AFC Notes: Justin Simmons, Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers


The Broncos are intentionally being quiet when it comes to discussing expectations for the 2023 season. But it’s pretty clear what the team expects to do with new HC Sean Payton on board — win. Broncos S Justin Simmons noted Payton has made a good impression on the team so far. 

“Sean’s been great. Honestly, for him, he’s been there and done it and he’s very confident in what he can do and how he’s done it in the past,” Simmons said via Parker Gabriel of the Denver Post. “So when you have that type of confidence and you can tell that what you do works, people just follow that lead. There hasn’t been that much that we’ve done yet — we’re getting ready to start practice and all that good stuff — but I’m just excited for the season. I’m excited to get the ball rolling. I’m excited to win.”


  • Chargers WR coach Chris Beatty was selected to participate in this week’s Coach Accelerator program at the May NFL owners meetings. The program is intended to increase exposure between owners and executives and diverse coaching talent with the goal of increasing the number of minority head coaching hires. 


New Chiefs LB Drue Tranquill admitted it was weird for him to leave the Chargers and sign on with their biggest AFC West rival this offseason. 

“When my wife and I flew into Kansas City to do our signing, I walked in the practice facility and I was like, ‘I’ve got to say, this feels weird,’” Tranquill said in an interview on the Ross Tucker Podcast. “Like, I’ve walked in the same building for four years, and here I am, arguably in our biggest rivals facility. But man, we’re just excited for this new chapter.”

Tranquill wanted to remain with the Chargers, but the interest was not as mutual. Though the Chiefs offered him just a one-year deal for $3 million, their vision for his role and honesty with him during free agency won him over. 

“The Chiefs were adamant all week,” Tranquill said. “They really wanted me. . . I think just the championship culture there, the coaching staff. When you talk about Super Bowl-winning coaches. Brendan Daly, our linebackers coach, he’s done it in New England, he’s done it with the Chiefs. We were really, really excited. Waited longer than we thought. The linebacker market was just very saturated, a lot of guys, a lot of free agents. But, man, so excited talking to Andy Reid, talking to (Daly), talking to Brett Veach — they’re so excited to have me. They really wanted me, really pursued me hard and were excited to be (with the) Chiefs.”

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