AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots



Dolphins DB coach Gerald Alexander said second-round S Jevon Holland will naturally earn his place into the starting lineup.

“That will come in due time whenever that situation presents itself,” Alexander said, via Barry Jackson. “Jevon still has a lot of things to learn. He has never played in an NFL regular-season game. He’s shown some great flashes over the course of camp, and we understand some of the things he is going to be able to bring to our defense…. He has an understanding of what terminology to use in certain defenses but at some point we have to graduate to course 401.”

Dolphins LB coach Rob Leonard said first-round OLB Jaelan Phillips has a long way to go before starting.

“Our job with Jaelan is to be very specific on first and second down, we’re doing this. Passing downs we’re doing this. Here is how we’re going to try to rush this guy. Here is how we’re going to set the edge in the run game. I talk a lot with him that you’ve got to work hard to be a trusted early down player because of all of the things they try to do to get you to not do your job. It’s a league of not beating yourself.”



Patriots HC Bill Belichick wouldn’t say if he’s considering a quarterback platoon between QB Cam Newton and QB Mac Jones.

“Those specific questions like that are really hard to answer,” he said, via WEEI. “I mean, here’s what I will always say: I will always say I am going to do what is best for the team. I am going to do whatever I can to help the team win. So, if that’s playing a guard in the backfield, then we’ll play a guard in the backfield. If it’s putting 10 defensive backs on the field, if that’s what it is, maybe we’ll put 10 defensive backs on the field. I am not going to rule out anything. If I think something would help us win, I would consider it.

“The goal is not to have this happen, or have that happen, it’s to work through our system and ultimately do what we feel like is best for the team. And that’s at every position, every game, all the way across the board.”

  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore is still rehabbing his torn quad. While he’s expected to make a full recovery, Fowler says it’s not out of the question Gilmore lands on the PUP list. 
  • Fowler adds contract talks have not heated up and the Patriots appear intent on slow-playing the situation. Gilmore is set to make $7 million in 2021 and has made it clear he does not want to play for that little. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions Packers personnel exec Chad Brinker was requested for an interview by the Patriots for a position in their cap department. Green Bay blocked the interview and promoted Brinker. 
  • Patriots HC Bill Belichick recently responded “it is” when asked if Jones has a big opportunity with Newton (COVID-19 protocol) out of practice for half of this week.
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reiterated Jones has an opportunity to take advantage of Newton being out of the lineup given the Newton could’ve avoided this situation by getting a vaccination. 
  • Rapoport points out that “availability is a very, very big thing” for Belichick and the coach expects players to be ready when called upon. 
  • If Jones performs well in the preseason finale against the Giants, Rapoport says the Patriots’ coaching staff will obviously be intrigued by the rookie quarterback. 
  • Patriots TE Jonnu Smith has been impressed by the offense: “Yeah, I knew they would utilize me to the best of my abilities, and just try to create ways for me to get the ball, and just doing what I can do for the team, and taking advantage of those opps, making plays.” (Michael Giardi)
  • The Colts and Saints also put waiver claims on Patriots recently signed TE Kahale Warring, but New England had a higher priority. (Field Yates)

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