AFC Notes: Steelers, Texans, Titans

     

Steelers

  • Mark Kaboly of The Athletic says Steelers QB Paxton Lynch still clearly needs to work on his accuracy and that QB Mason Rudolph continues to look like the strong choice for backup among the Steelers’ quarterbacks.
  • Kaboly was able to see new WR Ray-Ray McCloud is noticeably faster than many of the Steelers receivers and was left wondering why McCloud wasn’t on a roster when the Steelers signed him last week.
  • Now the starting tight end in Pittsburgh, Kaboly says it is clear that TE Eric Ebron is a matchup nightmare for most linebackers in the NFL.
  • While Kaboly notes many reporters are being criticized for writing nothing but good things about rookie WR Chase Claypool, he says it is nearly impossible to say anything bad about someone who continues to show up and impress.
  • As for RB James Conner, Kaboly says he likely hasn’t gotten many reps by design in order to keep him healthy, as the Steelers know what he is capable of on the field. This will give players like Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland a chance to showcase their skills and receive more reps.

Texans

  • The Athletic’s Aaron Reiss writes Texans TEs Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins have been impressive and Thomas in particular has pushed back from the edge of the roster bubble. 
  • Taking his place is 2019 third-round TE Kahale Warring, who missed his entire rookie year with an injury and has looked rusty according to Reiss. 
  • Reiss highlights LB Peter Kalambayi as a player who’s taken advantage of his opportunities in training camp and could be looking at a bigger role in the future with the team. 
  • Reiss says Texans LB Jacob Martin is in line to play a lot more than the 20 percent of the snaps he saw last year. 
  • Texans 2019 second-round CB Lonnie Johnson has also looked improved and could play a versatile role as both an outside corner and a dime safety, per Reiss. 
  • Conversely, Texans CBs Gareon Conley and Vernon Hargreaves have had quiet training camps so far. 
  • Reiss notes Texans UDFA RB Scottie Phillips could displace RB Karan Higdon for a spot on the practice squad, with RB Buddy Howell likely the No. 3 back due to special teams. 

Titans

Titans 2019 fourth-round S Amani Hooker had some flashes last year as a rookie even though his overall statline wasn’t that impressive. Going into 2020, Hooker said he dropped about 7-10 pounds in an effort to prepare for a more versatile role in Tennessee’s secondary. 

“For me, I don’t like to put myself in a box so I like to be able to do multiple things,” Hooker said via Jim Wyatt of the team website. “I don’t just want to be able to be one-dimensional. I always pride myself on being able to do multiple things, whether that was rushing, or whether that was just covering, or just playing different positions. So, for myself, hopefully I could be able to do multiple things that help out the team.”

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