AFC Notes: Matt Ryan, Colts, Titans, Robert Woods


Colts HC Frank Reich is understandably thrilled about the addition of QB Matt Ryan. The Colts needed a veteran presence who could run the offense and not squander the chance the rest of the roster offers to compete. They feel that’s exactly what they got with Ryan. 

“I think everyone saw from the outside that this is a good fit,” Reich said via NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero. “Like, people can universally agree you got a guy who’s still playing at a high level with a team and roster that is built to make some noise. We needed each other.”

The former Falcons passer will turn 37 this year, which is why Atlanta was willing to move on and embrace a rebuild. However, Reich dug into the tape and still believes Ryan has plenty left in the tank. 

“The first thing I’m looking at is, is the accuracy still there and what does the arm look like,” Reich said. “So, dig into every throw from the last couple of years. Look at the ball velocity, look at the length, look at the accuracy, look at the movement skills and I see no diminishing physical skills.”

Unlike the past few years where the Colts have elected to go with familiarity at quarterback — sticking with Jacoby Brissett, signing Philip Rivers, trading for Carson Wentz — Reich has no past coaching history with Ryan. It sounds like it will be a combination of Ryan learning Reich’s system with the coach zeroing in on what his new quarterback likes best. 

“I’m looking forward to digging into that this offseason with Matt, with our coaches,” Reich said. “It’s going to be 80 percent of what we’ve done in the past, 90 percent, but then there’s going to be tweaked. We will look through all of his films. We’ll pull out concepts that he’s done a lot in Atlanta and he’s been successful with. We’ll listen to how he’s thought about those things, how they complement what we do, and then we’ll find ways to integrate some of those things. Then I’m sure together, I can already tell in a few short discussions with him, that we will create some things together. Some of it is bringing together his old and what we’ve been doing, yet there are still things that will be created together. I’m looking forward to those.”


Titans GM Jon Robinson spoke to the media about how some of his new acquisitions fit with the team, including WR Robert Woods, TE Austin Hooper, RB Trenton Cannon, S A.J. Moore, and T Jamarco Jones.

“I think he fits a lot of the characteristics and traits that we look for on the field,” Robinson said of Woods, via Jim Wyatt of “He’s an aggressive player, a willing blocker, a good route runner. He runs a lot of the route concepts we like. He’s a tough player, he’s a smart player. And as we started to get permission to talk and investigate him as a person, everything that I remember about him coming out of USC – how he prepared, his willingness to buy into the team and help the team and to try to do his job to the best of his ability to help his teammates, was certainly echoed by everybody that has ever worked with him or been a teammate of his. We are excited about him, and I know he is attacking the rehab process, and we’ll see how that goes. But he is excited to be a part of us.”

“I have always been a fan of Austin,” Robinson said of Hooper. “I probably should have drafted him back in ’16, but you can hindsight any draft when you look back. He’s a good player, and he embodies a lot of things that we want in players and how they prepare. I thought that he did a nice job in Cleveland last year in his role – it was a little different role than what he maybe what he had in Atlanta. And we had a great visit with him on the phone. Mike (Vrabel) and I talked to him for an hour. He had some questions for us, and we had some questions for him. He’s excited about what he can add to our football team and in joining our culture. It should hopefully be a pretty seamless fit for him, fitting in with our guys. He’ll help us in the run game blocking, and he’ll help us in the passing game. I think he can do a lot of different things and can add another element for us offensively along with getting Geoff Swaim back. I think he’s the only draft visit (prospect) that wrote me a handwritten letter after the visit, just thanking us and telling us how much he’d like to be a part of the Titans when he was coming out for the draft. I still have it somewhere in a box. I thought that was pretty cool of him.”

“Trenton, I think he has probably made more of a mark in the kicking game, as a gunner, as a returner,” Robinson said. “He is really fast, is an aggressive player. We’ll see how he adds into the mix at running back. A.J. Moore, I’ve always been a fan of his, stylistically how he plays. In the kicking game, he has been a good gunner. He has returned a little bit, but he has been a core special teams player. Having played (the Texans) twice a year, when you are watching the special teams tape preparing for them, he is a guy that you have to figure out a way to handle him. We are excited to add him.”

“Jamarco has been a versatile chess piece for Seattle,” Robinson said of Jones. “He has played guard, he has played tackle, he has practiced at left tackle, he has played left tackle, he has played right tackle. He has played guard. We’ll see how he fits in. We liked him coming out (for the draft) – he has good size, he has really good length. He has long arms, and he has good power. And he is excited to compete for a spot on the line.”

Robert Woods

In his introductory press conference, Titans WR Robert Woods spoke about his excitement to play alongside Ryan Tannehill, A.J. Brown, and Derrick Henry

“I am joining a great offense, a great team,” Woods said, via Jim Wyatt of the team’s official site. “I am really excited to get to work with Ryan Tannehill and A.J. Brown and everyone to get this thing rolling. We have a great back on the backfield, and you have to have a good running back to get the passing game going and I think Derrick Henry will complement what I do and what we’ll do in the passing game, especially with Tannehill and T.D. (Todd Downing) calling plays, it should be an exciting group.”

Woods feels that Tennessee provided the “best fit” for him this offseason. 

“(The Titans are) a top-performing team, with the coach of the year (in Mike Vrabel),” Woods said. “I think this organization, this team … is the best fit for my game. I wanted to be a part of a winning culture.”

Woods is confident that he can help the Titans get “over the hump” and win a Super Bowl. 

“I feel like this team has it all, and I feel like I can be that addition that can be a part of getting them over the hump,” Woods said. “They have been to the playoffs and now we have to finish it off and win a Super Bowl here.”

  • Titans LB Dylan Cole‘s one-year deal includes a $1.035 million base salary and a $152,500 signing bonus. (Aaron Wilson)

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