Patriots prepare for Jets defense without Revis

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Patriots prepare for Jets defense without Revis

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will tell you that the New York Jets defense looks no different.

But without cornerback Darrelle Revis, who has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season, Rex Ryan's defense clearly isn't the same.

Still, the Patriots believe it will pose a challenge on Sunday.

"It's a challenge every week," said Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch on Wednesday. "I think this is the next best challenge for us. Everything is based off of what we do. Our biggest thing is, we can't be focused on our opponents. We've got to worry about what the Patriots are doing.

"We all enjoy the competition, you know what I'm saying? It's sad that he's down," added Branch. "We never hope for bad for anyone, especially in this game that we're playing. But I'm pretty sure he'll bounce back. He'll be ok. But we always look forward to the competition."

Patriots receiver Brandon Lloyd isn't as familiar with the Jets as some of his teammates who have more extensive experience in the AFC East. But he knows Revis is out so his attention this week is on other members of the Jets secondary.

"I don't know," Lloyd said. "I haven't got that far in film study yet. I think that right now, we're just focusing on the players that are playing this week."

One of the Jets' most important cogs on defense is cornerback Antonio Cromartie. He leads New York with three interceptions, and will most likely be covering Lloyd.

"He's talented," said Lloyd. "He's got a lot of talent, a lot of speed, and he plays well."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady acknowledged the difference in New York's personnel on defense, but also admitted that Cromartie's presence still makes the Jets dangerous.

"He's a great player, one of the best that I've ever gone against," said Brady of Revis on Wednesday. "At the same time I think they've moved on from that situation and played really well last week against Indianapolis without him. They still have a very good defense. It's built around their team and their scheme and they have very good players, big powerful guys that run well and are very distinctive.

"They have a lot of veteran players at safety and linebacker. Cromartie is a heck of a player in his own right, and he's had a great season, so he's really assumed the role of taking the matches to the opponent's number one receiver, or perceived number one receiver. They seem like they're still doing what they've always done and doing very well."

Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

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Ohio State LB on Belichick: 'When you first meet him, you're scared'

Even for some of the nation's top athletes, confident 20-somethings with the rest of their (perhaps very lucrative) lives ahead of them, there's a feeling you just can't shake when Bill Belichick walks into the room. 

"When you first meet him, you're scared," said Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan, per WBZ. "He's quizzing you. It's like a little test. But after you get done with the test, the quiz or whatever, drawing up the defense, it's pretty cool. They're real down to earth people. Really cool."

Belichick was spotted at Ohio State's pro day getting a closer look at McMillan and his teammates on Thursday. He then headed off to Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Wolverines showcase Friday.

During various scouting trips across the country, the Patriots appear to be showing significant interest in the incoming class of linebackers. Belichick spent some extra time with Vanderbilt's Zach Cunningham -- who's projected to be a first-rounder -- at his pro day. The team reportedly scheduled a meeting with a speedy linebacker from Cincinnati. And Matt Patricia caught up with Notre Dame linebacker James Onwualu once his workouts finished up on Thursday. 

As for McMillan, the 6-2, 240-pounder was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some question as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level.

PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

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PODCAST: Dan Wetzel on the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial

Tom E. Curran has Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports as a guest to discuss the Aaron Hernandez double homicide trial. Wetzel has been in the courtroom, and wrote this piece about the day Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley testified in court. 

After speaking with Wetzel, Curran has Tim Rohan of MMQB.com on to discuss his day with ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

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