AFC Notes: Colts, Texans, Titans



Colts HC Frank Reich has spoken with the media about the outlook for RB Marlon Mack, RB Nyheim Hines, and TE Mo Alie-Cox next season.

Reich addressed whether or not Mack would retain his starting position after the team selected RB Jonathan Taylor in the second round of the draft.

“There’s definitely inherent respect for the starter returning,” Reich said, via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan. “And that’s the way I see this….I see it as a 1-1 (punch). The way the league has gone and the way role-playing has been elevated in our league, it’s made it prominent. We used to say in San Diego that when we had Danny Woodhead. He was not our starter, he was our ‘role-playing’ starter. He played such a significant role. He had 80 catches in a year. You look at a guy like Nyheim Hines. We talk about Marlon and Jonathan, but what about Nyheim? He’s such a good third-down back that he’ll play a prominent (role). In some ways, (Hines) is a starter. He’s a role-playing starter.”

As for Alie-Cox, Reich believes that he brings a unique athleticism to the Colts and that 2020 could be a breakout season for the young tight end.

 “I think it’s a huge year for Mo,” Reich said. “We really feel strongly about Mo. I really give Chris and his staff, Chris, in particular, has really been in Mo’s corner from the day we got here, ‘Hey, this is a former basketball player and I really think he’s going to develop into something.’ He was exactly right. Mo is big, he’s strong, he’s tough. Sometimes you might think the basketball player is a finesse guy. Mo is not a finesse guy. He’s a powerful man. He brings an element of what a ‘Y’ tight end brings about strength at the point of attack. For us to run the ball, like we want to run the ball this year, I envision Mo is going to play a big role in that. He’s going to get more playing time than he did last year. He’s continued to develop and get better. The other thing and you all see it when Mo catches a crossing route, no one wants to (tackle) him. He’s such a big man, so he has his own way of being effective as a pass receiver. I think this last year, the biggest area of improvement for Mo, in particular, was his route running skills. I think his footwork and his routes developed significantly, so I’m excited for what Mo can do.”


New Texans S Michael Thomas has spent the majority of his eight-year NFL career on the East Coast. Thomas made it with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent and spent the past two seasons with the Giants. But now he gets to return to his home town of Houston and he’s extraordinarily grateful. 

“It’s surreal to even think that I’m playing back at home,” Thomas said via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “I didn’t know it would mean that much to me. To get a chance to be here and help this team win and play for the hometown team, it’s amazing. It’s a blessing.”


  • Jim Wyatt of the team website believes Titans seventh-round QB Cole McDonald has a chance to win the backup job if he plays well, otherwise he’s likely ticketed for a spot on the practice squad. 
  • Wyatt sees Titans third-round RB Darrynton Evans taking over the same role in the passing game RB Dion Lewis had for Tennessee. 
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