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Patriots defense has big differences

Bill Belichick's leaner, more athletic front seven makes good first impression

Updated: August 11, 2012, 1:48 AM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick reviewed his team's 7-6 preseason-opening win over the New Orleans Saints, he didn't have to look hard for encouraging signs.

He liked the way the players competed and saw many of the techniques and fundamentals carry over from the practice field to the game. The rushing attack produced solid results. The defense held its ground. And the coverage teams played well.

All in all, not a bad start, even if ...

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