The Patriots did not face the Bengals, last year's Hard Knocks' stars, in 2009, but New England dominated Dallas 48-27 in 2008, after the Cowboys appeared on the show that preseason.
There’s no proof that Bill Belichick used the Cowboys’ television appearance to prepare for the game, but New England's head coach is famous for using any advantage he can find.
Jets coach Rex Ryan understands this fact well.
"I think, you know — I trust, you know, let's just throw a guy out there — anybody. Bill Belichick," Ryan said. "He's going to do his due diligence. He's going to do his work, anyway. He's going to have a huge opinion on our players, one way or the other."
Teams appearing on the HBO series have been relatively successful. The Cowboys and Bengals reached the playoffs after starring on the show, but each team lost its only playoff game.
It remains to be seen if the Patriots will gain any useful information from the Jets’ Hard Knocks appearance, but if nothing else, Ryan, Bart Scott and other boisterous New York players should give New England plenty of bulletin-board material.
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