Training camp is right around the corner. Let's discuss all the happenings in the AFC East.
How long before buffalo owns the afc east again?
Interesting question, Willis. I can only take things year to year, and the Bills are not winning the AFC East this year. Buffalo has talent in certain areas but must get stability at quarterback. If EJ Manuel develops into a franchise QB, then the Bills have a chance to compete in the AFC East in future seasons. But it won't be in 2013.
Hi James, would Leach be a good fit for the Dolphins offense?
Absolutely. Adding a Pro Bowl fullback would be a good fit for almost any team. But Vonta Leach would be a definite upgrade over Clay and Lane in Miami. The Dolphins would be more physical in the running game and Leach would also be a big boost in pass protection.
How do you think that the Jets will do in the 2013 Season?
I'm not expecting much from NY this year, Chris. The Jets are rebuilding for 2014 and beyond, which means there will be some growing pains this year. The Jets got rid of a lot of veteran talent, led by star cornerback Darrelle Revis. The offense will probably struggle, as well.
On Hard Knocks last year, Jake Long, Reggie Bush and Carlos Dansby all seemed to question(and take offense) to the way Philbin released Chad Johnson after his domestic violence arrest. Do you think that has anything to do with all three of them being gone this season and basically not even being made an offer?
The Dolphins did have a "leadership counsel" last year, and most or all of them are gone. It's partly a coincidence. Of the three, I think Miami did want Jake Long back at their price.
James, do you think that the Patriots' TE problem makes Tebow switching positions more likely?
In an emergency situation I think it's possible, JR. But we don't know how the Aaron Hernandez legal situation will play out. Gronkowski will return but it's questionable right now if he will be ready for Week 1.
Who do you think wins the kicking competitions in buffalo and miami?
Both will be close, JB. But I think at least one situation will go with a rookie. I think Miami rookie Caleb Sturgis has the best chance. He makes a lot less money than Dan Carpenter and Carpenter lost a couple games last year.
Rashard Matthews looked like the best receiver no the roster, besides Hartline, when he was on the field last year. I haven't heard much about him this year at all. What are the odds that he will make the final roster again?
There's a solid chance, Matt. I expect Miami to keep at least five receivers, maybe six. You have to assume Wallace, Hartline and Gibson are locks. So that leaves two (maybe three) spots left and Matthews should be in that top two or three.
If BB was the Bills head coach this year, where in the division do they finish?
If Belichick was the head coach and Tom Brady was the QB, the Bills would be favorites in the AFC East. But now we're playing fantasy football.
I know Grimes is looking good so far, but do you think Miami will have a solid enough #2 CB to make their pass defense better?
Good question, Josh. I'm not big on Richard Marshall. He was injured last year and didn't play that well when he was on the field. Marshall was working with the starters all offseason. I think for Miami's secondary to flourish, one of the young CBs have to step up. Either second-round pick Jamar Taylor or third-round pick Will Davis must grow up fast.
Do you think the Pats still have a realistic chance of making the Super Bowl? The offence appears like it will take a step back but Tom Brady is still the qb & the defence appears to be much better.
I've said a couple times in the AFC East blog that last year's Patriots team was better. The 2011 Patriots team was better, too. Those teams lost in the AFC title game and the Super Bowl, respectively. I don't see this year's NE team winning a Super Bowl. Too many issues and little talent at WR.
But the Patriots are still the preseason favorites to win the AFC East.
belichick is known as a no-nonsense coach. even if he's cleared, do you think the pats keep hernandez?
Too early in the legal process to say one way or the other about Aaron Hernandez. We have to see how things play out.
Do you think the Dolphins obtaining Clabo, Grimes, Keller, Wallace, and Ellerbee had anything to do with their schedule this season as they face all of their former teams at least once?
I think it was more of a coincidence. But it doesn't hurt to offer those players more motivation on those games.
How many TDs do you think Tannehill will pass for this season?
We are going to do an over/under blog post for Ryan Tannehill later this week. Check for it in the AFC East blog.
If the Jets can avoid turnovers (not a huge if) how are teams going to beat them. Their defense is going to be fasters and Rex will be back at the helm.
The Jets' defense does have some weaknesses, Justin. For starters, the safeties are below average. There could be a lot of big plays over the top this year. Also, there are young players at every level, which means there could be a lot of mental errors.
You have said you still think there is a considerable gap between New England and Miami. How surprised would you be if, at the end of the season, we were talking about AFC east division champion Miami Dolphins?
I would be pretty surprised. I think it's going to take at least 11 or 12 games to beat the Patriots and win the division. Miami has a pretty challenging schedule. I don't see 12 wins in the bunch.
If you see 12 wins on Miami's schedule, point it out to me. I'd like to see them.
Do you think Miami made a mistake letting Sean Smith go? Seems like a Smith and Grimes duo would be pretty good.
