- Associated Press - Saturday, December 4, 2010

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Darrelle Revis thought all of the questions about Randy Moss were over.


The usual routine during the week leading up to every matchup between the New York Jets and New England Patriots the past few years included Revis talking about going one-on-one against one of his biggest rivals. With Moss long gone, Revis couldn’t understand why he was the topic of discussion again.

“There’s no need to talk about Randy Moss,” Revis said. “He plays with the Titans.”

That’s true, but not having Moss around certainly appears to change things, as far as who Revis will cover Monday night and how the Patriots‘ offense has changed.

“I think the game plan specifically is that Darrelle will not be on Randy Moss, unless he goes to Tennessee,” coach Rex Ryan quipped. “We are not saying who he is on or is not on.”

That would be a competitive advantage, of course. But, surely there has to be a different approach since the teams last met in Week 2. Moss has been since traded to Minnesota, cut and claimed off waivers by Tennessee.

“They still have plenty of weapons even without Randy, and they’re definitely distributing the ball well,” cornerback Antonio Cromartie said. “So really nothing has changed, except they have more guys to go to.”

Wes Welker has always been a regular target for Tom Brady, even when Moss was around. He has a team-leading 65 catches for 592 yards and six TDs, and is a matchup headache by taking short passes in the slot and turning them into big gains.

“The guy makes up his own routes as he goes along, and I mean that in a good way,” Revis said. “He took the role of slot receivers to another level in football. This guy is exceptional. He’s the best, to me.”

Brady was recently reunited with Deion Branch, a former favorite receiver and Super Bowl MVP. Then, there’s also rookie tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, along with wide receiver Brandon Tate and versatile running back Danny Woodhead, a former Jet.

“Without Randy, they are finding their tight ends more and feeding them more and trying to get the ball in the middle of the field,” Revis said. “They’re using Wes the same way _ wouldn’t you, with all the balls he gets thrown to him? They’re also using Branch a little more. … Brady gets everyone involved.”

And, it appears the offense hasn’t missed a beat without Moss, racking up 115 points in their past three games.

“Their system is the same and when you have a quarterback like Tom Brady, you don’t get any better than that,” Revis said. “Just like with Randy Moss, they fit guys right in and they keep it rolling.”

So, does Revis shadow Welker or does he follow Branch around the field, with Cromartie getting the other? Or, maybe Revis gets paired up with whichever tight end is on the field.

“I’ve just got to do what the coaches tell me to do, which is covering Tom Brady in the wildcat offense,” a smiling Revis said. “That’s my main assignment.”

The defense’s task got a bit tougher Friday when safety Jim Leonhard, who calls the signals in the secondary, broke his right leg and might be sidelined the rest of the season. Veteran Eric Smith will replace Leonhard, but that could change the game plan even more.

“I think we kind of have to maybe change our focus back there a little bit,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said, “and be a little bit more defined in some of the things we do.”

Branch already has 33 receptions for 433 yards and three touchdowns in seven games since being acquired from Seattle.

“The guy’s always been a great receiver,” Revis said, “and bringing him back was good for them.”

Revis was injured in the last meeting, straining his left hamstring on a touchdown catch by Moss before halftime. He missed two more games, but is healthy and been impressive lately in shutting down the likes of Greg Jennings, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson and Terrell Owens.

“I can’t say how he feels, but I think, looking at him on film and everything, he looks good,” Branch said. “He’s moving pretty good. The guy is a problem.”

Hernandez has 36 receptions for 462 yards and three TDs, while Gronkowski has caught 25 passes for 310 yards and six scores.

“They’ve got those big guys, maybe not as fast as Randy, but like those tight ends they have,” Cromartie said, “they are big and can get down the field and they are dangerous.”

The Jets have been particularly vulnerable against tight ends this season; in fact, Hernandez had six catches and 101 yards in Week 2. So, the game plan might include mixing coverages by having Cromartie, Smith and safety Brodney Pool stick on the tight ends. Either way, the Jets know they’ve still got their hands full.

“We’re preparing the same as we do every week,” Cromartie said. “Randy Moss or no.”

Notes: Ryan said he sees “sarcasm” in the Patriots‘ recent praise of the Jets that they’re a “great” team. “I just sense it because they all have the same comment, that we’ll just say this and this,” Ryan said. “We’re coming. We’ll show up and see what happens.” … Special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff said LB Jason Taylor asked him Friday to be a part of the punt return team, as he was when the two were with the Miami Dolphins several years ago. … Westhoff said it was his idea to bring in Kris Brown for a workout to push Nick Folk, but hasn’t lost confidence in Folk.



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