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Darrelle Revis: Through three games, Patriots ‘doing great’ at limiting deep balls 09.25.14 at 3:48 pm ET
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Through three games, Darrelle Revis and the New England secondary have done well to limit deep balls. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Through three games, Darrelle Revis and the New England secondary have done well to limit deep balls. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Last week against the Raiders, some questioned the sight of Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis playing off some of Oakland’s quicker receivers, particularly James Jones, Denarius Thomas and Rod Streater. That approach may have played a role in the fact that Revis yielding five catches for 63 yards in what appeared to be man coverage.

Revis was asked Thursday after practice about giving those receivers some sort of cushion.

“Every week is a different strategy and different game plan,” he said. “Oakland did a great job of taking care of the ball as well — [David] Carr did. Every week is a different emphasis. As a secondary as a whole, deep balls will kill you. They kill any defense. Double moves in the high red area usually [means] teams go for the end zone and try and take a chance. We’ve been doing great so far, and we just have to continue to stay consistent in that area.

“[But] deep balls will kill you. Just overall. It can be a long day for a secondary, and it’ll be a longer day Monday coming in and the coaches getting after you about it,” he added. “Like I said, we’ve been doing a great job all around the board. We and the safeties have been doing a great job and alerting it in certain situations and key moments and guys have been paying attention, and we’ve been taking care of that.”

To this point in the season, the Patriots are tied for second in the league (six) when it comes to allowing the fewest pass plays of 20-plus yards. And they’re tied for the top spot when it comes to yielding the most pass plays of 40-plus yards (zero). That stands in sharp contrast to the last few seasons, where the New England secondary was usually at or near the top of the league when it came to giving up deep balls, particularly pass plays of 20 yards or more.

2013: 55 20-plus (11th), 9 40-plus (15th)
2012: 74 20-plus (1st), 8 40-plus (14th)
2011: 79 20-plus (1st), 9 40-plus (17th)
2010: 55 20-plus (7th), 4 40-plus (30th)

To this point in the season, a less aggressive approach in the secondary has yielded greater success when it comes to defending the deep ball. It’s a change from the system Revis learned as a younger player with Rex Ryan and the Jets.

“It’s a different system. It’s a totally different system,” he said when asked to stack one against the other. “Rex is more aggressive. We switch it up here. We plan man sometimes, and sometimes, we switch it up and do different things. It’s just two different things.”

Of course, you always have to bring some level of aggression to the cornerback position.
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Read More: Darrelle Revis, Rex Ryan,
Tom Brady isn’t afraid of (preseason) blitzes: ‘You figure out how to solve the problem’ 08.21.14 at 6:08 pm ET
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Tom Brady isn't afraid of a little preseason pressure from defenses as was case against Philadelphia in Week 2. (Getty Images)

Tom Brady isn’t afraid of a little preseason pressure from defenses as was case against Philadelphia in Week 2. (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — As far as Tom Brady is concerned, go ahead and bring the heat, even in the preseason.

And certainly, with the Carolina Panthers coming to town Friday, the opponent certainly has the wherewithal to execute a blitz or two.

But usually, in the preseason, defensive coordinators like to hold off on showing too much on film when it comes to exotic or advanced defensive approaches. And offensive coordinators, similarly, do the same.

However, usual and customary are not two words commonly used to describe Rex Ryan. The Jets coach watched last Saturday as his defense was torched by Andy Dalton for 144 yards on 8-for-8 passing and a touchdown. His response? Start blitzing the Bengals second and third stringers along the offensive line.

Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander took some offense.

But if the Panthers want to do the same from the start against Tom Brady, the Patriots quarterback says he’d have no problem with it, since there is no “wrong” defense to play, even in the third preseason game.

“They can blitz, they can do whatever they want to do,” Brady said. “Every defense is right. Like every call, there is risk and reward to everything. If they’€™re going to blitz, then you’€™ve got to figure out a way to beat the blitz. If you don’€™t fix the blitz, they’€™re just going to keep running them. It’€™s the same thing on offense.”

Then Brady got to the heart of the matter and revealed what competition is all about, even in games that don’t count.

“If you see a weakness, you’€™re just going to keep going to it, and that’€™s what separates pro-caliber players from guys who aren’€™t. There are guys who can fix problems and know that this is what a team is trying to do, and then you figure out how to solve the problem, and then they’€™ve got to work on something else. But if you know there are weaknesses, that’€™s what you go after. That’€™s what pro football is all about.

