AFC Notes: Bills, Duane Brown, Jets, Patriots


The Rams and Bills don’t play each other in the season kickoff for another month, but already some eyes are looking ahead. Bills QB Josh Allen will be a challenge for the Rams defense, and even elite DT Aaron Donald acknowledges that, comparing Allen to an upgraded version of former Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

“He’s a big guy. He’s a tough guy. He’s athletic,” Donald said via the team website. “In my opinion, he’s like a futuristic Big Ben. A little bit more athletic, can move a little bit better. But he’s a guy that ain’t gonna go down easy so you got to come with your big boy pads when you get to wrap him up.”


  • Jets GM Joe Douglas said during a recent media appearance that the “wheels are in motion” when it comes to the team signing veteran LT Duane Brown, per the Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt.
  • SNY’s Connor Hughes wonders if Jets LT George Fant will be willing to switch back to the right side when Brown, his former teammate in Seattle, joins the team.
  • Hughes also mentions WR Denzel Mims is starting to get some first-team reps for the first time in camp.


The Patriots are undergoing a massive transition on offense this year with an exodus of experience and institutional knowledge. Former OC Josh McDaniels is now the head coach in Las Vegas and longtime OL coach Dante Scarnecchia retired for good. They’re being replaced by Joe Judge and Matt Patricia, neither of whom has much of a background coaching on offense, and New England also appears to be transitioning to an outside zone rushing scheme. It’s not going well so far by most accounts. Scarnecchia says it’s too soon to panic, though. 

“I would say this, in fairness to everyone, I just think this is the wrong time to evaluate it. The pads have come on, but they’re not playing real football yet,” Scarnecchia said via Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “Whenever they play the Giants, we’ll have a better idea where this thing is. Even at that point, it’s not totally fair to say they can’t (do it). I think there’s a (three-game) process at hand, where we’ll have a better idea where this thing is going. … What doesn’t look good in training camp early, has no bearing on anything.”

Scarnecchia added if the new scheme continues to struggle, HC Bill Belichick will scrap it and go with something that fits the strengths of his players like he’s always done. He explained the team has run outside zone before, but they haven’t embraced it to the degree other teams have because Tom Brady wasn’t good at bootlegs off of the run plays. 

“It is a copycat league, and people look at teams that have had success, but you really have to be yourself, too,” said Scarnecchia. “The last time we won the Super Bowl, we were a two-back team. Who runs two backs anymore? So what are they left with? Outside zones or crack sweeps. And if you go inside, gap runs, maybe you can wham and blast and do things like that if your tight ends can do the heavy lifting. So that’s what you got. There isn’t anything else. So, having said that, you can run outside zones, you can run inside zones, and gap runs. That’s basically it.

“They’ll do whatever they feel their personnel is best-suited to do. I’m anxious to see how it goes. I’d like to see them be successful, of course.”

  • Patriots OL Michael Onwenu got reps at right tackle with the second unit with OL Isaiah Wynn limited. Onwenu is currently penciled in as the starter at left guard. (Zack Cox)

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