Sean Smith was overpaid in free agency, in my opinion. He's a decent cornerback, but Smith was too inconsistent to get No. 1 CB money. The Dolphins weren't willing to pay it and it was the best move for the team.
Do you see Rex being the coach of the Jets at year end?
The Jets haven't offered a magic number. But it looks like Rex Ryan will have to post a winning season (at least 9-7) for the first time in three seasons. I think Rex is a solid coach, particularly with Xs and Os, but I don't see him getting this year's Jets to the playoffs.
I'm having trouble seeing 10 wins for miami, especially after those 5 games to start the season.
Yes, the first five games are brutal. The opener at Cleveland is a must-win, because the next four could go either way. The Dolphins have to start fast to have a chance at the postseason.
What if Kolb ends up becoming the guy he was projected to be?
Kevin Kolb was drafted to be a franchise quarterback. That ship sailed long ago, Jim.
It doesn't mean that Kevin Kolb can't be a caretaker for Buffalo's offense. But he's not going to suddenly become the player he was projected coming out the draft. He is what he is.
what are the chances of the JETS signing V.Leach?
If Vonta Leach lands in the AFC East, it will be with the Dolphins.
Do you see any chance someone (McCray or Wilson) beats out Chris Clemons at Safety?
I don't see it, JB. Chris Clemons is a serviceable starter. He actually made some plays in OTAs and minicamp.
Whats the latest on Jairus Byrd? If he sits out, who takes his spot?
No real progress on Byrd at this point. I think it's going to come down to the wire. The Bills want to keep their best players, and Byrd is certainly one of them. I think this issue gets resolved later this summer.
You say 12, I say Miami may only need ten. You said yourself New England is not as good as last year. They got 12 wins against the easiest schedule in the nfl. I am sure they are capable of ten wins if they play like they "should".
You think the Patriots are going 9-7 this season? Come on, Kevin. If the Dolphins want to win the AFC East, they have to win at least 11 or 12 games.
How did J. Martin look in miami's camps? Not a lot has been written about his performance in camp with the off season questions.
I was in Miami's OTAs and minicamp a lot this offseason, and it's hard to tell with the offensive line. There's no contact, so run blocking and pass blocking is not easy to gauge. I like that Martin was definitely bigger and added weight. He looked in good shape. But we won't know how much Martin improved at LT until he puts the pads on.
Speaking of Kevin Kolb, James, do you think he will be the Bills' starting QB at the beginning of the regular season? Or, will the Bills start Manuel from the beginning?
The Bills are keeping an open mind. But I expect Kolb to start in Week 1. After that, anything is possible, especially if Kolb struggles against the Patriots in the first game. Keep in mind, Kolb beat New England last year. Maybe he can have similar success in 2013.
If the dolphins manage to sign Leach, how many holes will this team have? I dont see many glaring needs
The Dolphins spent a lot of money to patch their holes. But LT could be one huge issue if Jonathan Martin doesn't improve, and I think the No. 2 CB spot is a weakness.
What is the chance of Powell to become the starting running back of the Jets?
Not very good, Sean. Bilal Powell is more of a third-down back, not the kind of RB who will get 25-30 carries a game. I like the role that he's in now. Too much probably won't be good for Powell.
How well do you think Dustin Keller will do this year?
I like the addition of Dustin Keller to the Dolphins. Keller and QB Ryan Tannehill already had a good rapport in OTAs this spring. I also like the fact that Miami signed Keller on a one-year, "show me" contract. That means Keller will be motivated to play his best this season.
When the schedule first came out I was thinking that having to play New England in week one would make it difficult to have Buffalo start off the season on the right foot. Now, with all their off-season trouble, it looks like having New England week one might provide an opportunity for Buffalo. Not saying it will be easy or that they will win, but having to play New England in week one might be a little bit easier than later in the season.
Very good point, Katelyn. I felt the same way when the Patriots were on Buffalo's schedule in Week 1. My first reaction was, "Oh, this is a brutal game to start the Doug Marrone era." However, with the way things are playing out in New England, the Bills are probably catching the Patriots at their weakest point. New WRs, TE issues, playing on the road, this is probably Buffalo's best chance to beat the Patriots this year.
Which AFC east team do you see having the most pro bowlers this season?
The team that wins the most games often have the most Pro Bowlers. The Patriots are the preseason favorites, so that would be my pick.
James, first time on AFC East chat! Just wanted to give a shout out for a Dolphins fan from Montana. Quick question, what's the Dolphins RB situation look like this offseason?
Sam, welcome to the chat. Miami's RB situation is still up in the air. I thought I would see more in OTAs and minicamp, but then again there's no contact. Lamar Miller made a few big runs, but no one else really stood out. I think the RBs will have to put the pads on before we see some real flashes.
Everyone, thanks again for your time and great questions. Remember to check the AFC East blog for all the latest on the division.