The AFC East has always been an incetusous place, with coaches and players often moving between the four teams that make up the division. Just looking at the head coaches, the Buffalo Bills' Rex Ryan used to be the head coach of the New York Jets, the Jets' Todd Bowles was a position coach and interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick was the Jets' assistant head coach, defensive backs coach, and (brief) head coach after he was a secondary coach and assistant head coach for the Patriots (plus, he started his NFL coaching career with the Baltimore Colts when they were a part of the division). The teams in the AFC East love to take personnel from each other.
Which brings us to this week's game between the Dolphins and the Bills. This will mark the second meeting between the two teams this year (and 100th regular season meeting all-time). This will also mark another time Miami is facing a slew of players who used to wear aqua. The Bills will be playing tight end Charles Clay, guard Richie Incognito, kicker Dan Carpenter, and wide receiver Chris Hogan, all of whom at one point played for Miami.
Clay began his career as a sixth-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2011, coming out of Tulsa. He initially played fullback and H-back for Miami before transitioning to a full time tight end. The Dolphins placed the transition tag on Clay this past offseason, but declined to match the offer Buffalo gave him, allowing him to sign with the Bills. In four years with Miami, Clay caught 161 passes for 1,809 yards, with 14 touchdowns. With the Bills this season, Clay has caught 34 passes for 350 yards and two touchdowns, all of which lead the Bills heading into Week 9.
Incognito was shunned from the league in 2014 after being named as the prime instigator in the Dolphins' bullying scandal that rocked the end of the 2013 season. Incognito joined the Dolphins in 2010 as a free agent, playing 55 games in three-and-a-half years with the team, only missing one non-BullyGate related game in that time. He earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2012 with Miami. Through seven games with the Bills this year(a team for whom Incognito had a brief stint in 2009), the guard is playing at an incredible level, a level of play that, according to Pro Football Focus' grading scale, ranks him as the third best guard in the league and the top left guard. Incognito is having a great year for Buffalo.
Carpenter went undrafted in the 2008 draft, then signed with the Dolphins, where he beat out Jay Feely for the starting kicker position. Carpenter then held the position for five years with Miami, converting on 82-percent of his field goals and 99-percent of his extra points, finishing his time in South Florida fifth on the team's all-time scoring list. Carpenter lost his job to rookie Caleb Sturgis in 2013, spending brief training camp stints with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets that year before signing with the Bills. This season, Carpenter is 8-for-10 on field goals with a long of 51-yards, and is 18-for-19 on extra points.
Hogan's tenure with the Dolphins spanned the end of the 2011 season when he signed to the team's practice squad, through to two weeks into the 2012 season, when he was released off the practice squad. He, however, will always be remembered for his appearances on HBO's Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins in 2012, where running back Reggie Bush dubbed the receiver "7-11," because he was always open. About a month after being released from the Dolphins' practice squad, Hogan joined the Bills' practice squad, eventually working his way onto the active roster by the end of the 2012 season. He played every game in 2013 and 2014 for Buffalo, and has appeared in all seven games thus far this year. His 2015 stats have him with 20 receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns.