AFC Notes: Dolphins, Jets, Patriots

     

Dolphins

  • Per MassLive.com’s Matt Vautour, Dolphins LB Kyle Van Noy is excited to play his former team for the past four years, the Patriots: “Yeah, going against them, they’re familiar with me. I’m familiar with them. I’m excited for this task. They’ve been talking trash the four years I’ve been there, so I’m excited to see if we both can back it up.”
  • Dolphins first-round QB Tua Tagovailoa was listed on the injury report with a hip injury. It’s not necessarily a huge deal, as any time a player receives treatment they are listed on the injury report and it’s not surprising Tagovailoa is still undergoing maintenance less than a year after dislocating his hip. (Pro Football Talk)
  • Asked about how ready Tagovailoa is to play if something were to happen with starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins HC Brian Flores responded: “Everybody has to be ready to play. It’s football.” (Josh Tolentino)
  • Dolphins CB Byron Jones is day-to-day with an Achilles injury, per Flores. (Joe Schad)
  • Despite the suspension, Flores says the team thought there was an opportunity to add a talented player in WR Antonio Callaway: “We did a lot of work on Antonio. We felt it was an opportunity to add a talented player, and that’s what we did. We will work with him the next few weeks. When we can, we will work with him and we’ll see where it goes.” (Barry Jackson/Adam Beasley)
  • The Dolphins hosted QB Reid Sinnett for a workout on Wednesday. (Aaron Wilson)

Jets

  • Per SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Jets HC Adam Gase is ready to forget 2019, especially on offense: “It was absolutely atrocious, everything last year, you can just throw all that out.”
  • Jets TE Chris Herndon missed all but a handful of snaps last year due to injury. His presence this year is a big reason Gase is optimistic the Jets will improve: “He is a game-changing type player… He can force a defense to change what they’re doing…. Chris is unique. He can do a lot of stuff and pose a lot of problems.” (Manish Mehta)
  • Gase is also excited about how he’s seen Jets S Marcus Maye step into the void created by the departure of Jamal Adams: “You see a guy that’s really stepped into a role of (being a) great communicator. Him being voted as captain tells you everything you need to know about what this guy’s been doing, especially the last year or so…. He gives us so much flexibility.” (Mehta)
  • Jets WR Breshad Perriman said he’s ready to come back after missing a few weeks of practice with a knee injury: “I’m back. I’m not thinking about my knee at all. I’m back 100 percent.” (Vacchiano)
  • Perriman has dealt with knee injuries in the past but he says this one is unrelated. (Brian Costello)
  • Jets RB Le’Veon Bell said his understanding of the offense is “night and day” better compared to last year: “We have a good team, we just have to put it all together. We can be special.” (Rich Cimini)

Patriots

Apart from the few weeks where training camp practices were open to the media, no one outside the building knows exactly what the Patriots offense will look like with QB Cam Newton. Some of that also comes with uncertainty about Newton’s health and if he’ll be able to play with the same unique style he has for his whole career. Despite the injuries that have ended his past two seasons, Newton says the mobile element should remain a part of his game if needed. 

“As long as I have legs, I think I’ll have the ability to (keep running),” Newton said via the Athletic’s Jeff Howe. “It’s just making myself available when needed if asked to do so, and we’ll go from there.”

Just because of the nature of training camp, the Patriots also haven’t really been able to see how much of Newton’s trademark physicality they’re still getting, whether it’s running through defenders or shaking off sacks in the pocket. In particular, there were a number of apparent sacks that Patriots QB coach Jedd Fisch could have a much different result during a live game. 

“It’s one of those very difficult things to evaluate while you’re practicing because tackling to the ground is very different,” Fisch said. “Then you get someone like Newton who’s at 250 pounds, 6-foot-5. And now it’s like, how do you evaluate that when you’re sitting there in a red (non-contact) jersey? I think what we’d probably say to that is that you have to assume that he’s healthy, which is what we’ve seen since we started working with him.

“You go back to the last time you saw a healthy Cam (in 2017 and 2018), you go back to when he was playing games in Carolina, and what did a healthy Cam look like in terms of running the football and in terms of being able to break a tackle or being able to knock a guy down? That’s the assumption we are going to work off of until he’s unable to do the things he has shown he’s able to do.”

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