AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots


Both the Bills and the Colts are chasing the Chiefs in the AFC and saw how the Buccaneers were able to dismantle them in the Super Bowl. So both made major investments with their first two picks this year in their edge rushers — with the Colts taking Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo and the Bills selecting Gregory Rousseau and Carlos Basham. Indianapolis had the benefit of picking higher but at least one executive thought they did much better than Buffalo. 

“Kwity Paye and Dayo are significantly better than Rousseau and ‘Boogie’ Basham,” an exec said via the Athletic’s Mike Sando. “Rousseau is developmental. Long, lean defensive end who is not particularly physical or violent. I would rather have the Indy guys because they present more of a physical play style.”


Dolphins HC Brian Flores doesn’t want to put any more pressure on QB Tua Togovailoa than is already there.

“I never like to put it on one player,” Flores said, via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “I think we’ve got a lot of young players, and we’re looking for all of those players as well as really everyone on our team to improve in a variety of ways. If they’re putting all the work in, I expect them to improve, get better, and perform better. Tua is obviously at the top of that list. He’s been working. All signs point to — or I would say based on my experience — he’s doing everything necessary to make some improvements. That’s really all we can ask for. My thing is if you put the work in, the results will take care of themselves.”

Flores also stands by his decision to occasionally pull Tagovailoa from games in favor of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“Last year’s situation is . . . we’ve talked about this numerous times,” Flores said. “If he had started the season, we wouldn’t have pulled him. We put him in. We’re in a playoff chase. At that point [second half in game 15, at Las Vegas, when Ryan Fitzpatrick entered in relief], it’s hey, we’ve got to do whatever we’ve got to do to try to win. But no, my confidence wasn’t shaken in him.”


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says it sounds like the Patriots have almost completely revamped their scouting process this year.
  • In the past, the scouts have taken a backseat to the coaching staff, but this year with coaches not allowed to travel the personnel department had a more prominent role, per Breer. 
  • He adds that’s shown in how New England took players who were very productive in college and didn’t really have any of the type of reaches they had in past years where HC Bill Belichick would trust his gut on a player’s traits, meeting or one of his connections with their college coach. 

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