Vince Wilfork on D&H: Goal-line stand a ‘great opportunity’ for defense
|11.01.10 at 12:36 pm ET|
Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork stopped by to visit with Dale & Holley at Gillette Stadium on Monday morning as part of WEEI’s Patriots Monday, one day after a 28-18 victory over the Vikings. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Wilfork was emotional after the Patriots stuffed the Vikings on fourth-and-goal just before the end of the first half. “All year we say we want to play well in the red area, goal line we want to be good, and short yardage we want to be good,” Wilfork said. “So, a great opportunity for us right there to step up. We had one earlier, a third-and-goal, and I still don’t think he scored, but it is what it is. So, we had another chance to come back and make a stop, especially on fourth down. You know what? The guys did a real good job on that play, just basically swarming to the ball, getting to the ball ‘ like I said, we knew [Adrian Peterson] was going to get it ‘ and just walked away. They didn’t come up with any points. We walked in to halftime feeling pretty good about that defensive stand.
“It’s just something we work on,” Wilfork added. “Through training camp, that was a point of emphasis. Even now, short yardage, red area, it’s always a point of emphasis for us. We were kind of confident going in and being down there, I don’t care how close they were to the goal line. We were pretty confident as a unit, to be down there. We came up with the big stop. It’s always exciting, when you put so much time into something and you succeed. And that was the case yesterday.”
Wilfork had high praise for cornerback Devin McCourty, who had an interception Sunday. Said Wilfork: “He’s a student of the game, man. I tell you what, that guy, the way he prepares and the way he practices ‘ he prepares in practice like he’s been in this game a long time. Sometimes it’s hard to see he’s only a rookie. But he is. But at the same time, it’s like, you see him at work, you see him at practice doing his thing, you see him after practice in the film room ‘ all these guys, not just Devin. They take it upon themselves to be the best they can be, because they know they have a lot of people counting on them.
“They hear, trust me, all of us hear how crappy we are, or how crappy we were going to be,” Wilfork continued. “We all hear that through the grapevine. We all hear that. I think guys just take it upon themselves not to let each other down out there. And it’s been working. And it’s going to continue to work, because we’re going to keep our head down, we’re just going to be going one day at a time, one foot in front of the other, and just keep grinding it out. Because it’s a long season. The schedule’s going to get harder. It’s going to get tougher. Opponents are going to get tougher. Just keep grinding it out, man. At the end of the day we want to look back when it’s all over and see what we have accomplished. But right now we don’t have time to sit back and see what we have accomplished ‘ 6-1 won’t get us anywhere. right now. That’s not our goal, 6-1. Our goal is to be a lot further.”
Wilfork talked about meeting up with Randy Moss on Sunday, and how Moss remains one his close friends. “He’s always going to be a part of my life on and off the field, just because of so many things that he came and gave this organization, some of the things the he’s done in his personal life, as a friend, with my family and everything,” Wilfork said. “So, great guy, man, great guy. But, hey, I’m a Patriot. He’s a Viking. So, it is what it is on that end.”
Wilfork said the $25,000 fine the league assessed on Moss for failing to speak to the media last week didn’t sit right with him, because Moss was merely trying to avoid being a distraction to his team. “Bogus,” Willfork said. “I don’t agree with that.”