AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


One drawback of a wildly successful season like the Bills have had in 2020 is other teams start sniffing around the coaching staff trying to replicate some success of their own. Both Bills OC Brian Daboll and DC Leslie Frazier have been mentioned as head coaching candidates and could draw interview requests in the coming weeks. Bills HC Sean McDermott said he and GM Brandon Beane are supportive of that. 

“Brandon and I have agreed that we want to do it how we have to do it, which is in the best interest of the Buffalo Bills first and we’re excited for those people on our staffs that may in fact draw interest and we’re going to do everything we can to help them,” McDermott said via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. “It would be a great opportunity for anybody to have those types of opportunities to interview and show what they’ve got.”



The Jets are expected to clean house at the end of the season, including moving on from HC Adam Gase and possibly QB Sam Darnold later on this offseason. Gase was brought on to turn Darnold into a star. Arguably the opposite has happened. But their Week 17 opponents, the Patriots and HC Bill Belichick, offered some rare praise and optimism for the duo’s NFL future even if it’s not together. 

“I don’t think there’s any shortage of talent there or playmaking ability. . . . He’s an athletic guy that has great size, big arm, hard to tackle in the pocket, good prospect, and he’s being well-coached. . . .  I don’t think he could get better coaching than where he is at,” Belichick said via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe.

  • Gase dispute a report that he’s already been told by CEO Christopher Johnson that he will be fired: “That was news to me. No one has said that to me.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Gase said he’s not dwelling on the speculation surrounding his job: “You’re going to hate this answer, but it’s the best one I can give you. I learned when I was 22 years old, Nick Saban told me you do your job until somebody tells you different. That’s what I’m going to focus on.”


Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham‘s relief appearance on Monday night went about as well as all of his other relief appearances. He completed just four of 11 pass attempts for 44 yards. In his first two years in the league, Stidham has just a 50 percent career completion percentage, two touchdowns and four interceptions. But coming in mid-game is different than having a week to prepare to be the starter, and Stidham agrees with the fans and onlookers who want to see him get a shot. 

“I think everybody in the game of football wants to be playing every single week. Yeah, I would absolutely love to have that opportunity [to start], but that’s not in my control,” Stidham said via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. “I’m not going to focus on it. It’s not going to change the way I prepare. I prepare like I’m the starter even going back to last year. That’s how I’ve always prepared each and every week. That’s not going to change my mindset and I’m going to keep grinding and get better next week.”

  • Patriots RB Brandon Bolden indicated he plans to return in 2021 after opting out of this past season. (Twitter)
  • Patriots HC Bill Belichick said they liked what they saw out of K Roberto Aguayo during his workout, which is why they signed him: “He’s a pretty impressive guy, so we wanted to work with him.” (Ben Volin)
  • Belichick said the team initially expected sixth-round OL Michael Onwenu to compete for a backup guard spot but he impressed enough to start at tackle: “He’s opened a lot of doors and opportunities for himself.” (Volin)
  • The Patriots will evaluate whether Owenu’s best fit next year is at guard or tackle: “That’s a great question and something we’ll have to take a long, hard look at.” (Mike Reiss)
  • Belichick mentioned UDFA RB J.J. Taylor was “different but similar” to RB Damien Harris as a rookie, as neither played much but could be in for bigger roles their second year. (Reiss)
  • Patriots LB Josh Uche also has a bright future with the team, per Belichick: “He’s definitely going to be an asset for us. If he continues to work and improve, he’s got a good future.” (Jeff Howe)
  • Patriots special teamer Matthew Slater said he’ll either play another year in New England or retire. He won’t play for another team. (Reiss)

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