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Connections with Patriots & Jets

The Jets and Patriots are no strangers, as their twice-annual tussles are among the most anticipated AFC East games each season. They'll square off for the first of two meetings Sunday, with the Jets traveling to Foxborough for a Week 7 afternoon showdown.

A few ties exist between the Jets organization and the Patriots/New England area, which are highlighted below.

FULLBACK LEX HILLIARD

Hilliard was briefly a member of the Patriots earlier this season, signed on Sept. 4 and subsequently released after playing in the team's first two regular season games, recording 1 rush for 2 yards. He was signed by the Jets on Oct. 2, but has not yet recorded a carry or a catch.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN MIKE DEVITO

Devito, in his sixth season with the Jets, attended Nauset Regional High School in North Eastham, Mass, before playing collegiately at the University of Maine. He was a standout player at both stops, and entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent. He's developed into a steady member of the Jets' defensive front.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN VLADIMIR DUCASSE

After graduating from Stamford (Conn.) High School, Ducasse enrolled at UMass, where he became a star offensive lineman and an Associated Press All-American. Ducasse drew the attention of scouts and talent evaluators prior to the 2010 draft, and was picked by the Jets with the 61st overall selection that year. His pro career has started off slower than expected, as he's struggled to find a spot along the Jets' starting offensive line.

GENERAL MANAGER MIKE TANNENBAUM

Tannenbaum's connections are two-fold, as not only did he grow up in Needham, Mass., and attend UMass, but he was also hired to the personnel staff of the Cleveland Browns in 1991, during the tenure of Bill Belichick as their head coach. Tannenbaum's work then was related to salary-cap management, and he eventually rose through the ranks with the Jets, ascending to his current post of general manager in 2006.