Vince Wilfork on D&H 11/9
|11.09.09 at 6:28 pm ET|
On Monday, Patriots DL Vince Wilfork made his weekly appearance to talk about his shift to defensive end in New England’s 27-17 win over the Dolphins, Joey Porter’s inability to back up his trash-talk, and the upcoming game this weekend against the Colts.
Click here to listen to the full audio and read below for some highlights.
[When seeing him line up at defensive end for the first time I said] “Vince doesn’t know where he’s going!”
No, I knew where I was going and that was something going into the week that we worked hard on, gave me some reps out there and it came through. It’s different out there, the looks are different, the blocking schemes are a little different.
What’s the biggest difference?
Just the blocking themes because at nose [tackle] I kind of know how it is and everything, the timing and everything but out there it unfolds differently and a little slower. But, it’s still technique, knowing what you going to get before the snap I think that’s the main thing that helped me you want to know what kind of blocks I can get once it unfolds.
How was it brought to your during the week [to play defensive end]? What did they say to you and what was your response when you found out what they had in mind?
“Vince you blend in.” “Vince we are going to try you out at d-end.” That was the game plan for last week, who knows what it is this week, but that was our game plan specific for the Dolphins’ game. We changed defenses, we change personnel so much. Everybody on that line I believe can play across the board. That’s just how versatile we are. When I got the memo I was like, “Cool.” I’m not looking at [Jake] Grove, I’m looking at [Jake] Long now and [Justin] Smiley. I didn’t mind it because I knew I could play it. I knew it was going to be a little strange, a little different, but in practice I got those different looks they threw a lot of stuff at me at practice and sometimes I was like, “Man, what the heck am I doing?” but it paid off. They prepared me very well for the game and looking at film, I think I did pretty good. Of course, I could get better out there, but I have something to prove on.
Do you go to Ty [Warren] and say “Tell me what’s different about this?”
Oh, yeah. Through practice, through the course of the game and once we went on the sidelines, we talked a lot. I picked his brain. He probably was tired of me talking because a couple of times where I didn’t even have to go to him, he came to me and say,”Hey, I got this on this play and play, so if you get this formation stay alert for this. One play that I know he came to me with was the power play with the tackle and the guard. Normally we play the tackle and Ty came to me and was like, “Hey, I got the power, but I didn’t even hit the tackle because he was going down to the linebacker, so I don’t know if the linebacker showed up or not so I went straight to the tight end.” So here I am, I go out there, third quarter and I get the power play. I play the tackle, he didn’t leave right away, the tight end got on my hip. So, that was just me. I know I had to play the tackle, but just by Ty telling me how they was playing it, he knew how we needed to play it. That’s the one thing I could learn from him there. It’s my first time out there, it’s been a long time, I think I did pretty good, but at the same time, I got some work and trust me I’m going to be working my butt off to get better out there. Who knows when the next time is I’m going to be out there.
As an athlete for you, at what point what can be said that makes good, old-fashioned trash-talk disrespectful and has Joey Porter gone there yet?
I don’t think he went there yet. Me personally, I don’t look into it. There’s some things that people can say to give me motivation through the week. That’s Joey Porter. You know what you’re dealing with when you are playing him. You know everything he’s going to talk about, so we anticipate this guy saying something. Whatever it may be, he’s going to say something, but we try not to get into that. That’s Porter being Porter. You have to respect what he say, but you can win a ballgame, you can win one-on-one battles talking to the media the paper or the radio, but you have to play in between the lines. Obviously, he didn’t do that. He can talk all he wants, but back it up. I always say that, people who trash-talk on the field I say, “Hey, if you are going to talk, back it up because at the end of the day the spotlight is going to be back on you. You did all the trash-talk during the week, let me see what you have done.” In this case, it wasn’t good.
Did you check the stat sheet after the game?
Yeah, I saw it, so that wasn’t good for him, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be geared up when we come down to Miami, but we’re going to control what we are going to control and do our job. We take whatever he say for motivation, so keep motivating us.
You knew going in that Miami would try to make some tweek to the Wildcat and they did with Pat White with what they are calling the Pistol now. How long did it take you guys to figure out what to do against them?
