AFC Notes: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots


  • The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia notes Bills RB Devin Singletary has a leg up entering the final year of his rookie deal as a starter but he would not be surprised to see Buffalo spend a pick on another back, potentially one with some speed. 
  • As for Bills RB Zack Moss, Buscaglia writes he regressed hard in his second season and will need to take big steps forward in his development to prove he deserves a role in 2022.
  • The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reports the Bills are expected to hire UNC Charlotte assistant HC/co-DC/DL coach Marcus West to become their new defensive line coach. 


Dolphins’ new HC Mike McDaniel said that he quickly contacted Tua Tagovailoa and assured him that he intends on getting “all that greatness” out of his new quarterback.  McDaniel thinks Tagovailoa brings a skill set that he is “familiar with.” 

“What I’ve seen is a skill set that I’m familiar with, that’s very successful in this offense,” McDaniel said via Marcel Louis-Jacques of ESPN. “You’re seeing a very accurate passer that receivers love to catch footballs from — tight spirals and accurate throws, which are huge for run after the catch and YAC yardage. What that means for an offense is if you have people who can run after the catch, that’s an outstanding skill set for him.”

McDaniel added that Tagovailoa has natural movement in the pocket and has several other components that make him a successful NFL quarterback. 

“I also see some great athleticism, some natural pocket movement and really, a tough competitor that’s willing to stand in there when necessary. All of these things that are components to a quarterback’s game that are very important in NFL systems.”

McDaniel reiterated that his system is tailed to the “skill set of our players” and is eager to learn what works for his team. 

“Everything is tailored to the skill set of our players, and it looks a little different,” McDaniel said. “It’s the coolest part of our job, but it’s also very normal because we went through that in a drastic way in our formative years. It’s really fun because you don’t limit yourself and you kind of don’t know where it’s going to go, but you’re working with players, finding out what they’re comfortable with and adjusting on the fly. It’s one of my favorite parts of the process.”


  • Regarding Patriots’ impending free-agent LB Dont’a Hightower, Zack Cox of NESN believes Hightower provides “intelligence, physicality and leadership,” but would have to accept “probably much less” than the $12.4 million salary he earned last season. 
  • According to PFF’s Doug Kyed, Bill Belichick or senior advisor Matt Patricia may take on a larger role for their offense in order to make up for the departure of Josh McDaniels and four offensive assistants.
  • Kyed adds this could also result in OLB coach Steve Belichick and ILB coach Jerod Mayo having larger roles on the defensive staff going forward. 
  • Dakota Randall of wonders if the James White era is over in New England following his hip injury. The team will now likely turn its attention toward running backs Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, who proved themselves to be more than capable of carrying the load in 2021.

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