AFC Notes: Colts, Dolphins, Patriots


Colts S Julian Blackmon is in great shape after recovering from an Achilles tear during practice that cut his 2021 season short. Blackmon is excited to prove to everyone that he can be a key contributor to the team.

I’ve been trying to show everybody I’m not really scared to use my left (leg) anymore,” Blackmon said, via Herald Bulletin. “Now that I’m getting warm and putting my feet into the ground, I just want to show my range – the ability’s still there. And it’s only gonna go up from here, as long as I stick to the treatment and follow what everybody’s telling me to do.

Colts DC Gus Bradley features a lot of single-high safety looks. Blackmon so far appears to be tailor-made for the role.

The big thing with that spot in our defense is to cover a lot of grass both laterally and downhill and be that guy that can be a sure tackler,” Bradley said. “He’s working on all of his angles right now and leverage angles and things like that. But he made a great play covering a lot of ground (on Monday’s interception) – very, very happy that we have him.

The single-high safety in Bradley’s scheme is often called “the eraser.” The nickname comes from the safety having to cover a lot of ground and essentially fix any mistakes or lapses in coverage that happen.

I mean, that’s what I love to do,” Blackmon said. “I feel like I take it upon myself to erase. That’s what we call my position, specifically, is ‘The Eraser.’ So if we make a mistake, I’ll be there to fix it.


  • Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reports that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has begun notifying the NFL of his intention to change his successor from limited partner Bruce Beal to his daughter, Jennifer Ross.
  • Fischer notes that Ross’ decision would keep the franchise within his family and would prevent Beal from seeking approval for controlling ownership after being punished for tampering following the recent situation with Tom Brady and Sean Payton
  • Fischer, citing multiple sources, writes that Ross circulated a drafted document in the past few months regarding his plans and the current owner has informed NFL executives about wanting to hand over the organization to his daughter. 


Patriots C David Andrews addressed some of the team’s struggles in training camp, saying that it is all part of the process.

“Look, it’s just part of it,” Andrews said, via the Boston Globe. “It’s ups, it’s downs, it’s training camp. Got to go in, learn from it and see what we can do better. Like I said, can’t let today or any day derail anything in the future. That’s just how it goes. Wins, losses, you’ve just got to stay steady. You can’t go up and down.”

“It’s a little bit of everything,” Andrews continued. “It’s just playing football, you play football in pads. So this is what football is about, being in pads, all aspects of the game, running, draws, screens, pass plays, that’s football. So it’s all part of it, and we’ve just got to get better and move forward.”

Meanwhile, HC Bill Belichick has dodged questions about the team’s offensive challenges.

“Every day is a challenge,” Belichick said. “We just try to build on yesterday and do what we can do today to get better and build on it tomorrow. At different points in time, we take stock of where we are and decide whether we add more in this area, or add more in that area, or whatever it happens to be. We try to do things we think are most important and most necessary that will help us win. That’s just kind of what we do. You can get everything in and not execute it very well, or you can get in less and hopefully do it better. That’s usually the way it works, or there’s somewhere in between. I’d say usually, we fall somewhere in between: don’t get in everything we want, but feel like the things that we can do, at least we’re doing it at a competitive level. Not saying it’s great, but at least we can go out there and do it. So, we’ll see.”

  • Patriots QB Mac Jones still thinks the team is close to putting it all together: “It’s that two percent. We’re close. We just have to buy in and trust it…” (Tom E. Curran

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