AFC Notes: Gardner Minshew, DeMeco Ryans, Mike Vrabel, Colts, Texans, Titans


Colts RB Jonathan Taylor said QB Gardner Minshew has brought an energy to their locker room that brings players closer together. 

“I just think he has this aura, this energy that draws those guys to him and says, ‘Hey, we can do this together.’ We know it’s going to be tough, but the energy and vibe he brings is fun,” Taylor said, via Mike Chappell. 

Colts LB Zaire Franklin praised Minshew’s resiliency through the difficult times of the season. 

“Just his resiliency, man,” said Franklin. “He doesn’t quit. He doesn’t shy away. Throughout the season and something you guys don’t see but we see it, the highs and lows of the season affect us all differently. There’s been different times when I’ve felt myself kicked in the stomach and I had to get back to the drawing board and get back to what made me, me. Seeing Gardner go through those types of challenges, both as a leader and as a quarterback leading that offense – seeing how he continues to fight and bounce back and lead that unit – just gives us confidence and we rally behind.”

Colts HC Shane Steichen said Minshew has the belief of his teammates and feels he gives them a chance to win.

“He’s got that energy about him,” Steichen said. “I think that’s a big thing. He’s always upbeat. He always gives us a chance to win and that’s what you want in your quarterback. Every time you step out, the players have belief in him, the coaches have belief in him and I think that’s where it starts.”


The Texans are set to face off with the Colts in Week 18, where the winner will determine who claims a final playoff spot. HC DeMeco Ryans thinks they are a “completely different team” than when they lost 31-20 to the Colts in Week 2. 

“Yeah, we’re a completely different team, they’re a completely different team,” Ryans said, via Jonathan Alexander of the Houston Chronicle. “For us, I don’t really put much weight on the first game of the year. I start watching and I’m like, ‘Man, who is this team? ’ It seems like that was so long ago, playing that second game.”

Ryans had high praise for Colts QB Gardner Minshew‘s playmaking ability and leadership around the team. 

“The scramble plays he makes, the explosives they’re creating downfield — he’s done a really good job of leading this team as their quarterback, and he has that moxie, that playmaker to him that you can see on the tape,” Ryans said. “You can see guys really rallying behind him because they know the type of plays that he can make.”

Ryans points out both teams have “different players” starting than when they previously faced. 

“I think they have different players in, we have different players in,” Ryans said. “It’ll be a fresh start.”


Titans HC Mike Vrabel didn’t hold his tongue when asked to elaborate on why Tennessee needs to win in the season-finale against the Jaguars. 

“Because it sucks to lose,” Vrabel said, via Chris Harris of WSMV. “Did you have another thought? I’m just curious. It f****** sucks — losing. Awful. That’s why I want to win. Because you don’t sleep. You want to win for the players that bust their tail — that’s it. I mean, it’s not about, ‘Hey, we’ll go into the offseason with a good note.’ Nobody knows what you did on January 7, or 8, or 6 in April when you come back [for the offseason program]. But, you want to see it all come together. Just put four quarters together, win a game like we talked about.”

Tennessee has lost six games by seven points or less this season. Vrabel just wants to see players execute well in the second half to pull off a win. 

“But I think that’s why. Just put yourself in a competitive situation,” Vrabel said. “Come up with a way to make a play in the second half to win the game. That’s what I hope for. Sorry about my language.”

  • Titans WR Colton Dowell suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee in the team’s loss to the Texans on Sunday. (Paul Kuharsky)
  • The Titans worked out four players including CB Kalon Barnes, WR Samuel Emilus, DB Carthell Flowers-Lloyd, and DB Reggie Stubblefield, via Aaron Wilson. 

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