|Vince Wilfork shows his love and appreciation for Bianca: ‘Every ball I get, she gets – it’s not mine’||12.02.12 at 6:57 pm ET|
Vince Wilfork is a good family man and a great husband. He makes sure he and wife Bianca WIlfork share everything.
Bianca is unquestionably the most visibly supportive spouse among all Patriots players.
She’s at every game, home and on the road.
And Vince has a great way of showing his appreciation.
Any time he gets a fumble recovery – or an interception as was the case in 2011 – his first course of business is to head to the sidelines and hand the ball to his bride. Such was the case Sunday when Trevor Scott broke through in the second quarter and stripped Ryan Tannehill of the ball. The ball popped up in the air and right at the feet of Wilfork, who hopped on it for his team-leading fourth fumble recovery.
“Every ball I get, she gets. It’s not mine,” Wilfork said. “It’s like I make plays for her. She was excited, I was excited, and the team was excited. This defense, we’ve done a real good job of getting turnovers. We had a couple on the ground today but we didn’t get. We walked away with one. But it’s always good to get them and I was just in the right place at the right time, and I was pretty excited about it.”
TV cameras confirmed this fact as they showed vince flipping the ball to Bianca in the front row of seats behind the Patriots bench.
|Plenty of current and former Patriots get together over the weekend in South Florida for Heath Evans’ annual 7-on-7 tournament||06.19.11 at 4:53 pm ET|
Former Patriots fullback Heath Evans talked to us awhile back about his sixth annual 7-on-7 football tournament, and it went off Saturday afternoon at his old high school, The Kings Academy in West Palm Beach, Fla. As expected, it had a heavy New England flavor — Evans played with the Patriots from 2005 through 2008, and was joined by defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and defensive back Darius Butler, as well as Wilfork’s wife Bianca. In addition, former Patriots on hand included linebacker Don Davis and wide receiver Donte Stallworth.
Evans took to Twitter Saturday night to celebrate their attendance, telling me “[They] knocked it out of the park today! Donte especially!” Stallworth added: “Great times, bro. … Heath Evans is a BEAST!!! I’ve always had love for him but even more so now (if it’s possible).”
Gatorcountry.com has the full report on the day’s activities here. Evans’ tournament is unique for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it comes with a lunchtime talk from NFL players like Wilfork on integrity, making the right choices and how to truly accomplish success.
“They get a chance to hear from someone who’s living it,” said Wilfork, who was in attendance for the third straight year. “A lot of these guys have the dream of playing at the level that we’re already at.
“It’s just an amazing event,” he added. “A great way to just stay in touch with the future. You get a prime look at the future before it even gets here.”
“I think so many kids set goals on what they think is at the end of the rainbow, and when they hear that when you get there, you’ve still got these issues and you’re still faced with tough decisions,” Evans said. “I think it kind of gives them a glimpse of hope of what is true perspective, what are the things I really need to be chasing after, and just knowing that there’s guys that are rooting for them that have been where they’re at, and know what they’re facing, and can encourage them in the right direction.”
|The Big Nickel: Wes Welker talks about Ed Block and Aaron Hernandez says he doesn’t have a Twitter account||12.30.10 at 1:45 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Here are the five most important things to know about the Patriots on Thursday:
1. Wide receiver Wes Welker was almost sheepish on Thursday morning when he was asked about what it meant to win the Ed Block Courage Award, an honor given to one player on each team who best exemplifies the principles of courage and sportsmanship while also serving as a source of inspiration. It’s an award voted on by the entire team.
“I think it was kind of by default in a way just because of the circumstances — I was the only one who was really hurt this offseason,” Welker said on Thursday morning. “But it’s definitely an honor to be in the same breath as him.”
Welker tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in the 2009 regular-season finale in Houston, but had reconstructive surgery and returned from his injury ahead of expectations. He was back in the starting lineup at the start of the 2010 season, and he heads into Sunday’s regular-season finale with 86 receptions for 848 yards and seven touchdowns.
“Being able to come back from the offseason that I had and last season, the way it ended, it’s definitely an honor,” he added. “I’m definitely happy to have my name on the Ed Block Courage Award.”
Welker was asked if there was any added satisfaction in being able to be back on the field on a regular basis so soon after suffering such a devastating injury.
“I’d say I take a little bit of satisfaction out of it,” Welker said. “But at the same time, I just want to get back out there with my teammates and get back out there and play ball, and go out there and do what I love to do. Being able to do that and get back as early as possible was a key thing for me. Just trying to keep it going the rest of the season.”
2. Welker also touched on a variety of other topics in a Q&A with reporters than ran nearly seven minutes. (For how he feels about the possibility of playing this weekend, check out Mike Petraglia’s story here.)
What’s the most important thing for a young player to realize heading into the postseason? “I think the season really starts now and understanding that it’s been a long season and everything like that, but you have to stay on top of it and make sure you’re pushing through and understand what’s at stake and don’t let up and don’t get comfortable and every play and every game is so crucial and important, and you have to stay on top of that.”
On Tom Brady almost serving as an offensive coordinator on the field: “He definitely has a lot of input. At the end of the day, whatever Tom likes, that’s what we’re going to be doing. Whatever he’s comfortable with — I know our coaches do a great job of game-planning, and getting ready. From there, it’s really up to the players to go out there and run the plays and make sure you understand what coverages you’re going to see and getting ready for them. … He’s definitely the guy puling the trigger, so whatever he decides out there and whoever gets open, that’s who he’s going to get the ball to, and making sure we’re all in the right spots for him and let him make the reads from there.”
How much does this team take on Bill Belichick’s personality? “I think as much as it can. He does a great job of staying on top of us and making sure that we’re not getting head of ourselves or anything like that and making sure we’re focused on Miami this week and what a great team they are and to continue to go out there and play hard and get ready each and every game and each and every play and be ready for the Dolphins this week.”
3. True to Belichick’s promise, the Patriots practiced outside on Thursday afternoon, working on the lower fields behind Gillette in sweats and shells. There were only three players missing from the start of the session — offensive lineman Dan Connolly and defensive linemen Ron Brace and Mike Wright.
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