AFC Notes: Sean Payton, Ladd McConkey, Broncos, Chargers, Ravens


Following a successful career in New Orleans, Broncos HC Sean Payton hasn’t had the start to his Denver tenure that he’d imagined. Payton responded to a question asking if he had a chip on his shoulder and discussed why he doesn’t listen to the outside noise as much compared to his younger days. 

“I think that I have two middle fingers,” Payton said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “I’ve gotten better with age not using them. I think it’s more — and I would say this changed for me — it’s more inward focused relative to our own team and what we’re doing. As you get older in this, you don’t waste the calories on certain things that I might’ve back in 2006, ’07, ’08.”

“I don’t play a lot of video games, but you have ‘X’ amount of battery life and energy, and you try to use it where you think it’s best going to help the team. So you learn over time to not spend as much on the things you can’t control, certainly lists. If that concerned me, we wouldn’t have drafted Bo Nix where we selected him, if I was paying attention to that.”


Despite losing WRs Keenan Allen and Mike Williams in the offseason, Chargers QB Justin Herbert likes what he sees in second-round WR Ladd McConkey.

“He’s just picked up the offense so easily,” Herbert said, via Alex Insdorf of the Chagers Wire. “It’s like he’s been a four or five-year vet. He understands the game, he understands leverage. He’s a smart player, he’s very athletic. He can beat man coverage, find the soft spot in zones.”


The Ravens had their Super Bowl hopes ended at the hands of the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game last season, and they will get their first chance at revenge in Week 1. Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson won’t feel satisfied until they even the series in the postseason. 

“We lost to them in the playoffs,” Jackson said, via ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “Just us beating them in the regular season doesn’t really do anything; it just helps us keep stacking up wins to hopefully make it to the playoffs if anything to try to get in that same position again and hopefully be successful. It really doesn’t matter who we play [in the] first game; obviously it’s the Chiefs, but I really didn’t care.”

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