AFC Notes: Bill Belichick, Nathaniel Hackett, Von Miller, Bills, Jets, Patriots


Bills LB Von Miller made his season debut in London and said he will do better once he is feeling more comfortable being back on the field.

“Just dipping my toe in the water,” Miller said, via the team website. “Eventually, I’ll be able to swim in the deep end with the big kids. But it felt good just being out there with my guys and being back in the motion, it’s definitely something I can build on for sure.”


Jets OC Nathaniel Hackett received the game ball after defeating the Broncos, whose HC Sean Payton had discouraged comments on Hackett prior to the season. Team leaders such as TE C.J. Uzomah, LB Quincy Williams, and CB Sauce Gardner spoke up about Hackett and the win.

“We are playing for our boy. If somebody talks s–t about somebody on this team, in our building, in this facility, we are going to play for that person,” Uzomah said after the game, via the New York Daily News. “We downplayed it all week and the emotion came out of me to say what I said and I don’t take that back. That’s what I was feeling in that moment and we were able to come out here and win it for Hack.”

“He a Jet, so he one of us,” Williams added. “The biggest thing is if you got a comment about him, you got a comment about all of us, so that was the biggest thing. At the end of the day, getting this win for him was very huge. All I got to say is put some respect on my dawg man.”

“It was something that was personal to him,” Gardner said of Hackett. “Even if he’s not telling us and saying, yeah, this is personal to me, you can just look at how he carries himself the week of the game. He had that look on his face like he really wanted this game. It meant a lot to be able to get that win for him as well.”


Patriots HC Bill Belichick mentioned that the team needs to make offensive changes following their blowout loss to the Saints on Sunday.

“We need to make some improvements from where we are, so we’ll see what all that entails,” Belichick said, via Zack Cox of “Haven’t gotten into it yet, but we will. The main focus here is to get things better. To move the ball, to take care of the ball. To move the ball and score points. So, that’s really what we’re going to focus on.”

A week after suffering the worst loss of his career, Belichick had the second-worst loss as New England was dominated at home by a 2-2 Saints squad, 34-0. The pressure that’s been building on Belichick and the Patriots over the past few years has all of a sudden reached a peak and led to legitimate long-term questions about Belichick’s future in New England. The Athletic’s Mike Sando polled several other executives around the league about the next steps for the Patriots. 

“The transition from Brady to where they are at now is such an indictment,” one of the execs said. “Their best move is to bring in a young offensive coach with a new GM and start fresh. You let the new offensive coach determine whether [QB] Mac [Jones] can be saved. They need real change. They gotta get out of this.”

However, moving on from one of the greatest coaches in NFL history was not a universal opinion. Some of the others Sando polled thought Belichick the general manager needed replacing, not Belichick the coach. 

“Bill is brilliant and provides a lot of value,” another exec said. “He needs help with player acquisition. The question is, will he accept it or fight it? He’s going to have to make sacrifices to get that all-time record for wins.”

However, even if the Patriots went in that direction, all paths might lead to the end of the road for Belichick. 

“Who would take a job in personnel there and think that they have real power?” another exec added. “How do you get somebody? I’m wondering if that is why they ended up with Patricia and Judge a year ago, and Bill O’Brien now. Maybe nobody else wanted the jobs.”

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