AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets

     

Bills

The Bills loved a lot of what third-round RB Zack Moss brings on the field, adding his power and tackle-breaking element to the dynamic ability of RB Devin Singletary, their third-round pick in 2019. But what really sold Buffalo on Moss was their interview with him at the Combine. They asked Moss if there was anything he didn’t love about playing football and Moss said he cherishes everything about the game, especially given how often injuries have prevented him from playing. 

“Man, just like that,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said via Syracuse.com’s Ryan Talbot. “Just like our lives. Look at what’s going on in our world right now? Healthy today to being in bad shape tomorrow. I thought Zack’s answer was great. ‘Man, I appreciate every day I’m able to put my helmet on and be with my teammates.’”

Dolphins

The Dolphins drafted QB Tua Tagovailoa with the clear hope he would be Miami’s quarterback of the future. But in the meantime, as Tagovailoa adapts to the NFL and works his way back from a dislocated hip last fall, the Dolphins also have grizzled veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick who has shown he still can play. While Fitzpatrick said he understands his role is to help Tagovailoa grow and he’s more than happy to do that, he’s also earning a paycheck to play. 

“I’m his biggest cheerleader right now, but I also want to be out there playing,” Fitzpatrick said via Safid Deen of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “I also want to be on the field, and that’s why I’m still doing it is because I still enjoy playing the game. Hopefully some of the lessons I’m able to teach him are him watching me play, but if it’s the other way around I’m going to do my best to help him succeed the best way he can.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer thinks the Dolphins could take it slow with Tagovailoa and not rush him unless Fitzpatrick falters. Then again, Breer says there’s also a good chance Tagovailoa blows the staff away and starts Week 1. 
  • According to Armando Salguero and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, one player said former Dolphins OC Chad O’Shea’s offense was a “(expletive)-show” in 2020, adding it was a “disaster” as O’Shea tried to teach his complex offense to a young team. 
  • Some players said O’Shea would try to teach complex parts of the Patriots playbook he brought as a former assistant coach in New England, then complain to HC Brian Flores that the players didn’t know it when they felt he wasn’t doing a good job teaching. 
  • Per the Herald, O’Shea was actually fired by Flores in the middle of his exit interview with Fitzpatrick. 
  • Flores concluded that Miami needed a more experienced, game-tested offensive coordinator and hired Chan Gailey, who’s worked with Fitzpatrick with multiple teams. 
  • Fitzpatrick wasn’t surprised when Miami drafted Tagovailoa: “Like everybody else, it was expected that if there was a guy that they liked in one of those selections (they were going to take a QB).” (Adam Beasley)

Jets

  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News says his understanding is still that some in the Jets organization believe free-agent CB Logan Ryan will end up signing a deal with New York. Ryan has acknowledged some interest with the Jets but remains unsigned. 
  • Brian Costello of the New York Post believes Ryan’s asking price is still too high. The veteran had been seeking at least $10 million a year in his next deal, which seems unlikely at this point in the offseason. 
  • Costello adds the same is likely true of former Saints G Larry Warford, who is reportedly seeking $7 million per year. Costello thinks it’s unlikely the Jets sign both, though they could feasibly do it by cutting G Brian Winters
  • Costello would not be surprised if the Jets bring back WR Demaryius Thomas at one point to help with the younger receivers on the roster. 
  • New Jets RB Frank Gore told reporters he’s cool taking a backseat to RB Le’Veon Bell: “I’m cool. I’m happy to even be playing this game at my age.” (Mehta)
  • Gore said Jets HC Adam Gase told him when he was a QB coach with the 49ers that he’d make sure to bring him on his team when he became a head coach. (Connor Hughes)

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