Here are some whispers we've been hearing from around the AFC East:
• Bills RB C.J. Spiller had a fantastic preseason but hasn't shown the same skills once the games started counting. Head coach Chan Gailey recently said, "We all know the level of intensity goes up a notch when it's not preseason. C.J. wasn't able to adjust enough." That has led to some questions as to whether the team regrets having selected the former Clemson star. Expect the team to give Spiller every chance to prove himself in the season's final weeks, lining him up in the backfield, out wide at receiver and having him return punts and kickoffs.
• Injuries to Jim Leonhard and Eric Smith have forced a reshuffling in the Jets' secondary, but it may be to the benefit of Dwight Lowery. The former cornerback is being moved to safety, the position he played at San Jose State, where he led the nation in interceptions in 2006. Lowery says he is more comfortable with his eyes on the quarterback than playing with his back to the passer, and the team has enough depth at corner to warrant the position switch.
• The Dolphins' offensive line has struggled mightily this year in run blocking and most recently in pass protection. We hear that rookie ORG John Jerry was pinpointed as one of the main problems, especially in run blocking. The third-round pick has lost his starting spot to veteran Pat McQuistan and has worked as a backup right tackle in practice with Vernon Carey on injured reserve.
• The Patriots continue to plug players in as a pass rusher on third down off the edge. Shawn Crable had the job earlier this season before being released; then New England brought in DE-OLB Eric Moore on Dec. 3. The fifth-year veteran recorded a sack and forced fumble in the win over the Bears and appears to be the Pats' third-down rusher the rest of the way.