AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets

     

Bills

When asked about his reaction to the Bills acquiring WR Stefon Diggs, S Jordan Poyer said he received the news on his phone when hanging out with his brother. 

“I was next to my brother and I saw it on my phone and I looked at him I was like, ‘bro, you ain’t going to believe who we just got,‘” said Poyer, via Michael Giardi.

Poyer believes the Bills’ front office is preparing a playoff-caliber football team with their acquisitions this offseason. 

“You see what the front office is doing, they’re putting pieces to our team in order for us to be successful and help us win football games. It’s on us to continue to put the work in and Sean[McDermott] always says, ‘trust the process’…,” said Poyer, via Giardi.

Dolphins

The Dolphins made OT Austin Jackson the 18th pick in the draft largely based on potential. As a junior at USC, Jackson showed the size, length and movement potential to be a quality blindside protector at the NFL level, which happens to be one of Miami’s biggest needs. But Jackson also needs to get much stronger to realize that potential, something that was hammered home in the bowl game against Iowa. Bills second-round DE A.J. Epenesa overpowered Jackson for 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an injury to USC’s starting quarterback. Jackson’s determined to avoid a repeat of that twice a year in the AFC East. 

“Definitely, I think there’s a lot more room to grow,” Jackson said via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. “I feel like since I’ve made the decision to leave and train for the NFL, my strength and athleticism has just gone up 10 times what it was, and I feel like getting around an NFL locker room with NFL guys, I feel like there’s just more knowledge to learn the game. I think the ceiling is incredibly high, and I think I can get as much as I put into it, which will be a lot.”

Jets

After signing to play with the Jets for yet another season, the third all-time leading rusher RB Frank Gore believes that the top spot in the AFC East is open for New York to claim.

“I think it’s wide open,” Gore said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “Like you said, Brady’s gone, it’s wide open. We’ve got young quarterbacks — Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and I don’t know what Miami is doing. I think it’s wide open. I’m going to be ready whenever we have the start and try to make it go our way.”

Coming into this season in New York, Gore will likely be the backup for current Jets RB Le’Veon Bell, but notes that he is grateful for the opportunity to still be playing at his age.

“I’m cool,” Gore said. “I’m happy to even be playing this game at my age. I’m happy that this organization is giving me an opportunity. I’m just going to come in there and work, help the young guys, show the young guys that I still can play. Whenever I get my number called, I’m going to just go out there and try to make a play for our team to be successful. I’m very excited.”

Gore also adds that he wasn’t contemplating retirement last season due to his play, but was aware that the Bills were looking to give rookie RB Devin Singletary the lead role.

“I didn’t, because when I was playing in the first six, seven games, I was balling,” Gore said. “Buffalo wanted to start playing a younger guy. I felt like I still can do it. I just had to see what team would give me an opportunity.”

While the Raiders also showed interest in Gore on the free-agent market, he thought joining the Jets would be a better situation for him. This is potentially due to Gore’s relationship with Adam Gase, whom he met during his time with the 49ers. Gase had promised Gore that he would sign him if he ever became a head coach, and has followed through not once, but twice.

“Adam’s very smart,” Gore said. “If everybody’s on the same page, we can make something happen. That’s what I like about Adam. He’s very smart. He’s real. He’s a man of his word.”

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