FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Defensive end Shaun Ellis spent the first 11 years of his career with the Jets, so he’s no stranger to the Patriots-Jets rivalry. Now in his first season with the Patriots, this is his first time seeing it from the opposite side.
Yes, he admits, it will be strange Sunday when he looks across the field and sees all that green and white.
At the same time, he needs no better example than Richard Seymour’s penalty-filled performance Sunday as an example of what can go wrong if he thinks about that aspect of the matchup too much.
“It’s here. Obviously it’s in the back of my mind,” Ellis said, when asked how much he’s thought about facing his former team. “I just have to go out, play what the defense calls for, and not try to get out of my element. Just play my game.”
That’s something Seymour, the former Patriot, didn’t do Sunday for the Raiders. He had two costly penalties (unnecessary roughness, facemask) on the Patriots’ first drive, and later was penalized for being offsides.
As for this week, Ellis said there will be “no conversations” with former teammates. He plans to catch up with them after the game.
From a football standpoint, Ellis said of the Jets, “From what we’ve seen in the past, it will definitely be a change-up week for them [against] us. It will be one of those things where they want to make it a physical game. I’ve been on that side, I know how they think, so it’s going to be one of the ones where they come back and do the things that they do well.”
Ellis figures that means a return to "ground and pound."
"Obviously it hasn’t been working too well for them [passing]," he said. "I’m pretty sure Rex said ‘we’re going to run the ball.’ That’s what they do best."