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Sports

November 15, 2012

Back at work, Patriots prepare for rookie QB Luck

(Continued)

The Bills had a chance to win, but Fitzpatrick threw an interception into the end zone with 23 seconds left when rookie wide receiver T.J. Graham ran the wrong route.

“Just like every week,” Gregory said, “you want to get pressure on the quarterback.”

The two Patriots who have done the best job of that are defensive ends Chandler Jones, with six sacks, and Rob Ninkovich, with five. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork sometimes occupies two blockers, giving the ends more space to operate.

“Their front four is incredibly stout. Wilfork is one of the best nose tackles-interior guys in the league,” Luck said. “They have very good edge rushers on the sides. They do get to the quarterback and even if it’s not a sack, they sort of harass, force a quarterback out of the pocket. So, that’ll be a focus all week.”

If Luck has plenty of time to throw, the onus will be on the linebackers and defensive backs to keep him from completing passes.

“You want to disguise your coverages,” Gregory said. “That doesn’t change really too much with who you’re playing. That’s pretty much a staple of what you want to do defensively.”

The Patriots will throw a wild card into the mix with newly acquired cornerback Aqib Talib. He completed his suspension when the Patriots played the Bills after he was traded from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had to sit out four games without pay for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances. He said when he was suspended that he took an Adderall pill without a prescription “around the beginning of training camp.”

Talib did not talk with reporters after practice. He’s expected to do that today. Teammates responded briefly to questions about the former first-round draft choice.

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