AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

Dolphins DL coach Marion Hobby said DL Christian Wilkins has entered training camp in better shape and is already “ahead” with his preparation. 

“When you watch Christian, at the end of the year, I thought he was in better shape and it started showing up on the field because he started making those plays we want him to make,” Hobby said, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “He’s come in this year in better shape. He’s ahead and that’s tough because we didn’t get OTAs and minicamp. Somewhere this man went and really worked his butt off to keep his weight down. He really looks good out there.”

Hobby expects Wilkins to become a leader of the Dolphins’ defense in 2020 given it’s his second year in their system. 

“We’ll see him step up as more of a leader. Last year he came on at the end. Second year in the scheme. Knowing what’s expected of him. I’m looking for great things from him.”

Hobby added that he has a “good history” with Dolphins’ new DE Shaq Lawson given he coached Lawson at Clemson from 2013-2015. 

“You kind of have a good history with him, kind of know where he’s from, what he’s about,” Hobby said. “We were looking for smart, tough players that know football and have a team-first attitude and he fits it. He’s been a leader all his career. His energy level I thought he would be a really good fit for us.”

Hobby also said new Dolphins’ DE Emmanuel Ogbah is “exactly” what they heard about him while scouting. 

“He’s proven to be exactly what they said,” Hobby said. “He’s very conscientious. Got a good football IQ, smart, he’ll work.”

Jets

  • ESPN’s Rich Cimini says his understanding is the Jets have no interest in a trade for Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue
  • Cimini adds it’s possible Jets GM Joe Douglas would be willing to part with one of his many first-round picks for Ravens EDGE Matt Judon, with the potential lack of a 2020 college football season making scouting harder playing a factor. 
  • Cimini thinks Jets CEO Christopher Johnson could remain in charge of the day-to-day operations of the team even when his brother, team owner Woody Johnson, returns from his political appointment because of the latter’s racist remarks. 
  • Jets WR Denzel Mims injured his hamstring running routes and RB Frank Gore hurt his last week but has “been doing stuff with the group.” (Connor Hughes)
  • Mims, Gore, and CB Pierre Desir all missed Friday’s practice with hamstring injuries. (Brian Costello)
  • Desir missed practice again on Sunday but is expected to be back soon. (Hughes)
  • Jets HC Adam Gase said of adding a receiver while Mims is injured: “It’s a little harder (due to COVID-19). It’s not like you can fly someone in and have them on the field the next day. There’s a pretty lengthy process you have to go through.” (Ralph Vacchiano)
  • Jets WR Vyncint Smith missed practice Sunday with a core muscle injury. He’s seeing a specialist to determine the severity of the injury. (Hughes)
  • Jets fourth-round OL Cameron Clark is week-to-week with a shoulder injury, per Gase. (Costello)
  • The Jets tried out TE Connor Davis, RB Pete Guerriero, TE Jake Powell and RB De’Lance Turner while also hosting WR Chris Hogan for a visit, according to Albert Breer. Hogan and Davis were signed to contracts out of this group. 

Patriots

  • ESPN’s Mike Reiss says Patriots second-round S Kyle Dugger, WR Gunner Olszewski, RB J.J. Taylor and WR Isaiah Zuber are the early contenders for the starting punt return job. Dugger, Taylor, Zuber and WR Damiere Byrd are working at kick returner. 
  • Reiss notes by moving from safeties coach to outside linebackers, Patriots assistant Steve Belichick is following the same path to becoming a defensive coordinator as predecessors Matt Patricia and Brian Flores
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