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Vince Wilfork Conference Call Transcript

Posted Jan 19, 2012

New England Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork addresses the national media during his conference call on Thursday, January 19, 2012.

On offensive guard Brian Waters and what he brings to the team:
"He brings a bunch of leadership and it's always good to have guys come in to a new system and bring leadership. He's a veteran also. He brings that mind frame of working hard. It was an easy transition for him coming over to a team like this with the guys getting a chance to play with him and seeing how he operates. He just fits right in. The leadership is exactly what we needed and that's what he brought to us."
On Ravens running back Ray Rice and what makes him tough to play against:
"He's a tough football player. (The Ravens) are the type of team that are going to run the ball. He blocks and gets the ball out of the backfield. His size doesn't matter because he has a big heart. I think the guys on that offense rally around him. We have to make sure we contain him and slow him down. If we can do that, I think we'll be OK."
On how many times he and the Patriots defense watched Ray Rice's 83-yard touchdown rush to open the 2009 AFC Wild Card Playoff Game:
"None, because it doesn't have any relevance to what we're doing. That was a couple of years ago and this is a new ball club. They have guys on their team that weren't there and I know we have guys on our team that weren't there. Really, that doesn't (play into it)."
On how good of shape the Patriots defense will be if they can stop Ray Rice:
"We'll be in pretty good shape. I think it all starts with (Ray Rice). After him, it starts with the quarterback. The best player on the field for (the Ravens) is him. The more he can do for them, the better they'll be. I'm not saying they don't have any other playmakers on that side because they do. If you look around, they have guys in every position that's at the top of the league in something. It starts with Ray Rice. If he has a good day, they'll have a good day. We have to do a good job of slowing him down and hopefully everything else will fall in place for us."
On Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco:
"Flacco has a great arm and that's first and foremost. He has great poise in the pocket. He's probably one of the toughest guys in the pocket and even though he may get hit at times, he'll stand in and take the lick and hang on to the football. He's a great passer and he's a leader for those guys also. He does a good job when he has time to get the ball downfield to his playmakers to make plays. We have to make sure we (slow that down) because he's tough at times."
On feeling that the Patriots defense is better than their statistical ranking:
"We don't pay attention to any stats. That's something we don't do. We know how we feel about this team and we feel really good about this 2011 team. We'll see where that takes us. But, we really don't pay any attention to any stats."
On feeling like the Patriots are playing better defensively than they were at the beginning of the year:
"Yes, each week we are getting better. That's our goal to get better and each week we have. It's something that we work for and that's what we'll continue to do. The better we can be prepared, the better we'll be on Sunday. That's where we're at right now."
On having a chance to rattle Joe Flacco similar to the Texans game plan last week:
"Any time you can get to a quarterback it always (helps) the defense. But, it's tough. Like I said, (Flacco) can get hit and bounce right back up. It doesn't faze him. We have to stay on our game plan for 60 minutes whatever that may be. For 60 minutes, we have to play good football. (The Ravens) want to play good football so it will be two teams out for one goal and that's to win. The better you can prepare, the better you'll be on game day."
On being the No. 1 seed in the AFC and going on to win a Super Bowl:
"Our goal is to take it one game at a time and as long as we'll do that, we'll be OK. It's all about the AFC Championship right now. Whatever happens after that, we'll talk then. We have our hands full this week with the Ravens and that's how we're looking at it. It's a one-game season and that's how we'll continue to look at it. Nothing is going to change throughout the course of the year. We always take it one game at a time and it won't change now."
On having his highest sack total in a season and what he attributes that to:
"Everything. From work, to the guys and coaches around me, I give everyone credit for the success I've had. I think I made plays over the course of the year. Sometimes it was the coach and sometimes it wasn't. I've always given credit to my teammates and my coaching staff for putting me in situations to make plays. I'm going to continue to do my best each week and we'll continue to get this thing rolling again this week."
On Ravens center Matt Birk continuing to play well even considering his age:
"Matt Birk is the leader on that line. Everything starts around him on the line. He's still playing at a high level and he's been playing (well) through all of his years. I don't think he's lost a step. I have to play like that."
On Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his playing helping the defensive unit:
"Anytime your offense is scoring points, that's a good thing. The offense scores points and on defense we have to stop guys. To sit back and play with the best quarterback in the league, it's always a blessing. Each day I come into work, it's a blessing, having a chance to work with guys like Tom and the rest of the guys in the locker room. It's always fun to see. The best part about it is to see his work on the field and off the field with practice and everything. He approaches each day like it's his last and he wants to get better. You can always learn from a guy like that."
On being surprised that offensive guard Brian Waters could come in one week, play another position and take it to a Pro Bowl level:
"No. Not at all. I've seen Brian over the course of his years. I've played against Brian. Since he's been here, (considering) the type of person that he was and the type of person that he is, it didn't surprise me at all. Anytime you can have a guy like Brian for the leadership and the way he works, it's not going to be hard to transition over to another team and another position. He put in a (good) amount of work and preparation. I saw how hard he worked and it worked out well for him."