AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques lists Bills DE A.J. Epenesa as a potential breakout player in 2021. He notes Epenesa has taken a big leap from his rookie year and has been virtually unblockable during camp and the preseason. 
  • Bills HC Sean McDermott said DT Star Lotulelei is “trending in the right direction,” while WR Isaiah McKenzie will “be a full go for the game.” (Joe Buscaglia)


Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa said he appreciates the vote of confidence from HC Brian Flores.

“I think (a vote of confidence) means a lot with it coming from the head coach. The support that I have from him and from the team, it means a lot. But for me, I’m just focused literally on trying to get our guys ready for next week,'” Tagovailoa said, via Dolphins Wire.


Jets HC Robert Saleh doesn’t expect Panthers QB Sam Darnold to look like he did last year on Sunday.

“It’s good to have the internal part, just to know him as a quarterback,” Saleh said via Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. “But he’s going into a completely different scheme, with completely different rules, with different personnel. Everyone is going to see a much different Sam Darnold.”

  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini lists Jets second-round WR Elijah Moore as a potential breakout player in 2021, as teammates and coaches have said the rookie approaches the game like a veteran beyond his years. 


  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss lists Patriots LB Josh Uche as a potential breakout player in 2021, as he’s been playing all over New England’s front during camp and the preseason.
  • Patriots HC Bill Belichick said CB Stephon Gilmore is ok with starting the season on PUP: “Steph and I have talked about that; we’ve talked about that with our strength coaches and trainers and Steph. I think we’re all on the same page here.” (Mike Reiss)
  • Belichick added releasing QB Cam Newton in favor of first-round QB Mac Jones was a tough decision: “I have nothing but positive thoughts and feelings for Cam. He came in here, he worked hard. He gave us everything he had. Right now, our future is going to be Mac at quarterback, and that is where we’re going to go.” (Zack Cox)
  • Jones said he wasn’t surprised to win the starting job: “Not really. Like I always say, I prepare to be the starter … and I had a chance to get a lot of reps. So nothing really changes.” (Zack Cox)
  • Jones mentioned he knows being named starter doesn’t mean anything: “It’s a great opportunity and something I always wanted … but a label is a label. You’ve got to produce.” (Karen Guregian)
  • Jones added he is grateful to have worked with Newton: “Obviously he was a really good mentor to me. I know we’ll stay in touch. … I never felt like we were butting heads or anything like that. Obviously Cam’s a great guy and a great player. I definitely learned a lot from him.” (Ben Volin)

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