Have the New England Patriots gained a significant advantage in a possible playoff matchup with the Steelers next month? Will their coaches and players have insights into the Steelers’ game plan and playbook now that they’ve signed longtime Steelers linebacker James Harrison?

Don’t bet on it, say a handful of players in the Steelers locker room who have similarly switched teams in the midst of a season.

“I think that’s something just the fans talk about,” veteran cornerback Coty Sensabaugh said Wednesday. “They make a bigger deal than it actually is.”

Sensabaugh would know. Early last season, the Rams cut Sensabaugh just three games into a three-year contract. Sensabaugh quickly was signed by the New York Giants – and as fate would have it, the Giants played at the Rams two weeks later.

New York won that game 17-10 – but it wasn’t necessarily because of all the juicy information Sensabaugh shared with his new teammates.

“At the end of the day, the tape tells itself,” he said, “so everybody knows what everybody does anyway. You watch all that on film – you still have got to go out there and win against it or stop it.”

Just last week the Steelers cut young offensive tackle Jake Rodgers from their practice squad. It was the Houston Texans who signed Rodgers – the same Texans whom the Steelers were playing that following Monday. Since the Steelers beat Houston handily, 34-6, any information Rodgers shared with Texans Coach Bill O’Brien apparently didn’t help.

Stevan Ridley was signed to the Steelers’ active roster the same day Rodgers was released off the practice squad. Ridley has been cut and signed by somebody else five times in-season since 2015, so he knows how much coaches pick the brains of new players about their previous teams.

“Hey, will they ask? Sure. Have I been asked? Sure,” Ridley said. “But it’s still football at the end of the day. As much as information you may get or may not get, does it really matter when those lights come on?”

THERE ARE days when Bill Belichick is willing to expand on a topic. There are days when he is not.

When it comes to New England signing linebacker James Harrison, it was the latter on Wednesday. The Patriots coach wasn’t willing to give much insight into the acquisition or talk in depth about the 15-year veteran and former All-Pro.

“He’s played outside linebacker for the Steelers,” Belichick said when asked about the signing. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Based on what Harrison did with the Steelers, will be there any carryover with the Patriots defensive system?

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Belichick said. “We’ll start working with him and see where it goes.”

How about Harrison’s career? He’s a very accomplished player.

Belichick: “Good.”

In adding Harrison to the roster, did the team factor in his experience?

“Yeah, we can’t control any of that,” Belichick said.

Harrison has a lot of experience playing against the Patriots (eight games in his career). Does that familiarity factor into the team’s choice to bring him in?

“Every player is different,” Belichick said.

Some people are saying that the Patriots signed Harrison so he could provide intel on the Steelers. Does Belichick take any stock in that?

“We’re playing the Jets this week,” Belichick said. “I don’t really know what that has to do with it. Maybe I’m missing something, I don’t know.”

DION LEWIS had the best game of his NFL career last weekend. On Wednesday, the effort earned the running back AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Lewis finished with a career-high 129 rushing yards on a career-high 24 rushing attempts. He added two touchdowns – one on the ground and one via pass – against Buffalo.

Lewis was also named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after returning a kick for a touchdown in Denver in Week 10.

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