Jets running back Frank Gore believes the AFC East is “wide open” following Tom Brady’s move from the Patriots to the Buccaneers.
Brady swapped New England for Tampa Bay in the NFC South via free agency after a glorious 20-year run and six Super Bowl rings in Foxborough. The Patriots have won 11 consecutive division titles — and three Super Bowl championships during that period — thanks to the superstar quarterback.
But Gore feels the balance of power has shifted in the East, where the Jets, Bills and Dolphins are looking to dethrone the Patriots.
“It’s wide open,” the 37-year-old said in a videoconference call with reporters Thursday. “Brady’s gone, and it’s wide open.”
Gore is preparing for his first year with the Jets after brief spells with the Bills and Dolphins. The five-time Pro Bowler has reunited with head coach Adam Gase following the pair’s time together in Miami.
Gase’s relationship with star running back Le’Veon Bell dominated headlines at times last season as Bell struggled during his first year with the Jets. Gase is looking to lighten the three-time Pro Bowler’s workload. Enter Gore.
On Bell, Gore said: “I told him I need a jersey to put on my wall just because I respect his game. I respect the way he prepares himself to get ready for the season. … He always respected me; I respected him.
“It will be fun. I’ve been around a bunch of talented running backs my whole career — college, the NFL. I’m going to do whatever it takes to help him, to help the other guys and also help the team be successful.”
“I’m cool,” Gore added. “I’m happy to be playing this game at my age. I’m happy that this organization is giving me an opportunity. I’m just coming in to work and help all the young guys, and show them young guys I still can play. Whenever I get my number called, I’ll just try to go out and make a play for our team to be successful. I’m very excited.”
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