AFC South Notes: Colts, Texans, Titans

     

Colts

Playing behind a strong group of offensive lineman, the Colts will be able to deploy more of a vertical passing game with QB Philip Rivers and WR T.Y. Hilton. Colts OC Nick Sirianni also believes Rivers can help to expand the role of RB Nyheim Hines.

“Where I think Philip is outstanding: He has this great ability to find the running back out of the backfield whether we’re scheming for that guy or whether it just happens within a protection, where he goes through his progression and finds that back,”  Sirianni said, via Zak Keefer of The Athletic. “Nyheim is going to benefit big time from playing with Philip Rivers, there’s no question about that.”

Colts HC Frank Reich also notes that Rivers will have a lot less on his shoulders than he did during his time with the Chargers.

“He’s always been great in the pass game,” Reich said of Rivers. “But I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s been most efficient and played his best football when he has a good run game. … I think he’s the same player he was five years ago, physically, and he’s taken good care of his body. I just think he’s at a stage in his career where it’s just — this is the right thing, this is a great move for him. He’s a great fit for us and I think he’s going to welcome playing behind this offensive line, handing the ball off more and not having to throw it 35 times a game to win.”

Texans

  • Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, new Texans OC Tim Kelly thinks having multiple weapons will help the team move past no longer having WR DeAndre Hopkins: “Anytime you take the field with multiple weapons and multiple guys who can hurt a defense at a variety of different levels, it’s an encouraging thing.”
  • Kelly says all of the conversations he’s had with WR Will Fuller as the former first-round pick recovers from groin surgery have been encouraging. (Wilson)
  • Kelly added the Texans are planning to take advantage of both RBs David Johnson and Duke Johnson‘s proficiency in the passing game: “It opens up the play-calling. When you have guys that are versatile it allows you to open up and be creative.” (Wilson)
  • Houston also returns all five offensive line starters — LT Laremy Tunsil, G Max Scharping, C Nick Martin, G Zach Fulton and OT Tytus Howard — which Kelly believes will be huge: “I believe it’s the first time we’ve had all five starters back since we’ve been here. There’s a lot of chemistry that goes into that position. Having all five of those guys back is vital. It’s a good thing and it’s something we’re excited about.” (Wilson)
  • Wilson confirmed Kelly will call the plays in 2020, taking over for HC Bill O’Brien

Titans

Titans DL Jeffery Simmons mentioned that he is still working to ensure that his knee is in the best shape after suffering a torn ACL back in 2019.

It’s kind of how it was when I first got here (after getting drafted), just me rehabbing,” Simmons said, via Paul Kuharsky. “Every day that I am going into the building it’s just the same mentality, continue to get my knee in the best shape I can for the season.” 

Simmons added that he has been working on individual drills to help improve his hand technique and pass-rushing moves. 

I work drills, I work out every day. I work hands, I work pass-rushing moves. I’m still working out and doing the things I need to do to sharpen my game up. I don’t feel like we’ve got to be going against another man, an offensive lineman.”

Simmons believes he could’ve had an even better rookie year last season if his left-knee was improved.

“There’s a lot of things that I could have done better, and it’s not because of my knee,” said Simmons, via Terry McCormick.

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