AFC East Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots

     

Bills

Sitting at 6-3 as they head into the back half of their schedule, the Bills are ahead of where many pegged them to be in their rebuilding process. Buffalo is firmly in contention for a playoff spot, and how they do the rest of the way will largely be contingent on the performance of QB Josh Allen. While the team has tried to manage expectations for their second-year starter, Allen himself has a high bar for his performance. 

“I know I’m nowhere near where I need to be; nowhere near where I want to be,” Allen said via NewYorkUpstate.com’s Matt Parrino. “Where I want to be is higher than where I need to be. I hold myself to a very high standard.”

  • Bills third-round rookie TE Dawson Knox missed practice Thursday with knee soreness but is expected to return on Friday. (Chris Brown)

Dolphins

  • An associate of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross tells Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that Ross “isn’t angry or devasted” by the team winning two games and in turn, dropping to No. 4 in the draft order
  • Beyond that, a team source tells Jackson that the notion of GM Chris Grier privately rooting for the team to lose is “off base.
  • Jackson says Ross is “thrilled” with HC Brian Flores‘ ability to get the most out of his roster and the team believes the job he’s done this year will make Miami more attractive to veterans in free agency.
  • Even if the Dolphins end up No. 4 or No. 5 overall, Jackson says they believe they still have the draft capital to address the quarterback position.
  • Jackson also writes that Miami likes that they’ve been able to find players who could end up being pieces once they’re done with the rebuild.

Patriots

Patriots QB Tom Brady has previously said his goal is to play until he’s 45 years old. If he makes it to that age, it would make him the oldest quarterback to start in an NFL game. So far in 2019, Brady has still showed no signs of decline, and according to his trainer, Alex Guerrero, that has Brady mulling playing potentially even longer. 

“It all comes to commitment, really,” Guerrero said in a radio interview on WEEI. “No one thought you could play at the elite level in your late 30s, early 40s. That is something we always felt we could do. I have really wanted to be there to help him accomplish that goal. I certainly do believe that 45 is a very realistic goal. We talk about it all the time. Every year he just adds another year. He goes in and he’s like, ‘Guys, I feel so good still. I think I am going to go till 45.’ I am like, ‘OK.’ Now he’s like, ‘Alex, I think I can go like 46 or 47.’”

The Patriots bucked history when they selected WR N’Keal Harry in the first round in April — the highest New England has drafted a wideout under HC Bill Belichick. The team is still waiting to see what Harry can do, though, after he was injured in training camp and just returned from injured reserve recently. Brady hasn’t worked with Harry enough to say how much he’ll help the team down the stretch, but he’s done enough to know the rookie is a hard worker. 

“Unfortunately for N’Keal, he got hurt early in training camp,” Brady said via NESN’s Doug Kyed. “He didn’t have the development when other guys were practicing for over two months. He’s working hard. He’s extremely hard-working. He wants to do it. He’s got a great edge about him. I really love that. I really love his tenacity and he’s learning every day, and he’s working hard to get better. I think that is all you can ask of a younger player.”

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