AFC Notes: Aaron Rodgers, Sean McDermott, Bills, Jets, Patriots

Bills

Buffalo promoted Bobby Babich to DC after serving as a safeties and LB coach for the last few years. Bills HC Sean McDermott will let Babich call some plays in the preseason to determine who will hold that responsibility during the regular season.

“There’s going to be intentionality on my part to make sure, whether it’s practice or preseason games, that Bobby’s given that opportunity,” McDermott said, via Tim Graham of The Athletic. “So it’s just a matter of when and for how long. Being a former play caller myself, six years before I got here and then last year again, you’re always having to knock off some of the rust.”

“You’re always having to get yourself polished and ready to go because you’ve got to be able to process quickly: down-and-distance situation, time on the clock, timeouts, what you’ve already set up. There’s a lot that happens fast. Getting yourself to the right call quickly is important, and that kind of knocks the rust off.”

Jets

Jets HC Robert Saleh explained the thought process of changing the team’s offense and getting through the season after QB Aaron Rodgers went down.

We went into last offseason, first year in the new offense, first year with a Hall of Fame quarterback, and we installed an offense designed for 17 games worth of Aaron Rodgers,” Saleh said, via Sports Illustrated. “When he got hurt, we still wanted to maintain what we installed. Maybe it wasn’t as much as Aaron would have done. But we wanted to keep the same philosophy of what we’re trying to get done. As the year went on, and injuries started to pile up, we realized that there needed to be a shift in philosophy.”

Saleh praised Rodgers and said he’s still the same quarterback as he was when the team signed him, before he tore his Achilles. Saleh also defended Rodgers’ locker room presence after the quarterback skipped mandatory minicamp and was fined by the team. 

Aaron has been just like he was a year ago,” Saleh said. “He’s phenomenal. He’s a phenomenal teammate. He’s a phenomenal resource. His leadership, his thoughtfulness, the way he’s taken those young quarterbacks under his wing and the way he’s helped even Tyrod [Taylor] along, he’s phenomenal in that regard. Him being here, and attacking the offseason and doing everything that we’ve asked has been fantastic. He’s a great teammate, and we’re appreciative of him.”

Patriots

Former Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower joined HC Jerod Mayo‘s staff as the team’s inside LBs coach. Hightower was itching to get back around the game and talked about his relationship with their current linebackers.

“No cap. I missed it. … I know my wife was really adamant about me getting out [of the house], like you need to go to the bar, you need to go somewhere else and watch the game,” Hightower said, via Conor Ryan of Boston.com. “So I enjoyed it.”

“Again, I was still at home texting (Ja’Whaun Bentley), (Elandon Roberts), (Raekwon McMillan), and everybody throughout the game — like, ‘What are you doing out here?’ It’s good. I guess I’ve kind of been doing it for a long time.”

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