The AFC South: an interview with Antwan Staley

Lisa Johnson
AFC South & East Reporter

By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303 

This week, I got a chance to talk with Antwan Staley (@antwanstaley) about the AFC South.

It seems the NFL has been plagued with more quarterback issues than usual, and this division definitely has it’s share of those. From Andrew Luck leaving the Colts to the Jaguars going all-in on Nick Foles only to lose him to injury to Marcus Mariota getting benched for Ryan Tannehill, what more could go wrong?

So I figured, who better to ask about what’s going on in the AFC South then my friend Antwan?

Staley is a football writer, an @EastCarolina alumni, a self-proclaimed “Hip Hop historian” and Chicken Wing Connoisseur. He has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. He has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. 

In the last 5 years, the AFC South has been dominated by the Texans and Colts. Do you see any challenge from the Jaguars and Titans for this season?

It is hard seeing the Jaguars or the Titans winning the AFC South, but they’re both still in the race. Neither team has been consistent, and on paper, the Texans and Colts have better rosters. The Titans will be exciting to follow now that Ryan Tannehill is their starting quarterback.

Are you surprised by the productive play of [quarterback] Jacoby Brissett for the Colts?

No, not at all. Brissett has always had the characteristics of a potential starter down the line. With Andrew Luck retiring, Brissett got his opportunity and has been one of the better quarterbacks in the AFC this season. There’s no reason why he cannot continue to play like a high-end starter.

Last week the Titans benched their former first-round pick Quarterback Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill. Do you see Mariota moving on from the Titans after this year?

Well, Mariota is a free agent after the season, so there’s no reason to think he will be re-signed. It is probably best that Mariota moves on to another team.

Do you see the Jacksonville Jaguars staying with Quarterback Gardner Minshew when Nick Foles is cleared to play?

Foles will likely go back to starting quarterback once he is healthy. But that will also depend on how the Jaguars are playing. If they’re in the AFC South race or leading the division, then that would make an interesting decision. Under any other scenario, Foles will likely return to starter.

Earlier in the season, the Texans seemed to have all kinds of offensive line issues. A trade with Miami sent left takcle Laremy Tunsil to the Texans. Are you starting to see this offensive line finding an identity?

It can take a while for any offensive line to gel, especially with a quarterback like Deshaun Watson. Tunsil will likely be fine, but he has never played with a quarterback with the mobility of Watson. So it makes sense that they had their issues early on during the season.



Talk NFL with Lisa on Twitter // @LJ1303

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