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Cornerback won't bite on the hype

FOXBOROUGH -- No matter how much hype the Patriots' defense gets before it plays a regular-season game, cornerback Ty Law isn't biting.

He doesn't buy the notion that the Philadelphia Eagles are not going to be an elite team based on their performance in a loss to the Patriots Friday night, and it means little to him that New England is 3-0 in the exhibition season. Nine years into the league, Law knows better. While some in the media upgrade predictions for the team's win total, Law shakes his head.

"I don't fall for that hype," said Law. "Once the season starts, you'll be seeing the real Brian Dawkins and Troy Vincent. You'll be seeing Donovan McNabb play a whole lot better. In some of those plays, if it was the regular season, he'd be running. We're not naive about that stuff, believe me."

So when asked whether this defense has the potential to be the best in his tenure, he said, "I can't say that right now. We've got a good foundation. This unit hasn't been to any Super Bowls yet. I've been on two units that went to the Super Bowl, and one of them won it. Until you win a championship, everything else is just talk."

He does believe there's the potential for improvement over last season, and thinks newly acquired nose tackle Ted Washington will make a difference up front, tying up blockers.

"We had playmakers last year, but we just didn't make enough plays to make it to the postseason," said Law. "I think we have the same capabilities. I'm going to be consistent and we have young guys who are like ball magnets. Lawyer [Milloy] and Rodney [Harrison] are going to be the knockout guys. Hopefully we can put up more sacks than we have. It's probably gonna put a little more pressure on [the defensive backs] in putting some of us in man-to-man situations."

Law lauded New England's fast but small receivers, saying, "I think we have one of the most underrated [group of] receivers in the league. I know as a corner, those are the types of guys I hate to chase around all the time."

The veteran also issues a "not so fast" when it comes to New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington (left wrist) being out indefinitely, giving the Patriots a big advantage on the surface.

"You say it's an advantage, but Vinny Testaverde is behind him," said Law. "Look what happened here when Drew Bledsoe went down; we had Tom Brady. You want to play against the best. I don't want to go out and beat up on the fourth receiver. I expect to do that. I want to go up against the best guy. But with Vinny, you're not taking a step back. He's beaten up on us before."

Raves for Klemm While lineman Kenyatta Jones appears to be getting closer to getting back on the field after double knee surgery, right tackle Adrian Klemm drew good reviews from coach Bill Belichick. "I thought Adrian had a solid effort against Philadelphia," he said. "I thought all of our tackles did a really good job in that game, Tom Ashworth, Matt Light, Brandon Gorin. I thought that it was a solid effort all the way around from that position. Adrian has really been able to zero in at the right tackle spot this year in training camp. We flipped him over against the Redskins, he played a little bit on the left side, but most of his time has been at right tackle. He has had a good offseason, and I think that he is definitely a lot farther ahead than he has been at any other time since he has been here." . . . Offensive lineman Damien Woody said his bruised ankle is improving and that he should be able to play Wednesday night.

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