What changes could have the most impact?
The anticipation for NFL football is growing more and more with each passing day. Teams are getting set for training camp to gain an early indication of how roster will look. Of course, the AFC East is no exception to this. However, before we get into that, we should look at the biggest offseason change each of the four teams in the division will be facing as they head into the season.
Buffalo Bills: New Punter?
Yes, the Bills will have a new punter this year in Matt Haack after Corey Bojorquez could not come to terms on a deal. Many of you may be confused on how a punter can be the biggest change for this team but remember, most of the starting unit is returning to the team. Aside from Emmanuel Sanders taking the place of John Brown in the receiving corps, Haack is one of the bigger changes among the starters. Last season, Bojorquez led the league with an average punt of 50.8 yards. That was a huge game changer for the Bills when it came to field position and gave the defense a lot of field to defend. It may not seem important now, but punting can prove to be the difference in at least one game a season.
New England Patriots: New Receiving Group
The Patriots were bottoms in the league for receiving last year only having 12 touchdowns through the air, which placed them dead last. Robert Kraft knew the passing attack was a huge area in need of improvement heading into the offseason so he decided to attack it. New England signed two of the premier tight ends on the market in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith while also adding Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne on the outside. The hope is that the team will have a much more balanced attack in 2021 and force the defense to have to defend both aspects of the offense.
New York Jets: New Head Coach
We’ve have mentioned a lot about the New York Jets hiring Robert Saleh to be their new head coach. It’s been hammered home because it will determine if the team finally starts trending upwards following the Adam Gase disaster. Gase created a culture in New York that players hated and the results showed on the field. Now Saleh has to begin a rebuild in a division that’s proven it’s possible with Sean McDermott in Buffalo and Brian Flores in Miami. Saleh needs to prove he is the right man for the job and get his players to believe in the vision that he sees.
Miami Dolphins: Jaylen Waddle
The Dolphins got Tua Tagovailoa a number-one receiver in the draft by selecting Jaylen Waddle out of Alabama. The two were teammates back in college and the early indication from camp is that they are picking up right where they left off. Tua has a level of trust with Waddle and knows where he’s going to be at all times. We saw how the trust between Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs worked this past season for Buffalo. Tua may be able to make a leap if he develops the same kind of chemistry and production with Waddle.