AFC Notes: Garoppolo, Broncos, Steelers, Bills

A final batch of AFC notes as the weekend comes to a close…

  • Like Tom Brady, Patriots rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo studied under a QB coach as he progressed, writes Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. Garoppolo’s tutor, former NFL quarterback Jeff Christensen, bases his teachings on one particular NFL signal-caller…Tom Brady. Christensen, for his part, is excited about the future for Garoppolo and the Pats, citing the young QB’s excellent work ethic. “I have zero doubts about the outcome of this one. It’s so perfect,” he said. “You have to know where you’re at in the equation, accept it, and then work like a crazy man to get great. That’s the kind of kid you want to coach.”
  • Within the same piece, Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders says he is excited to replace Eric Decker in Denver. “My whole deal is when I first came out in free agency, I wanted to go to a spread attack. I like to block, but I’m not trying to block 75 percent of the time. I’m 185 pounds…All the numbers lined up, and now I’m here.”
  • The Broncos coaching staff has spoken to running back Ronnie Hillman about his fumbling problem, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Hillman, expected to backup starter Montee Ball in 2014, coughed up the football four times over the past two seasons.
  • The Steelers are excited about rookie pass rusher Howard Jones, who faces a tough road as an undrafted player from a Disivion II program, writes Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
  • Speaking of the Steelers, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review believes that despite being front seven players, Ryan Shazier and Stephon Tuitt will help Pittsburgh’s secondary. Not only will an improved pass-rush aid the secondary in coverage, Kovacevic writes, but Shazier’s presence in particular will allow Troy Polamalu to stop moonlighting as a linebacker.
  • Seantrel Henderson is aware that he needs to mature in order to succeed in the NFL, and Bills general manager Doug Whaley has made it clear that this is Henderson’s final chance. “We’ve talked to Seantrel and he knows that he’s got one shot,” said Whaley after selecting Henderson with pick No. 237. “He’s been dealing with some demons. Hopefully those demons are out of his life and why not give somebody — this is America — give somebody a chance?”
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