Rex Ryan: 'Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork vital for New England Patriots'

Ryan: 'Brady, Wilfork vital for Patriots'
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New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan believes that the New England Patriots are still a strong team, despite missing several players through injury.

Rex Ryan has said that the New England Patriots will remain a strong team as long as they have Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork in the side.

The AFC East champions are likely to still be without tight end Rob Gronkowski for their game against the New York Jets this week, while running back Shane Vereen needs surgery to repair his dislocated wrist.

The Jets head coach told reporters: "Obviously, we've got to defend against them. Does it make a difference if you don't have Gronkowski or somebody? Of course. But it's a team game. As long as they have Tom Brady back there and [head coach Bill] Belichick on the sideline and big Vince [Wilfork] in the middle of their defense, they're probably pretty stout.

"Again, we're going up there, we're excited to play them. Obviously, it's a short week. You're going against a Hall of Fame quarterback. We're going up there and putting everything we've got out there. So we'll see what happens.

"They're pretty darn good. But yeah, you'll definitely look at some different things. Did they heavy it up? They put the big tackle in at tight end, they brought in another tight end in, a lot of different things you can anticipate, but you have to be ready for everything with him. Certainly, we think we'll be ready."

The two sides play at the Gillette Stadium on Thursday night.

New England Patriots' Tom Brady in action on August 16, 2013
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