AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

  • Dolphins OC Chan Gailey said he was “taken aback” when HC Brian Flores contacted him about being their new offensive coordinator after taking the last three years off from coaching. (Barry Jackson)
  • Gailey said Dolphins’ veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s presence on the roster played a part in his return: “If it hadn’t been a part, it might have been a different story, I don’t know,” per Armando Salguero.
  • Gailey said he’s hoping to make a “big impact” on Dolphins’ first-round QB Tua Tagovailoa‘s development, but the rookie must be healthy and understand their offense. (Salguero)

Jets

  • Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Jets RB Le’Veon Bell‘s trainer says the running back reported three weeks ago at 222 pounds and is now down to 210. 
  • Cimini identifies OC Dowell Loggains as the logical backup to HC Adam Gase as a play-caller on offense, and LB coaches Frank Bush and Joe Vitt behind DC Gregg Williams on defense. 
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports Jets’ veteran QB Joe Flacco had “no issues” with his surgically repaired neck after visiting a specialist and is on track to return by Week 2 or Week 3. 
  • The Jets also put in a waiver claim for CB M.J. Stewart when he was cut by the Buccaneers, but the Browns had higher priority. (Field Yates)

Patriots

Former Patriots linebacker and current ILB coach Jerod Mayo was initially surprised that the team would be losing some of their defensive cornerstones like LB Dont’a Hightower and S Patrick Chung to opt-outs but eventually came to understand.

“Initially, I was shocked, disappointed,” Mayo said, via Zack Cox of NESN. “I can’t — a bunch of emotions went through my head. And then I stopped and obviously looked at each situation. These are personal decisions. Obviously, Hightower kind of took a step back and just with family and his personal situation, and so did Chung. I certainly respect it. Hightower is one of the smartest players I’ve ever been around, and so is Chung. So those guys aren’t here with us this year, but they’re still around.”

Now with Hightower out of the picture, LB Ja’Whaun Bentley will be asked to take over the leadership role and preside over the young linebacker group in New England.

“I will say if you were to look at last year and look at his production per play, he was very productive when he was out there,” Mayo said of Bentley. “And when you think about the players we had in that room, it was a crowded room. But when he did get an opportunity, for the most part, he performed well. So I look forward to giving him more opportunities, and hopefully, he stays healthy and he’s able to keep that production up. Physically, he’s bigger than some of those guys last year. He’s faster than some of those guys last year. It’s more now (about) making the game slow down for him, getting more reps in practice. That’s why this time right now is so important. But physically, this guy is gifted. He’s a big, fast, strong linebacker, and he’s a smart guy, as well. I’m excited. I’m excited to give him an opportunity to be out there for a while.”

  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss notes that by promoting Dave Ziegler to assistant director of player personnel the Patriots have effectively promoted him to No. 2 in the front office behind Nick Caserio
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