AFC Notes: Darius Shaquille Leonard, Colts, Jaguars, Texans, Titans


Colts LB Shaquille Leonard finally revealed entering his fifth NFL season that he prefers to be called by his middle name Shaquille, which he has always gone by, and hates being called Darius.

“I went by Shaquille my whole life,” Leonard said, via Stephen Holder of ESPN. “My mom called me Shaquille, my family called me Shaquille, my friends and family called me Shaquille. I only went by Darius in school or if I was in trouble. Once I got to the NFL, that’s when people started calling me Darius. I hate it, but coming in as a rookie, I figured they didn’t want a rookie coming in saying to call him a different name. So, I just went with it.”

Leonard revealed a pretty good reason for not saying anything when people began calling him Darius instead of Shaquille. He also prefers to be called D or Maniac over Darius.

“Coming into my rookie year, talking to [Hall of Fame wide receiver] Randy Moss, he said the best advice he could give me was to keep your mouth closed and your ears and eyes open,” Leonard said. “So, I came in and worked. I didn’t want to come in and be treated special. If they called me Darius Leonard, I mean, that is my name. That’s just what I went [by]. I didn’t want to cause any problems. But I love being called Shaquille and hate being called Darius. I understand it’s going to be hard, but I would love if y’all would try to call me Shaquille or ‘D’ or ‘Maniac’ and not Darius.”


  • Jaguars OLB Josh Allen on the difference between new HC Doug Pederson and former HC Urban Meyer: “It’s a professional locker room. It’s a professional setting. He’s talking to us like grown men.” (Cameron Wolfe)


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Howe writes multiple teams have told him they’d be more interested in signing 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo after he’s released than trading for him. Howe mentions the Seahawks, Texans, Browns and Giants as teams that could make sense.
  • Texans GM Nick Caserio was a part of the front office that drafted Garoppolo in New England and he could help make Houston more competitive in the AFC South, per Howe.  


  • Titans GM Jon Robinson notes that the team has had discussions with the agents for DL Jeffery Simmons and that both sides are currently on the same page. (Turron Davenport)
  • Robinson also commented on first-round WR Treylon Burks‘ conditioning this offseason: “He did a nice job in the conditioning test and has been running around here the last couple of days. We’re excited about the trajectory he is on.” (Terry McCormick)

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