First half of Vince Wilfork Q&A
|06.10.09 at 1:38 pm ET|
Nose tackle Vince Wilfork just wrapped up a question-and-answer session with the media on the practice fields at Gillette Stadium. Here’s the first half of the conference, which lasted just over 10 minutes. We’ll have part two along shortly:
On deciding to come to this week’s camp…
It was how I felt, looking forward. I told you I love football, and something mandatory … I signed a six-year deal, I’m going to meet all my obligations. And that means being here for mandatory stuff, so that’s why I was here. It wasn’t a big deal as to whether I was going to show up or not. All this while I kind of knew where I wanted to be. I still have some uncertainty about what’s going on and do I really want to come out here. But at the end of the day, I felt it was best for me to come out here and it was best for this organization to know that I’m out here. So at the end of the day, I’m still a Patriot. And I want to be a Patriot. I’m just looking forward. I’m looking forward to a great camp, I’m looking forward to a great season. So hopefully, we can move forward from here. Everybody can see I’m here in camp, having fun. There’s nothing like being around a group of guys that love you, and my teammates showed me a lot of love, a lot of respect. They know what I bring to this game. I’m just happy to be back here with my teammates.
On Mr. Kraft saying it was a good sign he showed up today…
Like I said, I’m a ballplayer. And I signed up for a six-year deal, and that’s what I’m going to play. Whatever goes on after that goes on. But for now, I’m looking forward to being a New England Patriot. This upcoming season, I can’t wait. I’m very excited to be back on the field. The OTAs, I missed. But at the same time, it wasn’t the right time for me to be here. But now, everything is starting to crank up – mandatory stuff. And my team really needs me, and I’ll be here. You can depend on me being here, and I will be. Like I said, there’s nothing like being a part of a group of guys like this who just show you so much respect, and I love going to war with. That’s what these guys give me out here every day.
On whether or not the fact that he’s here might trigger any progress in the discussions…
I don’t know. Like I said, I hope so, but who knows what the future holds? I told … I keep saying I love this organization, I love my teammates, my coaches. I don’t think there’s any place better out there I could be than here. That’s not the issue here. Hopefully, we can move forward. If not, we’ll handle it. At the same time, I’ll be practicing, I’ll be with my teammates and I’ll be doing everything in my willpower I can do to stay around here. So, I’m just happy to be out here for once.
Did Belichick say anything to you?
I don’t know. No … Bill is Bill. He came in, did his speech. He didn’t pull me to the side for anything special. I mean … we talked football. That’s what it is. It’s a business. And at the same time, the business we’re in, there is a business part to it. That’s the part I hate, the business part. I love the football. I love my fans. I love the people who surround me. But business is business. It’ll be handled. Right now, I’m just happy to be on the field with my teammates.
The fact that you’re out here right now, is that a symbol that football means more to you than the business part of it?
Yeah, of course. It always has. But at the same time, it comes with it. It comes with football. Like I said, the six-year deal I signed up for, I’m playing it out. Unless something happens, I’ll look forward to being a New England Patriot this upcoming season and for the future. So I’ll let my agent and all those guys handle that, the business part of it. I will be strapping my cleats up and practicing out here with my teammates. I’m just so excited to be back out here on the practice field, even though it’s practice. Not too many people get excited about practice, but I am, because I’ve been out for two weeks. I missed it. You could tell I was running around having fun with my guys today. I feel good. I’m just looking forward to progress, and if it [doesn’t work], then it is what it is. It’ll take care of itself. I can only control what I can control, and that’s playing football.
It’s the business part. Possibly something might work out, it might not. It’s 50-50. Who knows? But until that time comes, I can only sit and wait, and hopefully, it’ll work out for the best. I love it here. Like is said, my teammates mean everything to me. I don’t think there’s a group of guys anywhere else in the NFL that is like this team I’m on, and my coaches. So, if it was up to me, I’ll be here. I’ll tell you that. If it was up to me, I’d be here. But it’s a business. We’ll see.
If your agent tells you it would help negotiations to sit out training camp…
It’s still my decision. It’s still my decision. I’ll talk to my wife and see what may be. But it’s hard to tell a guy who loves the game the way I love it to sit out. Even the OTAs, which weren’t mandatory, it was tough for me because I love football. But at the same time, I knew the situation I was in. It wasn’t mandatory … but now, everything is starting to pick up, a lot of game-planning stuff is starting to go in, stuff I need to be here for, and I’m going to be here for it. So, that’s what it is.
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