AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • Per ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques, Bills HC Sean McDermott said CB Josh Norman doesn’t look like he will bounce back quickly from his hamstring injury: “It looks like it’s going to be some time, here.”
  • The Athletic’s Matthew Fairburn and Joe Buscaglia list Bills fourth-round WR Gabriel Davis, OL Daryl Williams and DT Vernon Butler as some of the players who have had strong training camps. 
  • Buscaglia adds LB Tyrel Dodson has stood out among the backup linebackers and is worthy of a spot on the final roster, though Buffalo could try to sneak him to the practice squad. 
  • Bills WR Robert Foster and UDFA OT Trey Adams have struggled, with Foster dealing with injuries and more competition while Adams has struggled immensely in pass protection. 
  • The kicking competition between sixth-round rookie Tyler Bass and veteran Stephen Hauschka has favored the latter. Bass was drafted for his leg strength but the two have performed about the same on field goals beyond 50 yards, while Hauschka has been literally perfect inside that range. 
  • Bills tried out DBs Brian Allen, Charles Oliver, and Kobe Williams. (Albert Breer)

Dolphins

  • Per Adam Beasley and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Dolphins HC Brian Flores explained what went into the decision to waive fifth-round DE Curtis Weaver with an injury designation: “A lot goes into that decision: injuries, player performance, salary cap, depth at the position, next year’s draft. There’s a small percentage of players who get claimed in that position. We’ll know this evening.”
  • Weaver was claimed off waivers by the Browns. If Cleveland holds him through roster cuts, it can place him on injured reserve without needing to put him on waivers. (NFLTR)
  • Despite not being a lock to make the team, Flores called LB Raekwon McMillan an “ascending” player: “A good tackler. A good communicator, a smart player. Plays in the kicking game. He’s still ascending. I think he’s doing well, he’s playing well this training camp. There’s a lot of comp at that linebacker position. We’ll see where the chips fall.”
  • Flores praised the progress QB Josh Rosen has made in camp this year: Josh Rosen has made some incredible throws.” (Joe Schad)
  • Rosen said the team’s decision to draft first-round QB Tua Tagovailoa and bury him on the depth chart “is what it is.” (Schad)
  • However, Rosen didn’t ask to be traded because he wants to focus instead on preparing himself to take advantage of his next opportunity: “I don’t know when or where but I’m focused on preparing for that shot.” (Schad)
  • “I’m not really focused as much on winning a job as getting better,” Rosen said, adding, “Whenever that opportunity comes, wherever that comes I want to be ready.” (Cameron Wolfe)
  • Meanwhile, Tagovailoa is starting to make up some ground on presumed Week 1 starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. (Wolfe)

Jets

  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini notes the Jets are one injury away from a full-blown disaster at wide receiver and GM Joe Douglas will likely look to address the position via trade or waiver claim. 
  • Cimini lists Texans WR Keke Coutee, Seahawks WR David Moore, Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu, Broncos WR Tim Patrick, 49ers WR Dante Pettis, Saints WR Bennie Fowler and Bills WR Robert Foster as players who the Jets could target. 
  • Cimini also notes the Jets had interest in WR Phillip Dorsett before he signed with the Seahawks so if he doesn’t make the team in Seattle they could try again. 
  • Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery will be a popular option due to his history with Douglas but Cimini writes his cap figure and health are major complicating factors. Cimini adds Raiders WR Nelson Agholor would be an option if he’s cut for similar reasons. 
  • Jets WRs Breshad Perriman (knee) and second-round rookie Denzel Mims (hamstring) sat out practice again Tuesday. (Connor Hughes)
  • However, HC Adam Gase said Perriman is expected to be back Saturday. (Brian Costello)
  • Gase said there’s nothing pending at this time with WR Kevin White after his workout, but if there are more injuries to the Jets’ receiving corps White would be an option. (Costello)
  • Jets CB Quincy Wilson replaced CB Arthur Maulet on the first-team defense again on Tuesday. (Hughes)
  • Jets DE Tarell Basham suffered an ankle injury during practice Tuesday and will have an MRI but the team believes it’s just a sprain. (Tom Pelissero)

Patriots 

Patriots HC Bill Belichick said that rookie S Kyle Dugger just continues to improve play after play as he watches him come into his own this offseason.

“Kyle’s a smart kid and he works really hard,” Belichick said, via Pro Football Talk. “He takes coaching well and you can definitely see improvement, I would say not only from day-to-day but in some cases from play-to-play. I think he’s got a good understanding of football and he’s a pretty instinctive player, so when you tell him something, he usually understands what you’re talking about, especially if he’s had any chance at all to experience it before. There are some things that he just hasn’t seen that might take a little longer to explain to him, just because he’s not familiar with them. But, he’s very coachable, he picks up things quickly and the things that he hasn’t seen before, once he sees them and can understand what the conflict is or what the situation is that we have to address, he’s been very good to make those adjustments and handle it the next time.”

Belichick also offered praise to QB Cam Newton and is likely thankful for the team’s opportunity to sign him given the apparent struggles of quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Belichick stayed true to himself saying that the team signed him “because he was available”.

“He’s an extremely hard-working player,” Belichick said on the Rich Eisen Show. “First-guy in, last-one out type of guy. He’s really studied hard and has spent a lot of extra time trying to learn our offense, our communication, our calls, nomenclature, and so forth. I’ve been very impressed with that. He’s done a good job of picking it up. He’s a very skilled athlete. We’re just working through it day by day. We have a long way to go. We’ve got a very competitive competition at a very competitive position at the quarterback spot. It will be interesting to see how everybody does. We wanted to add competition. We always try to add competition to our team, and we felt like we’d be able to do that. He was very open to talking about and working with our situation. We were able to work things out. We’ll just take it day by day and see how it goes. I’m glad we have him. It’s been fun to work with him. He’s a very talented player with a unique skill set. Again, we’ll see where it all goes, but he’s got a lot to work with.”

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