AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Bills

  • WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio writes the Bills plan on using RB Devin Singletary and third-round RB Zack Moss as their two main backs in a committee, with Moss taking over the role Frank Gore played last year as a between-the-tackles and red zone runner. 
  • Capaccio anticipates Bills RB T.J. Yeldon staying on as the third-string running back, with RB Taiwan Jones also potentially sticking for his ability on special teams as a gunner. 
  • Capaccio adds it’s worth monitoring to see if undrafted rookie FB Reggie Gilliam can unseat FB Patrick DiMarco, though the lack of practice time this offseason hurts his chances. 

Dolphins

  • Per Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Dolphins HC Brian Flores didn’t want to put a timetable on CB Xavien Howard.
  • The veteran corner tore his ACL last October and opened camp on the active/PUP list: “He’s been rehabbing the entire summer. He’s making a lot of progress. He’ll be back as soon as he can.”

Jets

Jets QB Sam Darnold said he has a greater understanding of the NFL entering his third year and has “a ton more confidence” in himself going forward. 

“There’s just so much more that I understand that I didn’t understand at this point last year,” Darnold said, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “I have a ton more confidence in myself to be able to go out there and play consistent football, which is really what the game is about.”

Jets HC Adam Gase said Darnold has a “different way about him” this offseason and believes the quarterback has a better feel of his offense. 

He has a little bit different way about him (this year),” said Gase. “There’s less learning for him. He does know this offense a lot better than when we started last year. He’s more detail-oriented in what he does know. I do think there is a lot more confidence in his part.”

Darnold mentioned that he’s spent a lot of time with Gase in building an understanding of his system and reiterated his confidence as a quarterback. 

“Spending so much time with Coach Gase, trying to learn this offense as fast as I could, it was definitely a process and I spent hours and hours trying to learn it every single day,” Darnold said. “I’m still doing that, but I’m definitely comfortable teaching the young guys and some of the guys who haven’t been in the system before. I’m just excited to keep that rolling. For me, it’s getting a whole year under my belt in the system. I definitely have a lot more confidence.”

Patriots

  • Per the Athletic’s Mike Sando, Patriots QB Cam Newton was seen as a Tier 3 quarterback in a survey of NFL evaluators.
  • A former NFL general manager outlined the uncertainty surrounding Newton and the potential boom-bust factor for him in 2020: “You could put Cam as a four, but I think he is a three and if he’s healthy, and if he buys into what they do, I think he’s got a chance. I’ve always thought he was a baller. He’s tough. He adds an element a lot of guys don’t add. If he can get short to intermediate timing down, he’s going to be a pretty good fit. He is a top-20 guy in this league if his arm is healthy and he doesn’t have to change his motion.”
  • NFL Media’s Michael Giardi says, for what it’s worth, people who have worked out with Newton or seen him this offseason say his arm is lively. 
  • Giardi adds others think Newton has dropped a good amount of weight. He’s listed at 245 but Giardi notes during his MVP year in 2015 he was between 255 and 265 pounds. 
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe notes Patriots HC Bill Belichick‘s son, Brian Belichick, will move into a full-time coaching job as the team’s safeties coach. His other son, Steve, is also on the staff as the team’s outside linebackers coach.
  • Patriots S Patrick Chung offered more context on his decision to opt out of the season: “I have a girlfriend that’s pregnant, a baby girl coming soon, my son has a little asthma, my dad is 75 years old. I just felt like this was the best decision for my family to keep everyone safe.” (Giardi)
  • Patriots RB Sony Michel has still not been cleared from foot surgery to practice and it’s not guaranteed he gets clearance by the time practices start in earnest in a few weeks. (Jeff Howe)
  • Despite missing his entire rookie season with a quad injury, Patriots 2019 third-round OT Yodny Cajuste could have the first crack at replacing starting RT Marcus Cannon
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