AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

Dolphins

The Dolphins gave up five draft picks, including a first and second, for WR Tyreek Hill this offseason. It was a steep price but so far it’s been well worth it. 

“Massive win for Miami in every way,” an NFL scouting director said via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “He’s always open. No player has helped their young quarterback more than Tyreek has Tua.”

Jets

Jets HC Robert Saleh said that they must focus on themselves and “acknowledge our opportunity” to compete for a playoff spot. 

“You acknowledge the fact that we’ve got a chance to play some cool games,” Saleh said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “And we acknowledge the opportunity that we have, but the opportunity doesn’t exist if we focus on our moment. … You got to focus on the process. If you’re busy counting wins and looking at things you have zero control over, you’re missing on the opportunity to focus on the things you have control over. So, while we acknowledge our opportunity, hopefully we recognize that that opportunity won’t exist if we’re not taking care of our jobs.”

Regarding the Jets’ Week 13 game against the Vikings, Saleh said that defeating Minnesota at home will be a difficult challenge 

“We got a great opponent we’re going to go visit,” Saleh said. “They’re vying for their number one seed. They’ve got championship thoughts on their mind, so we got a great challenge on our hands, but for us, we just got to stay in the moment and focus on us. Just like you dig on the tape when you lose to find ways to get better, you got to do the same digging when you win and find ways to continue to get better. Confident group, we just got to continue to keep that confidence and continue to prepare the way we know how.”

Saleh reiterated that they are glad to be 7-4 and play “meaningful games” in their final six appearances. 

“It’s great to be where we are,” Saleh said. “We expected to have a competitive football team, but at the same time we haven’t accomplished anything, there’s still six games left. There’s still a lot of football to be had, we’ve got six really good opponents that we get to go play, first one being Minnesota. I always say there’s only one team happy at the end of the year, and the focus, you just got to focus on your moment. It’s awesome to be where we are right now, like we said playing meaningful games, it’s fun, it gives you purpose, it allows you to play for something more than just a paycheck. But at the same time, we’ve just got to focus on our moment.”

Patriots

Patriots LB Jahlani Tavai feels that his recent two-year, $4.4 million extension is a big moment for his career. 

“It’s a big thing for me,” Tavai said, via Zack Cox of NESN. “It’s my second contract, and I’m just blessed to have an opportunity to keep playing football.”

Patriots HC Bill Belichick had high praise for Tavai’s production in his defense and versatility on the field. 

“Jahlani’s done a good job for us,” Belichick. “He’s played a lot of football. He’s played on every down. He’s a smart, versatile player that’s earned playing time.”

Tavai mentioned that he’s open to playing any role asked of him. 

“I just want to be on the field,” said Tavai. “I don’t care if I’m playing three-tech, on the edge or off the ball. I’ll be ready for whatever my role is. … My older brothers have always instilled that in me — to be adaptable in any kind of situation. Luckily, I was blessed with some good genes to play on and off the ball, and I’m just going to keep riding with it.”

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