July 24th is a big day for the AFC East: It marks the day that training camp opens for all the players. It’s also the point where practice really starts kicking in as the regular season gets closer and closer. Every team has a major question they’ll be trying to answer in camp—which is what we’ll be focusing on this week in the AFC East roundup.
Buffalo Bills: What will the O-Line look like?
An obvious question for Buffalo going into camp is if Josh Allen will make the jump in year two under center. However, the more important question remains: What kind of protection will he receive? Last year, Pro Football Focus shackled the team with the 26th-ranked offensive line in the league, which led the team to overhaul the unit during the offseason. Singing center Mitch Morse and drafting Cody Ford in the second round of the draft are just a couple of the moves Brandon Beane made addressing the offensive line. As it appears Dion Dawkins will be the only returner on the line from last year. All of these moves should give Allen more time in the pocket this year.
New York Jets: Is Bell the same player?
One of the major signings in free agency this year was the Jets giving Le’Veon Bell a big-time deal after he sat out the 2018 season while failing to reach a long-term deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2017, Bell was one of the premier backs in the league with his unique patient running style and the substantial impact he made in the passing game. He has been monitored thus far in offseason workouts to knock out some rust from not playing in a year, but training camp should give a better indication whether or not the Jets made the right choice.
Miami Dolphins: Youngster or Veteran?
Miami will have a quarterback battle in camp to decide who will lead the team during the season. On one side they have veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick who has shown to be a great player—capable of putting up 300 yards and multiple touchdowns—when he gets streaky in the right direction. However, it seems for every good streak he has, a bad one follows, with his interceptions coming in bunches. On the other side of this competition is second-year guy Josh Rosen who the Dolphins traded for during the 2019 NFL draft for basically nothing from the Arizona Cardinals. After moving on from Ryan Tannehill and with some big-time quarterbacks expected to enter the 2020 draft, it will be interesting to see how the team handles the season and beyond.
New England Patriots: Who replaces Gronk?
The retirement of Rob Gronkowski left the Patriots without a big-time tight end and significant playmaker going into the season. No one has been a nightmare match-up as much as Gronk was during his career. To try and make up for the loss the team signed Benjamin Watson but he’ll be suspended for the first four games of the season. We know that Julian Edeleman will be Tom Brady’s go-to target, but the team will be in search of that number-two guy. New England did draft receiver N’Keal Harry who was one of the top receivers in the draft, so don’t be surprised if Brady takes a liking to him early in camp.