AFC Notes: Justin Herbert, John Elway, Broncos, Chargers, Texans


Former Broncos QB and GM John Elway is still spending a lot of time around the team despite not being employed by the organization.

I still go back for a lot of practices. So, I am around. I don’t have an official role there, but it’s nice of them to keep me around a little bit,” Elway said, via Troy Renck of Denver 7. “I look forward to going to practices and games and still being involved. If they ever ask me a question, I have to do enough work to have an answer for them.

Elway is excited about the addition of HC Sean Payton and believes he’s a perfect fit for the job.

I am excited. He’s a perfect fit for where we are right now, where the Broncos are right now. Obviously, he has a lot of skins on the wall. He won a Super Bowl before and won a ton of football games. I don’t think there could have been a better fit. I think he will be great,” Elway said. “It’s going to take some time with a new system, new coaches, even though the spring was very good. The expectations are up there. But they have calmed the expectations compared to last year, which is good. We have to do better with injuries. Hopefully, we can stay healthy,” he added.

Elway also believes that QB Russell Wilson will have a bounce-back year under Payton.

Sean has a great feel for the QB position. He’s so knowledgeable on the offensive side. I think he knows what Russell will do to the best. Like every good football team, we have to try to run the football and run it successfully. And if we do that, it gives Russell a much better chance to be successful in the passing game,” Elway said. “(Wilson) is such a positive guy. I think he’s excited about it. With what was going on last year, a lot of different things, Sean brings in so much experience. I think Russell is looking forward to that coach to put him in the best position to be successful…It was a tough year for him last year. But he’s positive and tough. He will bounce back, and I think he’s going to have a much better year this year.


Chargers RB Austin Ekeler said during a recent media appearance that QB Justin Herbert will have a strong focus once again this season. 

“As an individual, he’s already super motivated, wants to do the best, but now there’s more on [his plate],” Ekeler told The Rich Eisen Show. “So, it continues to solidify how you want to continue to impress and move forward and progress. I know he’s going to be locked in even more than he ever has — just like he is every single year. He continues to get better, continues to learn the game, continues to understand and become more of that offensive [guy who says], ‘Hey I run this,’ that we need. And I’m really looking forward to coming in. I think it’s Year Four for him. So the kid’s growing up. It’s crazy.”


Texans HC DeMeco Ryans said he’s not concerned about their receiving core and is confident in players like Nico Collins, Robert Woods and third-rounder Tank Dell. 

“I’m not concerned with where we are with our wide receivers,” Ryans said, via DJ Bien-Aime of ESPN. “I like our group. I like where we are. We have a lot of talented guys and have a lot of different qualities. Nico Collins, you got the big guy with probably the best hands on the team. You got the veteran Robert Woods, just been consistent day in and day out. ‘Tank’ Dell comes in, providing his route-running ability. He’s been open a lot in OTAs. So that’s exciting.”

As for second-year WR John Metchie III, who missed last season due to leukemia, Ryans said he’s excited to see him competing this offseason and is aware of the type of player he is. 

“I’m just excited to see him out there,” Ryans said. “I know the type of player he was, seeing him in college and seeing the type of playmaking ability that he has.”

Woods wants to “set the expectation” of how their offense operates. 

“[I’m] just trying to set the expectation for this offense, and this team, show them how to work — kind of like my experiences on Super Bowl teams, and then for our receiver room, the offense more so, just setting the standard of being in the right spot at the right time,” said Woods. 

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