“We’€™ve got two games left, and they’€™re both very important for our season, for our preparation leading up to the opener. Coach told us we’€™re going to get a lot of work, and what that means I don’€™t know. I don’€™t think anyone ever knows with him. But we’€™ll be prepared and ready to go for 60 minutes, and hopefully it’€™s a good 60 minutes. We’€™ve had a couple doozies in the third preseason game lately, and it’€™d be nice to have a good one.”

Brady also took some time to talk about the other Ohio team, which named its starting quarterback this week, old friend and teammate Brian Hoyer, Brady’s back-up between 2009 and 2011. Hoyer was chosen as the Browns starting QB over Johnny Manziel this week by Cleveland coach Mike Pettine.

“I love Brian. He’€™s just such a great guy, person and friend. We’€™ve always kept in touch,” Brady said. “I’€™m proud of him. He’€™s fought through some tough circumstances over the years, being released here, going to Arizona, getting a little bit of an opportunity there, and then really taking advantage of his opportunity in Cleveland. It’€™s great for him, and he’€™s a great player, so I’€™m very happy for him.”

Read More: 2014 training camp, Andy Dalton, blitz, Brian Hoyer
Calvin Pace on Jets D: ‘We’re the best’ 07.28.14 at 5:48 pm ET
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Leave it to the Jets to make a Patriots off-day still worth paying attention to.

Jets linebacker Calvin Pace says his team’s defense is not only improved for 2014, but he insists it’s the best defense in football, not the defending champion Seahawks, not the vastly improved Patriots or Broncos or the young and hungry Bengals. The Jets.

“€œ[Compared to] the rest of the defenses in the NFL? S—€”, man, we’€™re the best,” Pace told the New York Daily News. “You ask anybody around the league, we’€™re not the team you want to see coming in, even in a down year.”

Why would Pace make such a statement? He believes the basis of such confidence lies in his head coach Rex Ryan.

“There’€™s a certain type of aggression when we come [play you]. You know we’€™re going to come with a lot of stuff and teams don’€™t want to see that,” he said. “They want to see a vanilla defense, that just lines up and you know where they’€™re going to be. I’€™ll take these guys and Rex and this system any day.”

Pace is hardly the first Jet to pop off this summer. After all he’s learning from the best. Ryan has already labeled David Harris the most underrated linebacker in the NFL and Ryan describing himself as ‘€œa great coach” while corner Dee Milliner says he’s the best corner in the NFL.

Read More: Calvin Pace, New York Jets, nfl, Rex Ryan
Jets coach Rex Ryan: Patriots ‘need to worry about us’ 07.20.14 at 11:16 am ET
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Sounds like Rex Ryan is back to being old Rex again.

After sounding chastened the last few years, in a series of interviews Saturday, the Jets coach sounded off about the state of the NFL, his own legacy, and where the Jets stand in relation to the Patriots.

“Somebody asked me if we focus on New England. Bull[expletive],” Ryan told the New York Post. “We’re focused on us. We’re focused on us and how are we going to be better. I have to be honest, I don’t worry about them. They need to worry about us. I think that’s really where we’re at now.”

Ryan didn’t make any Super Bowl predictions, but still sounded confident in his abilities as a head coach.

“Do I think that I’m a great coach? I absolutely know I’m a great coach,” Ryan told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “But it’s not just about me. What makes a great coach is the people that surround you, the people that are with you every day.”

Ryan, who has a 46-40 career record as a head coach and has seen his team fall short of the postseason the last three years, will lead the Jets against the Patriots twice this season — Oct. 16 in Foxboro and Dec. 21 in North Jersey.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Rex Ryan: Idea that Patriots got copy of Jets playbook ‘ridiculous’ 06.19.14 at 4:39 pm ET
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Rex Ryan said Thursday the idea that the Patriots had gotten their hands on a Jets playbook was “ridiculous.”

The Jets coach was responding to a story in Monday Morning Quarterback where former New York assistant Mike Pettine said that during Wes Welker‘s 2012 wedding, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had bragged to former Jets assistant Mike Smith — Welker’s college roommate — that New England “may or may not have had possession of a couple Jets defensive playbooks.”

That charge didn’t sit with with Ryan.

“No. 1, I think it’s disrespectful to New England to sit back and say that they did this,” the Jets coach said. “‘Because I can tell you, every single game that we’ve ever had with New England has been decided on the field. Nobody’s had a competitive advantage. And that’s a fact. So all that type of stuff, is ridiculous.”

Pettine said that Ryan — who “would give [Jets playbooks] out like candy,” according to Pettine — gave one to Alabama coach Nick Saban, a close friend of Belichick. Pettine told Ryan, “Don’t you know Saban and Bill are pretty good friends? I have a feeling it’s going to end up in New England.’”

