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Patriots must stay aware of Dustin Keller

1/12/2011

When it comes to the New York Jets' passing game, tight end Dustin Keller seems like a long-forgotten weapon.

ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi remembers.

Keller hasn't caught a touchdown pass since Week 4, but Bruschi considers him a priority for the New England Patriots' defense to shut down in Sunday's playoff game at Gillette Stadium.

Keller got off to a scalding start. A quarter of the way into the season, he was on pace for 76 catches, 1,016 yards and 20 touchdowns.

In the Jets' 28-14 victory over the Patriots, Keller had seven catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

"The second time they played, that 42-point [Patriots] victory, Keller was targeted four times, only three receptions, 27 yards," Bruschi said. "You can talk about Santonio Holmes all you want, but Mark Sanchez's favorite guy, his go-to guy is Keller over the middle of the field. Make Sanchez throw outside of the numbers."

As for the Jets' defense, Bruschi doesn't believe Rex Ryan's no-blitz approach to Saturday's first-round victory over the Indianapolis Colts will carry over to Sunday.

"He's a Ryan," Bruschi said. "Rob Ryan, Buddy Ryan, Rex Ryan ... they all bring the house. They will have that at times during the game."