AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia expects the Bills to follow their extension for HC Sean McDermott with one for GM Brandon Beane shortly given the two run the team in tandem. 
  • McDermott said on Thursday regarding Beane: “I can’t envision myself working with anyone else moving forward.” (Matthew Fairburn)
  • Bills QB Josh Allen said he and WR Stefon Diggs try to spend a lot of time together off the field to try and build chemistry together: “We’re getting there.” (Buscaglia)
  • The biggest position battle on the roster is for the No. 2 outside corner between Levi Wallace and Josh Norman. (Marcel Louis-Jacques)

Dolphins

  • ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe lists quarterback as the biggest position battle on the team, with first-round rookie Tua Tagovailoa pushing veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick to take over the starting job at some point in 2020. 
  • Tagovailoa says the learning curve so far has been different than it was at Alabama: “A lot more time watching film than anything else.” (Adam Beasley)
  • Tagovailoa added he’s making headway on OC Chan Gailey‘s offense: “It’s always going to be a process of learning, and that’s where I’m at. … Chan’s phenomenal.”
  • As far as how his hip will hold up when he returns to contact, Tagovailoa admitted he won’t know until it happens: “You never know until it actually happens. You’ve got to go out and do it to know whether it hurts. … But everything’s going well.” (Beasley)

Jets

Jets RB Le’Veon Bell‘s first year in New York was not what anyone hoped when he first signed in free agency. After a year off from football, Bell struggled with a career-low 3.2 yards per carry and just 789 rushing yards. Bell admitted going into last season he was a little complacent and he’s worked this offseason to get in much better shape, including dropping to between 210-215 pounds. 

“It’s not something I set my mind to do, but I think I kind of got complacent in my head,” he said via ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “You have success for six years in the NFL. I’ve always had something to drive me to be great. When I was in college, I wanted to get to the NFL. When I got to the NFL, I wanted to be the best running back in the league. When you start hearing, ‘Oh, Le’Veon, you’re the best running back in the league,’ it’s not like I stopped working hard. But it’s more like, ‘Damn, I don’t have that edge anymore, that chip.'”

To be fair to Bell, the Jets offense around him was a total disaster for much of 2019, especially on the offensive line. But Bell refused to use that as an excuse. 

“I’ve been hearing it was O-line issues and Coach Gase not getting me the ball,” Bell said. “I had to look at myself and [ask], ‘Was I really the best I could be?’ I know I wasn’t. I wasn’t even close. This year is going to be a lot different in that aspect.”

Bel feels that he “wasn’t even close” to being in full football-shape last season after initially believing he was ready to return from taking a year off.  

I felt like I was ready,” Bell said, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “I felt like I was conditioned and I was in good shape for the season. Even when I was playing I felt good. But now, sitting here as I look back on it, it’s like ‘Dang, I wasn’t even close to where I wanted to be. If I wanted to take that next step and be, like, a great player, I didn’t work nearly hard enough.”

Bell added that he feels in better shape now than at any point in his career. 

“This has been the best I’ve felt and I’m ready to show it,” Bell said. “I’m ready to show this is the best Le’Veon Bell that’s ever played in the NFL.”

Patriots

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