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Dont’a Hightower says David Harris has been like a defensive coordinator

New England Patriots v New York Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 20: David Harris #52 of the New York Jets reacts during the second quarter against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 20, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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The Patriots will face the Jets this weekend in a game that linebacker David Harris might have circled on his schedule when he signed with New England shortly after being released by the Jets late in the offseason.

Harris said it will be strange going into MetLife Stadium as a member of the visiting team. Given the major role he had with the Jets, that won’t be the only difference.

Harris has seen action in three games and played seven defensive snaps this year, which might not have been the plan but isn’t something he’s complaining about. Harris said it has been “amazing” to see how the Patriots work and linebacker Dont’a Hightower said that he has found other ways to contribute to the team.

“I’m saying like defensive coordinator-type stuff,” Hightower said, via the Providence Journal. “I mean, coming from two different organizations back whenever he was at the Jets, guys know that if there’s one thing about David it’s that he’s a real smart linebacker. I think that guys here saw that real quick and appreciate it. He’s helped that other waves of guys that are coming in, so for him to come in and learn the playbook as well as he has and still help the younger guys like [Elandon Roberts] and the second and third year guys in the secondary, so it really helps to have that extra bag of leadership in the back end.”

Harris said he’s “trying to be ready if my number is called” and it’s unclear if that’s going to happen in his return to New Jersey, but it sounds like he’ll be playing a role even if it doesn’t work out that way.