It’s been pretty easy to connect the dots regarding the Colts’ running back situation. Team owner Jim Irsay himself refuted reports that the team was in extension talks with starting RB Marlon Mack, and when the Colts traded up to draft RB Jonathan Taylor in the second round of the draft, it became pretty clear Taylor and not Mack was the future for the team. Still, Mack is still on the roster for 2020 and the coaches are insistent he has a role.
“We know we want to run the football. We know a lot of the good running teams in this league and in the past have had good one-two punches,” Colts OC Nick Sirianni said via the team website. “It feels like it’s just a one-one punch though because we have two such exceptional backs.”
“They both have exceptional speed, and they both have ability to make you miss, and they both have the ability to break arm-tackles and run with power,” Sirianni added. “They have some different running styles, but again they’re both complete backs. I think that’s a fantastic problem to have, is to have two guys like that you can feed the football to. It’s only going to help our running game.”
- Sirianni also mentioned having the chance to play behind the Colts’ offensive line was a major draw for QB Philip Rivers: “The big part of Philip being here is Anthony Castonzo. Quenton Nelson. Ryan Kelly. Braden Smith. Mark Glowinski. Those guys are studs”
- Field Yates reports that Jaguars undrafted CB Luq Barcoo received one of the largest guarantees in his contract, which included $180,000 guaranteed and a $20,000 signing bonus.
- Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, new Texans DC Anthony Weaver says he thinks the three defensive players Houston drafted — second-round DT Ross Blacklock, third-round DE Jonathan Greenard and fourth-round CB John Reid — should fit in well: “Those are guys who have played significant snaps. They have the three qualities we’re looking for. They’re smart, tough and dependable.”
- Weaver is excited about the additions of veteran safeties Eric Murray and Michael Thomas, while adding S Justin Reid could take a step forward as well: “I think [Reid] is a heck of a football player. When he comes back 100 percent healthy, I could see him making a huge jump as well.” (Wilson)
- Weaver added a full 16-game season from DE J.J. Watt would be critical to Houston’s defense in 2020: “He draws an incredible amount of attention from an offense. Him being out there is huge for a defense.” (Wilson)
- Weaver is still the defensive line coach but he says Romeo Crennel, Akeem Dent and Matt O’Donnell help chip in. (Wilson)
- Titans HC Mike Vrabel told reporters he hasn’t talked with free-agent DE Jadeveon Clowney, who he coached with the Texans, since free agency started. (Erik Bacharach)
- Titans TE Jonnu Smith says the only thing he’s worried about is getting better as he heads into a contract year in 2020. (Jim Wyatt)