AFC Notes: Bret Bielema, Patriots, Browns


Brett Bielema

Former Arkansas HC Bret Bielema, who is working as an assistant on the Patriots’ staff, says he isn’t interested in returning to the college coaching ranks.

“The thing I love about football in the NFL is you go to work at 6 a.m. and you leave at 9 [p.m.] and it’s nothing but football,” Bielema told CBS Sports. “It’s just purely football.

Bielema explained that once coaches work in the NFL, it’s rare for them to return to the college game.

“It’s a whole different way to coach [in the NFL],” Bielema said. “I understand once they go to that level, coaches don’t ever go back. One of the most ‘a-ha’ moments was one of the first drills I did during OTAs. I had 11 [defensive] guys go through the drills. ‘Holy cow, these guys are good.’ These are the elite of your elite.”


Patrick Maks of breaks down five position battles to keep an eye on during training camp, including wide receiver, interior defensive line, left tackle, running back, and strong safety.

  • For the receiver spots behind Jarvis Landry and Josh Gordon, Maks mentions that Corey Coleman, Rashard Higgins, Ricardo Louis, Antonio Callaway, Jeff Janis and Damion Ratley will compete for playing time.
  • Regarding the interior defensive line, training camp will provide a clue at the depth chart order between Larry Ogunjobi, Trevon Coley, Jamie Meder and Caleb Brantley.
  • Browns HC Hue Jackson said the team is looking at all their options at left tackle before deciding on their next starter: “We are talking about replacing one of the best players to ever play that position. I would be not a very good coach if I did not try everybody over there first before we made that decision. We do not have Joe Thomas here anymore. We have moved on form that. We have to make sure that we have somebody that is comfortable that can play that spot that gives us a chance to win games.”
  • Browns RBs coach Freddie Kitchens said Duke Johnson, Carlos Hyde, and Nick Chubb could each have a role this season: “Ultimately, all three of those guys can run our running game. Duke can do a few more things in the passing game. Ultimately, we feel like that is a position of strength. Coach (Bill) Parcells taught me a long time ago, do not turn a position of strength into a weakness. You would like to keep it a strength, and we are fortunate that is where we are.”
  • Browns DC Gregg Williams said safeties Derrick Kindred and Jabrill Peppers bring different skill sets to the table and have been pushing each other in practice: “Derrick Kindred is one of the best strong safeties I’ve had the chance to coach in my career in the run game and zone pass game. Jabrill has those same instincts, and Jabrill is really, really good around the ball and having a chance to make plays on the ball, which is important,” Williams said.


Owen Pence of explores six position battles to keep an eye on during the Patriots’ training camp, including running back, wide receiver, tight end, cornerback, cornerback, offensive line, and punter.

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