AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots



Dolphins first-round OLB Jaelan Phillips feels that playing with a high motor shows his commitment to his teammates and will “do everything humanly possible” to get after ball carriers. 

“You can always tell the love a guy has for his teammates and for his family by how hard he runs after the ball,” Phillips said, via Joe Schad of The Palm Beach Post. “You’re going to do everything humanly possible to get after that ball. It’s a choice. I feel like you’re kind of a coward if you don’t.”

Dolphins S Brandon Jones mentioned that he encourages Phillips to get sacks every game. 

“Me and Jaelen, before every game we talk to each other and I tell him, ‘Hey, you get one for me and one for you,'” Jones said. “The last two weeks when I wasn’t playing, I came up to him and told him, and he got me one and got him one. I was like, ‘Who’s the first one for?’ and he’s like, ‘That was for you bro, that was for you.”

Dolphins HC Brian Flores said that Phillips’ love for the game shows on every snap and during team meetings. 

“I think you can see it on film,” Flores said. “Guys who run are running to the football, are finishing blocks, playing in the kicking game. I think you can see on film guys who enjoy playing and play 100 miles an hour. Great effort really on every snap. You see it on film and you kind of confirm it in a meeting setting where you kind of get a feel for how passionate they are about the game.”


Regarding the Patriots’ Week 16 game against the Bills, OC Josh McDaniels said that divisional games force them to adjust and differentiate from previous matchups. 

“Whenever you play a division opponent this close together there’s always a bit of a tug of war,” said McDaniels, via Mike Dussault of the team’s official site. “You may have had success with something and then you say, ‘We’ve got to do this again, right?’ But the other team knows you had success with it so they try to stop it, they may do some things differently, play it differently.”

McDaniels added that they will take some personnel and scheme examples from their 14-10 win over Buffalo in Week 13. 

“In this case, there’s definitely a starting point where you can go back and say, ‘OK these are the ideas we had in this area of the game plan, let’s go back and see if we feel comfortable with these… one, personnel, two, scheme against what they’re doing now as opposed to three weeks ago. If it’s a really good fit and you feel like it’s good then you leave it in.”

McDaniels mentioned that he’s still studying the Bills’ players and scheme despite their Week 13 victory. 

“I think the biggest mistake people can make is relaxing and not going through the preparation as if this is the first time we played them,” said McDaniel. “So I try to get myself into a mindset of, I don’t care what happened three weeks ago. I’m going back through and studying the players, I’m studying the scheme, I’m studying the game plan and I’m going to try to make each decision based on what we feel this week, not three or four weeks ago.”

  • Patriots HC Bill Belichick said WR Kendrick Bourne could be activated from the COVID-19 list in time to play Sunday. (Doug Kyed)


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