However, Ryan wasn’t having any of it on Thursday.

“Every single game’s different. So when you go into my room … you’ll see every one of those playbooks. And if you flip [through] them, they’re a lot different each week. And it’s always gameplan-specific. So, to me, it’s ridiculous.

“But it sounds like everybody needs to talk to Pettine because apparently he’s got all the information,” he added.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Mike Pettine, Mike Smith, Rex Ryan, Tom Brady
LB Quentin Groves visits Patriots, Rex Ryan backs Calvin Pryor and more 06.11.14 at 8:57 pm ET
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Four football notes from a relatively quiet day with the Patriots:

1. Former Browns pass rusher Quentin Groves visited the Patriots on Wednesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. The seven-year veteran, who was part of a surprise cut by Cleveland coach Mike Pettine late last week, had two sacks and five tackles in just 53 snaps last year with the Browns. (The 6-foot-3, 265-pound linebacker was limited to just five games in 2013 because of an ankle injury.) The Auburn product has played for four teams in his seven seasons in the league, and had his best stint with the Cardinals in 2012 when he had 46 tackles and four sacks in 16 games with Arizona.

2. Less than a week after Jets rookie Calvin Pryor acknowledged he’s well aware of who he’s not supposed to like when it comes to the rest of the NFL, New York coach Rex Ryan said he has no problem with Pryor’s statement. “I like it,” Ryan said in a Wednesday press conference. “He knows who the enemy is.” Last week, New York’s first-round pick out of Louisville was asked if he knew he was supposed to hate Tom Brady and the Patriots. Pryor responded in the affirmative: “Yeah, man. We don’€™t like Tom [Brady] at all. When I first came here, that was one of the first things I heard about: We hate the Patriots, and we hate the Giants,” he said. “That’€™s what everybody was telling me. We hate those guys, and I look forward to playing them this season.”

3. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was asked by Carolina media about the comments from wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who said last week that his new team (the Patriots) works “a little harder” than his old team (Carolina). “That’€™s Brandon,”€ said Newton, who told reporters he’€™s happy for LaFell and his new three-year, $9 million contract with the Patriots. “€œIf that’€™s how he feels, that’€™s how he feels. … I will always say I beg to differ. But that’€™s just me talking. … I feel as if the Carolina Panther way is we don’€™t do too much talking. We have to prove it.”

4. In the wake of our Sunday notes column where we noticed the fluctuations in the average age of NFL GMs in recent years, we found the average ages of MLB GMs over the last decade. By way of comparison, the average age in the NFL has gone from 52.8 (2004), 49.4 (2009) and 50.4 (2014). In the majors, it is lower, but not by much — the average age of MLB GMs has gone from 46.2 (2004) to 46.5 (2009) to 50.2 (2014).

Read More: Brandon LaFell, Calvin Pryor, Cam Newton, Quentin Groves
Checking in with rest of AFC East at league meetings 03.26.14 at 6:00 am ET
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ORLANDO — While Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft and the Patriots have been making news this week at the NFL annual meetings in Central Florida, the rest of the AFC East was involved in the action as well. Here’€™s a look at some of the news from New England’€™s divisional foes over the last few days.

Jets – It wasn’€™t the old-school bravado we’€™ve come to know from coach Rex Ryan, but it was still a fairly brash statement for a team that hasn’€™t finished better than .500 since 2010.

“€œWatch out for the Jets, man,”€ Ryan said at Tuesday’€™s AFC coaches breakfast. “I’€™m just telling you.”

Ryan and the Jets have made a few moves to this point in the offseason, picking up wide receiver Eric Decker and swapping out Mark Sanchez for Mike Vick at quarterback. (Ryan indicated Tuesday that Geno Smith will remain the starter.) They’ve made some moves that give them some financial flexibility, which means they could be in on the race for DeSean Jackson if the receiver can be pried loose from Philly.

However, beyond an impressive front seven, the Jets still have questions at corner (Ryan has lamented the situation in the secondary), and despite the addition of Decker, still need to add offensive oomph this offseason. Look for them to target skill position players and defensive backs in the draft.

And look for Rex to stay Rex.

“€œMy expectations have never changed: I want to win and I expect to win,”€ Ryan said. “œI’€™ll say this: It’€™s time to deliver. It’€™s time to deliver for this community, for New York, for this entire area. We got to step up and deliver. I’€™m not running from it. Let’€™s put it that way — I expect a lot out of this football team.

“Nobody’€™s really talking about us, and that’€™s fine and dandy. They’€™re going to.”
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Read More: 2014 nfl annual meetings, Branden Albert, Brandon Spikes, Brent Grimes
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