AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

Most coaches are hired for either their proficiency on the defensive or, more often, the offensive side of the football. However, the Dolphins hired HC Brian Flores because of his ability to communicate with a generation of players different from what the NFL has seen before. 

“For me, it wasn’t a matter of offense or defense,” Dolphins GM Chris Grier said via Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “It was a matter of finding the right guy that we felt was going to be a leader of men, that was going to interact with this generation. This generation is different. When I grew up, I couldn’t talk back to my mom and dad. These kids, you see it out on the field, they’re talking back to coaches. It’s a different world. It’s a hard job, coaching these kids.”

Jets

Jets RB Valentine Holmes made his initial name as a rugby player in Australia. Now as a part of the NFL’s International Pathway Program, he’s giving football a shot. 

“To wear the full suit — the tight pants, the jersey, the pads and the helmet — it was pretty cool,” Holmes said via Rich Cimini of ESPN. “To see my name on the back of a New York Jets jersey, that was pretty cool, too. It’s something I’ll hold close.”

Holmes was actually a star in the National Rugby League in Australia for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, and will make only $129,000 max as a practice squad player in the NFL compared to his $720,000 salary with the Sharks. Making the move to football wasn’t about the money, though.

“I feel like I want to challenge myself as a person and as a player and as an athlete,” Holmes said. “There’s no better way than to compete over here in America in the NFL. It’s the pinnacle of sport in America. I’ve always been watching it since I’ve been in high school. The opportunity arose for me and I was toward the end of a contract at that time, and I kind of fell into it. There were a couple of clubs that were keen on me and wanted to get me over for a tryout. It kind of worked its way out. I’m young and I don’t like to live with regrets. If it doesn’t work out or I don’t like it, or if I’m not good enough, I can always go back and try rugby again.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says to keep an eye on third-round picks OT Chuma Edoga and LB Jachai Polite. Both have character concerns that could clash with HC Adam Gase and GM Joe Douglas, but both are also extremely talented. 

Patriots

Patriots QB Tom Brady has worked to include WR Josh Gordon even as the latter is away from the team during an indefinite suspension, hosting him for dinner and workouts.

“He recognized that Josh Gordon made the team better and recognized that he was going to need some attention,” ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said via Dov Kleiman. “Josh Gordon was going out to dinner with Tom Brady and Gisele [Bundchen] at times because Tom recognized that he needs to bring this guy in, foster him, make him feel like he is at home, recognizing some of the issues that Josh Gordon goes through. While that is, in part, a guy just trying to get better, it’s also Tom Brady being a really good person, continuing to try to help out and manifest Josh Gordon. . . .Tom Brady, to this day, really respects Josh Gordon and would love to see him live a better life.”

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