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Friday, December 3, 2010
Patriots focus on Jets' special teams

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Veteran linebacker Tracy White, who leads the Patriots with 13 special teams tackles, said that Monday's game against the Jets is one of the biggest challenges of the year from a special teams perspective.

"They are very aggressive and very smart. They kind of remind me of us a little bit, it's a big part of their game," he said. "They are very dangerous, one of the best special teams I've seen in the league this year."

White listed three of the key players that make the Jets' special teams go:

1. Brad Smith -- Fifth-year receiver averages 29.2 yards per kickoff return and has an 89-yard return for a TD.

2. Eric Smith -- Fifth-year safety has 13 special teams tackles and blocked a punt against Miami on Sept. 27.

3. James Ihedigbo -- Former UMass safety is second on the club with 22 special teams tackles.

As for the Patriots' special teams performance, White said areas that need to be tightened up include kickoff return, kickoff coverage and punt protection.

"It's mainly being consistent and players staying disciplined," he said.