AFC Notes: Colts, Jets, Patriots

     

Colts

Colts TE Jack Doyle has become an integral part of the Indianapolis offense the past four seasons. A former undrafted free agent, Doyle’s not the most athletically gifted. But he’s established himself as a trusted weapon for every Colts quarterback, from Andrew Luck to Jacoby Brissett and now Philip Rivers going into 2020. Colts TE coach Jason Michael said Doyle’s attention to detail overcomes his athletic limitations. 

“Well, I think it’s the attention to detail. And you said it, he knows that,” Michael said via Andrew Walker of the team website. “We joke about it sometimes, about whatever that may be, but the pre-snap understanding of, whether it be the coverage that it is, or whether it be the accelerated vision of knowing what’s going to happen upfront, based on his pre-snap tells, of being able to play a step ahead, to be able to understand, ‘Hey, this defensive end is going to play the C gap coming down.’ Not to get into too many of those things, but he just has such a good feel of football, his film study, understanding what’s going to happen…

“And it’s just that trust of knowing he’s going to be in the right place at the right time, and then handle it the right way for the guy throwing him the football.”

The Colts also went out and added TE Trey Burton to the group after he was released by the Bears. Colts HC Frank Reich worked closely with Burton when the two were together in Philadelphia, and while he’s struggled with injuries, Burton has flashed an ability to be a weapon in the passing game in his career. 

“There’s going to be times when he’s going to be in a position to block and do those things,” Michal said. “But I think Trey just brings that element of that matchup guy that allows us … I think in football these days, there’s a couple of positions that give you a chance to create matchups and dictate to the defense, and tight end is one of them, to where, hey, if you have a guy like Jack, a guy like Trey, that you can put two or three different tight ends out there, how are they going to play? Are you spread out? Are you in tight sets? And I think Trey just adds another element of that, and another piece that allows us to dictate to the defense.”

Jets

  • Connor Hughes of The Athletic thinks that Mekhi Becton and Cameron Clark could be staples on the Jets offensive line for years to come.
  • According to Hughes, George Fant, Alex Lewis, and Connor McGovern aren’t a solid group of linemen but are better than the Jets group in 2019.
  • Hughes mentions that is hard to see Clark starting this season unless there is an injury. Lewis and Greg Van Roten as the projected starters and the team still has veteran Brian Winters on the roster.
  • Hughes adds that the Jets still need two solid guards, a game-changing center, and could possibly need a right tackle.
  • If QB Sam Darnold starts every game this season, Hughes doesn’t see HC Adam Gase returning as the Jets coach if the team finishes under .500.

Patriots 

Former Panthers OC Rob Chudzinski wanted to talk about QB Cam Newton‘s maturity and leadership now that Newton has signed with the Patriots and will likely assume the role as the leader on offense. 

“Cam is about the team and I think it is how he expresses those things as an emotional person,” Chudzinski said, via PatriotsWire.com “You need some of that. You need some of – you want the attention, you want the ball at the end of the game, you want to be the best. Some of that comes with the territory and I think Cam has grown and matured over time. Like I said, it comes from a good place…“The level of a competitor that he is and in the locker room how he is with the guys and I think you’ll see him out in the community and how he is with a little kid. And the things he does on his own and he’s not looking for some kind of retribution or people to say anything positive about him for what he does in the community when he just hears about things. He’s got a big heart. When you know him you take it in a different way than maybe when people just see things that don’t know him as well as we do that do.”

  • Albert Breer of SI notes that it will be interesting to see what type of schemes HC Bill Belichick and OC Josh McDaniels cook up for Newton this season.
  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss says Newton told the Patriots he wasn’t looking to be handed anything and he just wanted a real opportunity to play. 
  • Reiss points out the third-round pick the Patriots were docked for the videotaping scandal last year will essentially be canceled out by the third-round compensatory selection New England is projected to receive for losing QB Tom Brady
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