|Vince Wilfork: ‘I’m excited’ to see how defense operates in the regular season||09.05.11 at 2:41 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Last month, veteran defensive lineman Vince Wilfork alluded to the fact that it’s not just the rookies and newcomers who are learning new aspects of the Patriots’ defense, but the veterans as well. On Monday, Wilfork said he’s “excited” for the start of the season and see how the new-look defense does its job in a game that actually means something.
“I’m excited — who knows where it takes us?” Wilfork asked on Monday morning as the Patriots started preparing for next Monday’s opener against the Dolphins in Miami. “It’s one of those things that you can only tell when you get out and actually go 60 minutes and play a full game against a top opponent, which is the Miami Dolphins. Wherever it takes us, if we have to make adjustments, we will.
“But I’m looking forward to a great year, a successful year, hopefully. A good, healthy year for this ballclub. You go from there. We definitely have our hands full, I can tell you that. Opening up Monday night down there, it’s not an easy. But that’s something, that’s a challenge for us, early in the year, that’ll be a challenge. We’re going to have to get off to a good start this week.”
Over the course of the summer, the Patriots have utilized more four-man fronts and become more aggressive in their pursuit of opposing quarterbacks. Those defensive fronts, which include Wilfork and newcomers Albert Haynesworth, Shaun Ellis and Andre Carter, have given Wilfork cause for optimism as the regular season approaches.
“I’m happy I’ve got all those guys up front with me, I tell you that,” he said. “Just being able to be on the same field and play with the same team with those guys is a pleasure, and hopefully, we can just stay healthy and we can execute well together.
“That’s going to be the bottom line — can we execute well together, no matter who is on the field? Can we execute our game plan? Can we play together as a team? It’s not just going to be one or two of us that this defense is based around. It’s going to be all 11. They’re veterans, they understand that. We expect a lot of each other. We push each other. It’s going to be a growing year, and hopefully, we can grow fast. We’ll see.”
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