AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia noted the Bills started rotating OT Ty Nsekhe in with the first team at both left and right tackle with Dion Dawkins and second-round OL Cody Ford
  • Ford had been getting a lot of the first-team looks at right tackle, but Buscaglia thinks the Bills could consider moving him inside to guard because of his weakness against speed rushes outside. 
  • Buscaglia mentioned that even with RB LeSean McCoy sitting out, Bills RB T.J. Yeldon did not get work with the first-team unit. 
  • Buscaglia says Yeldon continues to be in danger of not making the roster, as he also works behind RB Senorise Perry on special teams. 


The Dolphins so far plan to lean on both RBs Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage, utilizing both in an even timeshare. Each has things they’re trying to work on to prove they deserve more of the workload. For Drake, it’s showing he’s durable enough to carry the ball more than 133 times — his highest number in the college and pros. He says he learned from NFL ironman Frank Gore last year. 

“I looked at Frank last year, and he gave me a lot of wisdom in terms of his ability to be in a very grinding position at running back and still be able to do the things he does every day — how he eats and treats his body, the things he does on and off the field,” Drake said via ESPNs Cameron Wolfe. “That’s something that I wanted to implement into my career.”

Ballage checks in at a monstrous 6-2 and 230 pounds with breakaway speed, as he showed on a 75-yard touchdown run late last season. However, the coaching staff wants Ballage to play to that size more often. 

“[Ballage] can find holes. He sees reads. He runs through way more contact than you think. He had three or four runs out here in camp where he broke through wrap-up tackles. He’s so big and strong,” Dolphins RB coach Eric Studesville said. “But the one thing I keep encouraging him to do is utilize his size and strength. Sometimes he wants to be a smaller back, but you’re 230, so go use that 230.”

  • Per Barry Jackson, the Dolphins are moving Brazilian International Pathway player Durval Neto from defensive tackle to guard. 
  • The Dolphins have a roster exemption for Neto this year, meaning they can carry him as a 91st player on the roster through the preseason and on their practice squad through the regular season. 
  • The Dolphins are hoping CB Eric Rowe can be the No. 2 cornerback across from Xavien Howard on the boundary, as HC Brian Flores is familiar with him from their time together with the Patriots: “Eric has done a good job. He’s tough. He’s smart. I like Eric a lot.” (Jackson)
  • Dolphins undrafted free agent G Shaq Calhoun got some run with the first-team at right guard. (Wolfe)


Jets HC Adam Gase said he’s not looking to shake things up at the kicker position following a rough day from Chandler Catanzaro. The veteran kicker made 25-30 field goals playing for the Jets in 2017 but missed five extra points and wasn’t brought back. He was cut midseason last year by the Buccaneers before finishing strong with the Panthers.  

“He had a really good spring,” Gase said via Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News. “That’s a part of training camp. You start working through things. Sometimes that happens. We got an experienced guy that’s had success. So, this group feels good about what he’s done in the past and what he’s done in this organization before and what he’s done out here starting the spring. We evaluate not just training camp … We got to use all our information that we’ve gathered since the spring.”


Patriots QB Tom Brady mentioned that he added a “few more pounds” this offseason in order to absorb more hits. 

I wanted to get a little bigger this year and put on a few more pounds and try to absorb the hits a little bit more,” said Brady, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.I worked pretty hard at that.”

Regarding his expiring contract with the Patriots, Brady believes the situation will “sort themselves out.” 

We’re all day-to-day if you think about it. None of us are really promised anything,” said Brady. “I’m trying to do the best I can do today and just let those things sort themselves out.”

  • Per NESN’s Doug Kyed, Patriots HC Bill Belichick has been happy about the addition of LB Jamie Collins: “He’s been great. He had a great spring. He’s had a good training camp. … Glad we have him.”
  • Belichick is less enthused about the Patriots’ situation at left tackle. He says he doesn’t feel good about it, or necessarily bad about it, adding there’s a lot of areas he’s not satisfied with on the team: “We have a lot of things that we need to work on.” (Phil Perry)

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