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Rex Ryan kicks off Patriots Week by saying he doesn't know name of New England's running back

Rex Ryan was understandably feeling good Monday afternoon.

Coming off a 27-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills' coach was in fine form for his early afternoon press conference. Of course, the topic of Buffalo's Week Two opponent – the rival New England Patriots – came up, and Ryan didn't disappoint.

Asked how the Patriots continually find a way to get solid play from their unheralded running backs – Dion Lewis being the latest example – Ryan said "it's the kid that's playing quarterback that will make it a lot easier to be a running back."

"I don't care, put anybody back there," Ryan said to Sal Maiorana of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. "You'd do good there. They're decent backs in their own right, but I don't think we're going to focus on that kid. I can't even tell you the kid's name. You're going to focus on the guy throwing the ball."

This was pure, uncut Rex. The good stuff.

On Amherst native Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots' All-Pro tight end: "I think we'll stand by our record against him. He's tough, there's no question. He's huge. He's a hell of an actor."

Ryan and Gronkowski appeared together in the "Madden: The Movie" trailer that debuted last month.

"He is a big, huge dude though," Ryan said of Gronk. "He moves good. ... I don’t care if it is short, long he has great body control. He is just a huge target, and he can run a lot better than I think people know"

Gronkowski had 39 catches for 461 yards and five touchdowns in eight games against the Jets when Ryan was in New York. Against his hometown team, he has 37 catches for 543 yards and nine touchdowns in seven games.


Moving across the state hasn't changed Patriots Week for Ryan.

"They are kind of the hunted in my eyes because they are the world champions," he said. "They obviously won our division every single year that I have been here. Obviously they are ones you want to knock off. That probably hasn’t changed a whole lot."

As for whether it's a "hard week" in terms of preparation, Ryan said "no, it's a tough Sunday because of their skill. Obviously they have a great coach, a Hall of Fame coach, and you got a Hall of Fame quarterback. That's probably what makes it more difficult than anything else. But I don’t think we are going to worry about getting our team ready to play.

"It's not like we're just now preparing for them. We've been preparing for these guys for a long time. Shoot, I’ll go home early. The plan is ready, that plan has been ready for a long time."

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