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Vince Wilfork Conference Call Transcript

Posted Jan 17, 2013

New England Patriots NT Vince Wilfork addresses the media during his national conference call on Thursday, January 17, 2013.

On describing the improvement from the Patriots defense from last season to this year:
“One thing I try not to do is compare different seasons that we’ve had. Every year is different. You have different faces and different things from a scheme standpoint. So I try to stay away from comparing us to any other Patriot team that we’ve had. Every year is different.”

On what the team has done this season to improve the defense:
“I think there are a lot of combinations with the players, scheme, the plays we’re doing and situations that the coaches are putting us in to be successful. It’s just one of those things were you get 11 guys to rally together and good things will happen. I think we’ve executed very well around here this year and every week, things have gotten better. At the end of the day, I think it’s a combination of a bunch of different things, but most of all, it’s the execution level. I think everyone executes at a high level and that’s what is putting us in a good situation defensively.”

On offenses pushing the envelope and the difficulty to be a dominant defense:
“It is. You do have offenses that are more up-tempo or spread offenses where you are not getting the run like you’ve gotten in the past. This game was built on running the football and it’s a little different now. They spread you out and they want to get the ball to the skill positions for them to make plays. So it is a little different defensively. That’s why you don’t have a lot of teams now that have just one (running) back. Now you have teams that have two and sometimes three backs on the roster and everybody touches the ball. In the past, you really had one workhorse, but those days are over. You get more of the teams that spread you out and try to get you in different looks to see how you are going (play). Then they pick and choose the play on running the ball or throwing the football. Now, you get more from passing then you have in the past.”

On how defenses adjust to the new trend of offenses:
“You’re starting to see it every year. Every year, you’re starting to see teams do a little bit better at defending. That’s why you have guys with a lot of sacks. In previous years, you probably had one guy who had 15 or 20 sacks. All of a sudden, we’re in a league now where you have five guys with 15 sacks because they are getting more opportunities to rush the passer. They get sacks just because of the different offenses. It’s one of those things where every year you get better at it. You go into the offseason, pick up draft picks and bring people to your team that you think you can do different things with like rushing the passer or now dropping into coverage. Or a guy who can play the run and at the same time play the pass. A lot of that has to do with personnel now and schemes that the defensive coaching staff draws up.”

On the recipe for being a consistent team in the NFL:
“Teamwork. Just getting the whole team on the same page and putting team first. I don’t think we have anyone who is selfish. We have great players around here. A guy like Tom Brady who I’ve seen work for nine years and he’s not a selfish player. He always puts the team first and that’s our motto around here. What’s best for the team? Sometimes I go out and don’t have a tackle or have one tackle and sometimes I’ll go out and have eight or nine tackles. Just because I don’t have tackles doesn’t mean that I’m not having a good game. The game develops for them around me throughout the course of a week. Different weeks are different. Our recipe is just putting the team first, being a team player and not being selfish.”

On what quarterback Tom Brady is like off the field:
“He’s not a typical quarterback, I’ll tell you that. That’s one of the things I love about him. He’s a regular guy to us. He hangs out with us. He tries to speak with his teammates as much as possible and that’s one of the things I respect about him. He could easily go home and stay cooped up by himself, but he’s not like that. He’s a hell of a guy off the field as well as one the field.”

On if he has any gameday rituals:
“No, I don’t know what my gameday ritual is. Me and my wife always ride to the game, but other than that, I don’t do anything. Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I don’t, sometimes I eat, sometimes I don’t. The one thing that is most consistent, that I do every time, is my wife and I ride to the game together, no matter where she is at or where I am at. I make time to go grab her and we always come in together.”

On his best memory during his time with the Patriots:
“Just the wins, being around guys that laid the foundation when I was a rookie. Being around guys like Roman Phifer, Tedy Bruschi, Richard Seymour, Willie McGinest, Corey Dillon, just being around guys like that, you grew up learning about it. Those guys were playing and here I am a rookie and I am playing on the same team as them. That is the most memorable part of being here. The guys I grew up watching, I actually got a chance to play with them.”

On his thoughts on Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis:
“He is the best guy to ever play that position in my opinion. What he brings to the table, he is unbelievable, what he brings to the sport. He will show you what it takes to be a teammate, what it takes to win. The love and the passion he has for the game, I don’t think there is any guy out there that can judge him or his passion for the game. He is a very emotional guy, he loves this game and it shows, it shows in his game.”

On his idol as a kid growing up watching football:
“I grew up a Buffalo Bills fan, and I grew up watching Thurman Thomas and Bruce Smith. I was always a defensive guy, so Bruce Smith was my guy growing up. I got a chance a couple years ago to meet Thurman Thomas in the Bahamas. I was going out to dinner and I was walking with my wife and my kids and someone called my name and I turned around, it was Thurman Thomas. I told him I grew up a Buffalo Bills fan and I admired him growing up as a kid, and that was a special moment for me. I respect him for that day and still to this day I can pick up the phone or send him a text or call him if I want. We became good friends.”

On why he has said the Ravens are a complete team:
“When you talk about consistency and wins, I can put them up there just because of the coaching staff that they have, the players that they have. They have a guy at every position that is at the top of their game or at the top of this league. With the quarterback, with the running back, their fullback, the offensive line, the skill positions with Anquan [Boldin] and [Torrey] Smith and the tight ends. Defensively you have [Haloti] Ngata up front, [Terrell] Suggs and Ray Lewis and in the back they have Ed Reed and [Bernard] Pollard. So when you talk about putting teams together, there is no question. You look at that team and see how they are built, and they have the pedigree, and they know what it takes to win and it shows. Every year they put up wins, they get into the postseason. It seems like we face each other every year in the postseason, and that just goes to show you that with what they are doing, they know what it takes to win as a team.”

On what he remembers about his role vs. the Ravens in last year’s AFC title game:
“Really not too much, because it won’t have anything to do with this time. I just remember winning, so hopefully I will have that same feeling.”