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Look important for Patriots vs. Manning

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  November 18, 2010 02:32 PM

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FOXBOROUGH – One of the constant themes this week when you listen to Patriots players is how they feel it will be important to disguise their defensive looks against quarterback Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

If Manning thinks the Patriots are in one coverage based on their pre-snap look but in actuality they cover Colts receivers in a different manner, the advantage goes to the Patriots.

Conversely, if Manning can identify the Patriots’ coverage and/or if they will be blitzing from a certain area, he know where to go with the ball.

“You always have to be careful what you show him because he can definitely pull out a coverage and pick you apart if he sees a weakness so you really have to do a good job,” said linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.

He said the Patriots have devoted a little more time than normal in practice to disguising their coverages.

“Yeah, this is a week where you know they’re a passing team so coverage is key and not letting them know what we’re doing is key too,” Banta-Cain said. “It’s something we always work on no matter who we’re playing so this week we definitely have to be doing a good job of it.”

Of course, Manning has seen just about everything so it will be difficult to trip him up.

“His pre-snap reads are amazing,” linebacker Jerod Mayo said. “He pretty much knows what’s going on before he even snaps the ball. So that’s the tough part.

“(The key is) just showing the same look. We have to be good in our disguise and things like that and try to trick them basically. He’s a great quarterback, has a great arm and can make all the throws….It’s very difficult. He studies a lot of film, he’s a great quarterback…we have to try. You have to try.”

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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