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New Jets Jacoby Ford, Dimitri Patterson eager to contribute

Oakland Raiders' Jacoby Ford is tackled by Denver

Oakland Raiders' Jacoby Ford is tackled by Denver Broncos' Adrian Robinson as he returns the opening kickoff at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sept. 23, 2013. Credit: Getty Images

All they wanted was an opportunity. And that's just what the Jets gave wide receiver Jacoby Ford and cornerback Dimitri Patterson.

The free-agent signees said Wednesday they're excited to get to work with their new club and also are looking to prove they have plenty left.

Ford, a former Raider, ran a 4.28-second 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2010. Asked what his speed is like these days, he said, "The exact same, or faster. I feel that confident in my running.''

Ford caught 13 passes for 99 yards in 14 games last season in Oakland. But he missed all of 2012 with a Lisfranc injury and played only eight games in 2011.

"[The Jets] said I could come in and compete for the kickoff-return job and possibly the punt-return job. So I'm definitely looking forward to that,'' said Ford, who had four kick-return touchdowns and set a Raiders record with three in 2010. He averaged 14.9 yards on 57 catches during four years in Oakland.

The Clemson product said he had contact with the Browns but that he felt "back at home'' in Florham Park with Rex Ryan, whose son, Seth, is a walk-on player for the Tigers.

"I just felt real comfortable and that it was the right place for me,'' Ford said.

Patterson said there were "a number of teams'' interested in him, although he said his agent never told him which ones. He's anxious to show he can fill the void created when Antonio Cromartie signed with the Cardinals.

"Obviously, I don't have the sexiest or flashiest name, or I don't have a lot of hype behind my name,'' said the undrafted Patterson, who played only six games for the Dolphins last season before going on injured reserve with a groin injury. He recorded four interceptions, six passes defended, 19 tackles and a sack in 2013.

"I have had 20 starts throughout my career,'' Patterson said, "and my numbers speak for themselves.''

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