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Vince Wilfork on The Big Show: Patriots ‘didn’t make the play when we needed to make the play’

11.07.11 at 3:27 pm ET
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Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork made his weekly appearance on The Big Show Monday afternoon to share his thoughts on the Patriots’ 24-20 loss to the Giants Sunday afternoon. The Patriots defense was improved for much of the game, as it did not allow the Giants to score throughout the entire first half, but ultimately the defense’s efforts fell short on the final drive, when the Giants drove 80 yards in 1:21 to score the game-winning touchdown.

On the touchdown play, the Giants scored from the 1-yard line on a pass to Jake Ballard with 19 seconds remaining in the game and no timeouts. Wilfork said the defense knew the Giants were going to run a pass play, but still could not stop them.

“Third-and-1 with 19 seconds to go with no timeouts, if they run the ball, it’s going to be pretty tough to get your field goal team on the field because there’s a lot of moving parts and that’s one thing we practice all the time,” Wilfork said. “But we know 19 seconds is pushing it. So we kind of knew they had to throw the ball. We just didn’t make the play when we needed to make the play. It’s plain and simple. There’s no excuses on our end.”

Wilfork also addressed former teammates such as Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi who have been critical of the team in their new careers as TV analysts. Wilfork launched into a short diatribe about how it does not matter to any of the Patriots what someone outside of the current locker room says.

“We know what we have in this locker room, point blank,” Wilfork said. “It doesn’t matter what anyone else says about this team. Former players that played up under Bill Belichick for however long. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to us. They’re not in this locker room. They’re not a part of what we’re doing so their word doesn’t mean anything to me or to this team.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

On what he thinks of the defense’s overall performance Sunday: “We just have to play better. That’s all. Play the whole game how we wanted to play it, but the last couple minutes, we just have to be able to execute better in those situations. We have to move forward. We had a great week of preparation. We practiced well so we can’t get discouraged about this game. We can’t because there’s some things that we’re doing very, very well and we have to continue to build on them. And I’m liking what we’re doing. These guys, we fight hard. We fight very, very hard.”

On whether the defense uses criticism as motivation: “We do at times, but we always say is what we have is what we have in this locker room. We have to be able to believe in one another in that locker room to be successful. We can’t worry about what’s going on outside because one week we’re the greatest and the next week, we’re the worst team in the NFL.”

On what he thinks of former players criticizing the team: “They don’t have anything to do with this year. People are going to have their opinions. But at the end of the day, it’s what we think in that locker room, what we put out in that locker room, that’s what it’s going to be about.”

On how he feels when former teammates and current friends of his (such as Harrison and Bruschi) criticize the team: “To me, they’re media. They don’t have anything to do with the New England Patriots so point blank, it’s nothing personal. I know both of them personally. It’s nothing personal. They have a job to do and I have a job to do. I’m going to protect my teammates and my organization to the fullest and they’re going to protect their jobs.

“Like I said, I can’t blame them for having an opinion. Everybody has an opinion. but what I’m saying is what we have in this locker room is what we have in this locker room. There’s nobody outside this locker room that knows what we have in here.”

Read More: Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Vince Wilfork,
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