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News Blitz 6/6: Patriots defense appears ahead of the offense thus far

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Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports that Stevan Ridley appeared 'OK' at yesterday's PLAY 60 event in Dorchester after suffering an apparent hamstring injury at Tuesday's OTA.  The Patriots running back -- who amassed 1,263 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns last season -- declined to speak about the injury.

"Also in attendance was receiver Danny Amendola, wearing his new Patriots jersey for the first time since signing with the team in March," adds Volin. "Amendola said his work with quarterback Tom Brady has "been going really well.""

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald writes that the Patriots defense is looking sharper than the offense at this point in the offseason -- which is a stark contrast from recent years.

"It's not a complete one-sided affair, of course. Brady still ran through streaks of flawlessness during the organized team activities, but the inconsistency has been noticeable," writes Howe. "It's also completely understandable, considering the Patriots' top seven reception leaders from 2012 are either wearing different uniforms, stuck in free agency or rehabbing from injuries."

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com believes that with the offseason changes at wide receiver, perhaps the Patriots will keep familiar targets like Deion Branch and Donte' Stallworth on "speed dial." Both players are currently free agents.

"Another position that could be primed for an addition, as Edelman, Boyce and Harrison have not participated in the on-field portion of OTAs due to injury," adds Reiss.

Kirk Minihane of WEEI.com writes that Bill Belichick is in the Vince Lombardi conversation when it comes to ranking the NFL's all-time best coaches. Belichick, who recently came in at No. 7 on ESPN's countdown of the 20 Greatest Coaches in NFL History, is ranked No. 2 all-time by Minihane.

"You have to factor in Cleveland, sure, but [Paul] Brown was 55-56-1 in eight seasons with the Bengals, which also made it a little easier to move him up to second," writes Minihane. "And 11-5 with Matt Cassel goes a long way in wiping out Cleveland. Also this: When the Patriots beat the Rams Tom Brady wasn't Tom Brady. Belichick beat an top five all-time offense with (essentially) a rookie quarterback who did nothing for 58 minutes. And the two Super Bowls with the Giants is another tie-breaker over Brown and Gibbs."

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com calls Patriots DE Chandler Jones one of his breakout players for 2013.

"I am always on the lookout for the next great pass rusher and Jones might be it. He flashed it at times last year as a rookie, but injuries slowed him late in the season. If he can stay healthy, he has a chance for 12-14 sacks," writes Prisco.

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