the Texans could remain patient and “repair the relationship,” or subsequently fine Watson for missing their offseason program. 
  • Pelissero adds that the Texans are not returning calls to teams inquiring about a potential Watson trade. 
  • The Texans are retaining TE coach Will Lawing, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Titans

2021 is shaping up to be an unprecedented offseason in terms of quarterback movement, with potentially two-thirds of the NFL shaking things up at the position. The Titans just gave QB Ryan Tannehill a big deal last offseason and have a significant financial commitment for at least one more year, so they would appear to be set. But GM Jon Robinson was asked about drafting a player at the position and didn’t appear to completely rule it out, though it sounded like the Titans could be eyeing future backups and not top starters.  

“Well I mean I think that you know we were fortunate enough to get Ryan two years ago… He’s come in and done a great job kind of taking the reins as a leader on our football team and our QB1. We’re excited to continue to build pieces around him,” Robinson said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. “But you’re constantly looking at that position. We like the depth of that position on our football team. Logan Woodside has really matured as a passer. …We’re excited to continue to work with [Deshone Kizer]. But if a player at that position, you’re right, there’s some really good quarterbacks in this class. As everybody knows, it’s a quarterback-driven league, and there’s certainly some good ones in this draft class.”

  • Titans promoted offensive assistant Luke Steckel to tight ends coach and Ryan Crow to outside linebackers coach while Matt Edwards inherits the assistant special teams coaching job. (Paul Kuharsky)
  • The Titans also hired Kenneth Udezi as an assistant defensive line coach. (Terry McCormick)
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