AFC Notes: Bills, Jets, Patriots


Bills DL coach Eric Washington said first-round DE Gregory Rousseau and second-round DE Carlos Basham have been “really productive” so far this offseason and praised their character.

I’m really excited for that. So far, the interaction I’ve had with Greg and Carlos has been really productive,” said Washington, via Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News. “The first thing that excites you about both players is their character. With the limited time we’ve been working together, they’ve made a relatively smooth transition from being in college, then going through the predraft process to coming here blending in and trying to learn what we’re asking them to do. I see them doing their absolute best, asking good questions and just really being astute in observing what’s going on around them. We’ve gotten off to a really good start with them. I look forward to continuing to work with them.”

Washington said Rousseau’s intelligence “really impressed me” during the predraft process and is proving to be a “conceptual thinker” on defense. 

It’s well documented. Greg really impressed me during our predraft interview. When you’re trying to get to know a player through that format, and I’m talking about a Zoom format, there’s some limitations with that. It’s certainly different than sitting down and having a conversation with someone one-on-one. But through that format, Greg was really impressive. He is definitely a conceptual thinker. You can give him concepts, examples, descriptions of things and he can fill in the blanks for you pretty quickly, without having all of the visuals that obviously are aids for people trying to learn. The other thing is the maturity level. Greg was really focused on and preparing himself for what he thought pro football was going to consist of. He had no delusions of what it was going to do for him. All of the feedback and his commentary revolved around coming in and working and learning. And he understood with the position he’s in there comes a lot of responsibility and expectations. He seemed to be very comfortable with that.”

As for Bills’ third-year DT Ed Oliver, Washington called this offseason his first full program with the organization and is focusing on developing the defensive lineman’s one-on-one technique. 

“This really is Ed’s first offseason. He’s been here. He’s been working hard in meetings. From an effort standpoint, he’s tremendous. We want to really polish Ed’s one-on-one skill set. Take the things unique and specific to Ed, the things that make him special. Make him aware of it, connect him to situations better and look forward to him being more productive as a one-on-one rusher. He’s been really working hard. Ed has some good experiences under his belt he’ll utilize in 2021.”

Washington expects Bills’ veteran DE Mario Addison to take a leadership role in developing Rosseau and Basham. 

“You just said it. Mario has got a lot of NFL experience under his belt in so many different situations. He’s been a part of winning teams. He’s been on teams where he’s been a strong contributing factor. He’s got a lot to share with two rookies. He’s played a number of positions. Mario came into the NFL primarily as a special-teams player, never complained. His calling card has always been his motor, his energy. He brings the passion for whatever he’s doing and accepting his role and making the best of it. His attitude is tremendous. Our young players will benefit simply from watching Mario in that respect, in addition to some of the nuance of winning one-on-ones as an edge or interior rusher. I’m excited. This is my 10th year coaching Mario. How often does that happen? I know him. We know each other. Mario is a believer in the process we use, which is a tremendous asset for me in communicating to the rest of the group. I’m fortunate he’s here, and excited he’s going to be part of what we’re trying to do this year.”


After a rough rookie season, Jets DT Quinnen Williams showed a lot of the potential that made him the No. 3 pick in the draft with a breakout 2020 season. The addition of new HC Robert Saleh should only help Williams, as his scheme is a much better fit for his skill set. 

“I’m very excited,” Williams said via the Athletic’s Connor Hughes. “This scheme attacks get-off and things like that. I think my natural ability is explosiveness, pass rush, run-stuffing — things like that. I’m just trying to do the best I can do in this scheme and do the best I can do in general on the field.”


Patriots’ LB Dont’a Hightower says he is looking forward to staring across the line of scrimmage at QB Tom Brady, his former teammate in New England.

“It’s going to be good to see 12 again,” Hightower said, via Stan Grossfeld of the Boston Globe. “I’ve been going against him in practice for so long, I’m looking forward to playing against him.”

Hightower was then asked if he would take it easy on Brady, which was something that he simply cannot oblige.

“Oh, you mean, like, ‘soft sacking’ him?” Hightower said. “Nah, you can’t do none of that stuff with him, man. He’s trying to throw touchdowns. No, in between the lines, it’s football. I’m sure he wouldn’t expect anything different.”

Looking for the latest NFL Insider News & Rumors?

Be sure to follow NFL Trade Rumors on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NFL News and Rumors for all 32 teams!

Leave a Reply