AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots


  • Dolphins’ S Eric Rowe said that Miami wanted to put pressure on the Texans this week: “We wanted to put the pressure on Tyrod Taylor. We wanted to blitz. We wanted pressures. We wanted to keep bringing it until they figured it out.” (Joe Schad)
  • Dolphins’ TE Mike Gesicki thinks the team still has issues to correct despite the win: “We didn’t play our best football. There is a lot to correct. But to finally get a win. It means a ton, especially when we didn’t play our best football. It’s finally something we can be positive about. Some locker room smiles. But we have to be ready to roll on Thursday.” (Schad)
  • Dolphins’ HC Brian Flores would not commit to playing QB Tua Tagovailoa on Thursday night against the Ravens: “He’s tough. He tried to go. It became more of a ‘how far could he throw?’ … We thought it was enough to put him in a backup role.” (Adam Beasley)
  • ESPN’s Adam Schefter says the Dolphins were one of the teams with some level of interest in Titans RB Adrian Peterson earlier this season.


First-year Jets OC Mike LaFleur took a great deal of guff for New York’s offensive ineptitude, as after arriving with a lot of promise this offseason the results in the first several weeks statistically weren’t much different than the worst of the Adam Gase era. Thankfully for the sanity of Jets fans, LaFleur’s offense has looked much better with different quarterbacks at the wheels in the past two weeks, racking up nearly 1,000 total yards of offense and 64 points.  

“We’ve improved in a number of areas, for sure,” LaFleur said via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “I’m pleased with just the speed at which we’re playing. You could really see it in the Cincinnati game and I thought you could see it [against the Colts on Thursday]. The easy answer is what the receivers, how much faster they’re playing. When you’re playing faster, you’re freer and you’re able to go, kind of show the talent you have.”

As to what’s different, the Jets haven’t been calling plays dramatically different aside from sprinkling in more trick plays. Jets HC Robert Saleh says time on task is starting to pay off. 

“He has been getting a little bit aggressive,” Saleh said, “but at the same time, I think everyone is starting to understand what’s being asked of them and he’s starting to understand where he can put his players and he’s understanding what he can ask of his players. So, it’s just kind of a growth that’s happening with a young offense, young coordinator. But he hasn’t gotten smarter, he is a very, very smart young man. Like I said, everyone’s figuring it out all at the same time.”

  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini thinks the Jets should start QB Mike White in Week 10 against the Bills and take it slow with first-round QB Zach Wilson, who should be able to start practicing this coming week. 
  • An agent tells Cimini White has made himself millions in future earnings with his performance the past two weeks. He’s set to be a restricted free agent in 2022 and Cimini says the Jets could either use the original-round tender ($2.4 million) which would be a fifth-round pick if White was signed to an offer sheet or a second-round tender at $3.9 million.
  • The latter is higher than New York tends to like for a backup quarterback, per Cimini


One of the big deals the Patriots handed out in their out-of-character free agency spending spree this past offseason was a four-year, $56 million deal for former Ravens OLB Matt Judon. There was a little bit of risk given Judon’s previous season-high for sacks was just 9.5, but so far New England is thrilled with what they’ve gotten from Judon. Halfway through the 2021 season, Judon has eight sacks and has been one of the best players on defense. 

“I battled with him in Baltimore and he was one of those guys we had up on the board, to always account for. He was making plays there. He’s making plays now,” Patriots TE Jonnu Smith said via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “I’m glad he’s [with us], with those red sleeves. As long as he keeps wearing them, he’ll get more sacks.”

  • Per CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Patriots LB coach Jerod Mayo is on the NFL’s list of recommended minority candidates for head coaching job openings later this year. 
  • Patriots’ HC Bill Belichick on DT Christian Barmore putting in work this season: “I gotta give that kid a lot of credit. He comes in early. Stays late. Works on his flexibility. His strength. His technique. He’s really applied himself. He’s done better and better every week.” (Mike Reiss)

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