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Wed., May. 06, 2015 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM EDT
Thu., May. 07, 2015 12:00 AM to 11:55 AM EDT
Thu., May. 07, 2015 11:55 AM to 2:00 PM EDT
Vince Wilfork Postgame Press Conference Transcript
VW: Anytime you play a division game, it's tough, especially with the Jets. They're just a tough, tough bunch. Looking at them on film, you can just tell each week they’re starting to get back to doing what they do best, play the way they want to play, and we saw it tonight. They came out, they took a few shots, but they basically took what we gave them [and] made some plays. We knew what type of game it was going to be. Our main job was to get out of this game with a W. I don’t care how we get it: get a W. Like I said, division game, you can’t be pissed off with how you won or the things you’ve done. I think it was a great team win. It showed a lot from these New England Patriots, just fighting in overtime. Guys banged up, guys tired, offense going out, putting the drive together, defense taking the field and ending the game on a sack fumble. That was good football. I think we played better situational football this week, unlike last week when we just fell down a crack. I think we were prepared, I think we practiced well and I think the guys understood how we wanted to play this game and we played it the way we wanted to.
Q: You were down on the field for 20 or 30 seconds after the game. Were you just exhausted or relieved?
VW: Yeah, tired. Tired. Tired. Like I said, this was a tough, physical football game from both sides.
Q: It looked like you were blocked on that play, but kind of just refused to stop going. Were you consciously thinking something at that point?
VW: Well, Bill [Belichick] in overtime came to us and said ‘We're going to need the rush. We’re going to need the rush.’ And I think everybody on that defensive line, or whoever was a part of our pass rushing unit, I think we all understood that we had to get after it nonstop. I was doubled on that play, but I just tried to keep the wheels turning, just in the back of my mind knowing how important it was to get out and get off the field and try to win this ball game. Because our offense put us in a good spot, going down, kicking the field goal and putting us ahead. We knew if we got a stop, the game would be over. And I think the guys responded well. They responded well. That's what it's going to take. Sometimes you play this game and you want to blow people out, but it's not like that all the time. It’s like I said, a division game: they know us, we know them, mixing in a few wrinkles, but when the game is on the line, you’re going to go to your best stuff, you're going to go to your best players. I think we understood that and the Jets understood that. At the end of the day, we just made a few more plays than those guys.
Q: Bill Belichick doesn't do that very often where he gives a little ‘ra-ra’ speech in the middle of the game. What was your reaction to that?
VW: I just took it as coaching. I don’t think there’s any guy that was over there that didn’t understand that. [Even] without him saying that, we knew what we had to do for everyone on that line. We knew we had to rush up front. We knew we had to cover back deep. We knew whatever they gave us, we had to play some good football, fundamentally sound football. We know if we just get back to some fundamentals and play technique, it’s going to lead us to play, which it did. [Jermaine] Cunningham coming up the middle and Rob [Ninkovich] coming outside – they put that rush together. We always say when you have a one-on-one, you have to make it work. And I think those guys did a hell of a job that last play to make it work. We came out with a sack fumble to win the game. You know what? They work hard. They deserve it.
Q: It's hard to ignore the number of long 20 yard plays that you guys allowed. As a captain, when those plays happen and you hear the crowd groan, how do you not get upset?
VW: You know what? We really don’t pay any attention, to be honest with you. For the most part, I think our guys came to work. They understood. We got a lot of holding penalties, but what that tells me is they were getting their hands on the receivers; they were trying to be physical with the receivers. You can always look at film and play better technique, but I was proud to actually see these guys get their hands on balls, get their hands on the receivers, make a few plays in a critical situations. It never was perfect; you never play a perfect football game, but at the end of the day, we made more plays to win the ball game and that’s the only thing that matters right now.