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Rex Ryan hopes Bills have 'closed the gap' in AFC East

A byproduct of Rex Ryan moving west but remaining in the AFC East is that he will still have to deal with Bill Belichick twice a year.

Speaking with NFL Media's Judy Battista in a sit-down at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix -- which will air Monday on NFL Network's Total Access at 7 p.m. ET -- Ryan said he hopes his Bills have closed the gap on the Super Bowl champs.

"I hope (the Bills have closed the gap on the Patriots)," Ryan said. "When you're the world champs, you're not going to get better. They lost some good players so hopefully we have closed the gap. Guess we have to find out."

The Patriots have lost Darrelle Revis, Vince Wilfork, Brandon Browner, Akeem Ayers and Shane Vereen. Belichick's crew hung on to Devin McCourty and signed Jabaal Sheard and Travaris Cadet.

The Bills, meanwhile added firepower on offense in the form of Percy Harvin and LeSean McCoy to go with an already stout defense that should improve under Ryan.

In the end, however, football comes down to the quarterback. The Patriots still have Tom Brady. The Bills will try out the trio of Matt Cassel, Tyrod Taylor and the disappointing EJ Manuel.

How big is the gap between the Pats and Bills? It's the same as it's been for more than a decade: Brady-sized.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast makes some bold free agency predictions and discusses Adrian Peterson's future. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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