AFC East Notes: Bills, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

Bills RB LeSean McCoy hasn’t been immune from some of the noise surrounding him at this point in his career. The age cliff for running backs is a well-documented phenomenon, and the Bills made a number of additions to the room this offseason, though the 31-year-old McCoy is still in the lead. Until he’s not, McCoy says his confidence in his own abilities isn’t shaken. 

“It’s kind of weird,” McCoy said via Sal Capaccio of WGR550. “Since I’ve been like nine years old I’ve been the top guy. So it’s even weird to hear stuff like that, but it comes along with it. The good thing is I learned how the media is, how you guys are, how people are, how fans are, fantasy team owners, right? You have a bad two games and then have three hot ones and you’re the man. My brother, who’s a sports agent, he sends me clips or whatever of (people) doubting A-Rod (Aaron Rodgers) or Tom (Brady) and it’s like these dudes have done so much. Then they rebound and they bounce back and everybody is praising them. So I guess it’s just like the NFL. I guess that’s just how it is. I’m fine with that. I know who I am. I know how I play, and my teammates know that, so we’ll see on Sundays.” 

Jets

Jets HC Adam Gase is looking forward to opening up the offense with QB Sam Darnold. The No. 3 overall pick in 2018 shook off a rocky start to the season to finish the year strong, and the Jets think Darnold can be the type of player that elevates everyone around him. 

“What it’s allowed me to do is… it’s easy for me to call plays,” Gase said via Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News. “You don’t worry… if you have a negative play. You’re ready to call the next one. He’s not the kind of quarterback that you’re looking to protect. You’re kind of looking to turn him loose and let him work the offense and get on the ball and use the running game to help him. There’s no limitations on him. And it’s fun as a play caller.”

  • The Athletic’s Connor Hughes said in a Q&A the team was content with Jonotthan Harrison at center, but the opportunity to add Ryan Kalil was too good to pass up. 
  • Hughes says he’s never seen a kicker perform as poorly as Jets K Chandler Catanzaro has in training camp and keep their job, though the team hasn’t brought in any potential replacements yet. 
  • Hughes doesn’t think the Jets are a candidate to trade for Redskins OT Trent Williams
  • Hughes mentions the Jets likely won’t bring back CB Morris Claiborne, partially due to his four-game suspension and partially because they spent a significant amount of money on Darryl Roberts
  • Hughes believes RB Ty Montgomery will have a significant role for the Jets this season.
  • Jets WR Deontay Burnett has been impressive, as he has a rapport with Darnold from their time as college teammates, per Hughes.
  • Jets S Marcus Maye remains on the PUP list and has no timetable for a return as he deals with a nerve issue in his shoulder. (Rich Cimini)

Patriots

Patriots undrafted free agent WR Jakobi Meyers has been making a strong impression so far during training camp. The former N.C. State quarterback convert has continued his strong play even with the first-team offense and continued to make a strong case for a roster spot in a wide-open Patriots receiving corps during joint practices with the Lions. 

“He was good. He had some pretty good releases, and you can tell he’s learning the offense well with how he tries to get open,” Lions fifth-round CB Amani Oruwariye said via the Athletic’s Nick Underhill. “He’s doing a good job, and he’s making plays when it comes to him. That’s the biggest for guys in your situation, just coming in. You got to learn the trust of the coaches and gotta make plays.”

Patriots first-round WR N’Keal Harry‘s training camp has been a bit more uneven, as the bigger wideout has had issues with separation, drops and pulled up Tuesday with a hamstring injury. However, he’s also shown flashes of what made him the highest-drafted receiver ever by Patriots HC Bill Belichick.

“Fifty (Harry’s current number) is big,” Lions CB Darius Slay said. “He’s a big boy, man. He’s aggressive. He looks like he’s gonna be a big tool for them.”

  • Patriots QB Tom Brady‘s house in Brookline, Massachusetts, was listed as on the market on Tuesday. (Nora Princiotti)
  • However, the listing was later updated to be off the market. (Princiotti)

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