AFC East Notes: Schwartz, Workouts, Dolphins

While Rex Ryan has a reputation as a defensive-minded coach, the Bills have slipped to 26th in the NFL this year in defensive DVOA, during Ryan’s first year with the team. The disappointing performance from Buffalo’s defense reflects well on Jim Schwartz, who was the unit’s coordinator in 2014, when the Bills ranked second in the league in defensive DVOA, behind only Seattle. Schwartz decided to take a year off after he was replaced in Buffalo last winter, but veteran Rams coach Jeff Fisher thinks the former Lions coach deserves another shot at a head coaching job.

“Jim is deserving of another opportunity, you really just have to wait and see what happens,” Fisher said, per Michael Rothstein of “That year in Buffalo with that defense, that was a pretty impressive job that he did and so I’ve stayed in touch with Jim, we’re good friends. … I can speak from experience as far as how important it is after coaching so long that if you get an opportunity to take a year off, take it. He’s done that, recharged and is ready to go. We’ll just wait and see what happens.”

As we wait to see whether the ex-Bills DC returns to the NFL’s coaching ranks in 2016, let’s round up a few notes out of the AFC East….

  • Former UCF wide receiver J.J. Worton is getting plenty of looks from NFL teams now that he has fully recovered from the ACL injury that ended his college career. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets that the Patriots are the latest team to work out Worton, who also auditioned for the Packers and Bears.
  • Wilson also passes along word of another free agent meeting, tweeting that former North Carolina Central guard Jovan Olafioye visited the Dolphins. Olafioye has played for the CFL’s B.C. Lions for the last several years, earning All-Star game nods in each of the last five seasons.
  • Despite the fact that he signed a record-setting contract with the team as a free agent last offseason, Ndamukong Suh hasn’t become a “defining player” for the Dolphins, writes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. Salguero argues that the defensive tackle has been solid during his first season in Miami, but he hasn’t been the difference-making player the team expected. With Suh’s cap number set to jump to $28.6MM, the club will be banking on him making more of an impact going forward.
  • It’s critical that the Dolphins get their next head coaching hire right, as Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel explains.
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