Here’s a look at the AFC:
- Bengals coach Marvin Lewis denies reports indicating that he’s going to leave the team to pursue other opportunities, but nine unnamed members of the organization tell Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer that they’re not buying it. Meanwhile, Lewis recently told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) that he would “listen to” opportunities to transition a GM role somewhere. Rapoport adds that special teams coach Darrin Simmons could be an internal candidate to take over as head coach.
- The Dolphins do not have any plans to shift Laremy Tunsil from tackle to guard, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes. Tunsil, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2016 draft, has 12 penalties this year, the second-most in the NFL. Still, offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen is insistent that he will remain on the outside.
- More from Jackson, who writes that defensive tackle Jordan Phillips has erased any questions about whether he should be part of the team going forward. That’s no surprise given the year he is having. Defensive coordinator Matt Burke went so far as to say that he is a reliable player, something that he probably wouldn’t have said over the summer. “Snap count was a little down last week, but he has been really good,” Burke said. “The two weeks before that, he was at his best in a long time. I feel he has been more consistent this year — to the point where I had conversations with him, ‘Hey man — you’ve got to be one of our leaders now.’ He has found his way a little bit. Even last year, he he wasn’t as outgoing as he’s been this year — I am encouraging him to be more of an energy guy — part of that comes with being consistent and being reliable.” Phillips, a former second-round pick, has a decent 72.6 overall score from Pro Football Focus for his eleven games this year.