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Pats Prep

The New England Patriots' defense will pose a major preparation challenge for the Bills -- as always. But it's a little different this year.

The Patriots have played the 4-3 defense about 75 percent of the time through the first two preseason games. The addition of defensive end Derrick Burgess from Oakland seems to have swung the pendulum toward the four-man line a bit more. The Pats traditionally have been a 3-4 team under coach Bill Belichick but they have always flexed to a little bit of 4-3. They have shown a willingness to switch from 4-3 to 3-4 even play to play. (Most 3-4 teams effectively use a four man line some of the time on obvious passing situations.)

So the Bills will have to be ready for both fronts on Sept. 14.

---Mark Gaughan

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