Not long. The two plays he was hurting us on, half the yards were right there rushing. We did a real good job against the Wildcat, but that second quarter with those two option plays and that whole series it was like, “Okay, let’s make the adjustment and move on,” and I think we did. I think they kind of knew we did because they really didn’t want to come back to it like that. We recognized it early, we went to the sideline we made the adjustments and we came back prepared for it. It didn’t catch us off-guard. We knew they were going to have something and we knew when they showed it to us we were going to have to come to the sideline and make adjustments which we did. It went from there. So, like I said, it didn’t surprise me to see something new.
When you guys stacked up Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams pretty well early on, did it make them go away from what they felt was their strength?
Yes, of course. You could just tell how they wanted to attack us outside and especially with Ricky. Ricky, he’s not too thrilled to run between the tackles. That’s just Ricky. We know with Ricky in the backfield- screens and outside runs because he’s just trying get the edge. I know I’ve seen a couple times where we had the edge set and he was like jogging and jogging and still went for the edge. He was looking for it. We like it when guys try to run outside because your not going to just line up and just pound us in the middle. If you want to yards, you better try to get to the perimeter. So, we are just going have to do a better job. There were a couple of plays here and there, but as a unit I believe we played really well. We got something we can move forward. We’re 6-2 and just keep moving.
What are your thoughts about playing against the Colts in Indianapolis this weekend?
Every year it’s a big game for us. The Colts is the Colts: high-powered team, you name it. We going to have to come and play. It’s in Indy, home-field advantage for them guys, night game. I’m pretty sure they are undefeated. It’s like you said a division game, but they’re not in our division, but that’s just the atmosphere of the game. We going to have to get to a good start. That’s what we going to start today, watch some film and move forward. We need another great week of preparation. I think last week was one of the things that helped us out was we had a great week of practice. That was probably one of the best weeks we had this year of practice and it showed. I think the guys should see that and start putting it together because if you can’t win now, you are going to be in trouble down the road. We understand that, we have a tough stretch. We are taking it one game-by-game, but we have to get it done starting now. Like I say, starting up with a win against a division rival like the Dolphins, that’s a good way to start it off, just got to keep it rolling.
Can you be that focused to know it’s the Colts this week and not know who you are playing after?
Oh, yeah. My TV is on USA every night and Spongebob Squarepants, that’s what I’m watching if there’s not a Monday Night Football game on or I’m watching football after the game, I really don’t care. I really don’t pay any attention to SportsCenter or anything like that. A lot of stuff I get when I come here and Bill [Belichick] will say something to us about whatever, but that’s our motto. We keep it one week at a time. This week is Indy and then we’ll move on from there whoever they may be, but all our focusing is on Indy right now. That’s how it’s been around here for a long time, that’s why we’ve been successful because we don’t look forward. We don’t look down the road. You take care of now and that’ll take care down the road.
Peter King has Vince Wilfork No. 1 on the list [of Top 20 free agents in Monday Morning Quarterback], do you think about that at all?
No. I was over with all the contract situations a long time ago. I told the organization that’s something that it will take care for itself. I like what I do. I play football, I love to play football, and football is going to be there. Me personally I think I will be able to play football as long as I want to play football, knock on wood, without any injuries or anything like that. That’s just me, so I don’t pay that no attention. When that day comes, it come. The only thing I’m worried about is helping this football team win games, doing my job day in and day out, leading by example. I don’t talk much. When I do talk, it’s to the defense letting them know we talk to each other about other situations. I’m not a big talking “rah-rah” kind of guy and they know that. They know what they are going to get out of me on the field. They going to get everything I have with or without a contract.
Hey, defensive ends make more than nose tackles.
I look at this past week as helping my team win a ball game. What coaches ask of us to do, that’s how I look at it. I didn’t look at it nothing more than what it was. It’s, “Hey, you need me in here? Okay, I’ll play it no problem. That’s not a biggie.” I don’t take it for anything other than that, but just to help my team and my teammates, help us get the job done.
You were a little more focused, I think.
That was a different game for me just because where I was and I think I needed to be a little extra focused. I think that helped me because I’m getting different looks, it’s not like I’m at nose. It’s different looks but blocking schemes are different. The best thing that helped me out with it is, I know the play. I still look at the formation and know the block I can get out of the formation. I was just being focused, trying to keep my head straight, and trying to get done what I had to get done. It was more focused for me, but I still love my Phil Collins though.
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