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Transcript: Vince Wilfork Interview

Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork addresses the media during his interview following a joint Patriots-Falcons practice on Tuesday, August 17, 2010.

Q: (On young defensive linemen)

VW: They're doing pretty well. Like I said, it's tough to do. We know it's a work in progress, and they are willing to learn. They are willing to work. They're putting the extra time in. They're asking questions. They come to work every day trying to get better. I think we'll be okay in that aspect. Most of all, the guys love football. You can just tell. They're ready to work. [They are the] first ones on the field. I can't ask for anything better than that.

Q: At one point, it was one side [Richard] Seymour, the other side was Ty [Warren]. That was one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Is it weird to not have your two body guards on one side? Is that putting different pressure on you now?

VW: Changes happen all the time around sports, not just football. Around sports, every year is different. So this year's different. I don't have Seymour. I don't have Ty right now. It's going to be different. Nothing is going to be easy. [The players here] know exactly what they need to do to play on this team. We have 100 percent faith in these guys. If we didn't, it wouldn't be our year. I'm happy with what we have. Like I say, I can't ask for any better guys than what I have. They are hard workers. They want to learn. They want to learn this defense. They don't make any excuses. And that's one thing I love: no excuses. We've started from rock bottom. We've started this whole thing over. It's been a work in progress. But at the same time, we've been going in the right direction. So as long as we keep going in this right direction, I think we'll be okay.

Q: On the draft weekend, you were pretty excited that Brandon Spikes got drafted by you guys. I know you don't have eyes in the back of your head, but he's obviously made quite an impression. What impression has he made on you?

VW: He's every bit the person I thought he was. Looking at the guy playing in college, he's playing with that same mentality on this defense. He's a hard-nosed, tough player who loves football. That's exactly what he's brought. That's exactly what we need on this football team, somebody that loves this game and is not afraid to hit, tough, smart. It's a transition for Spikes also. But like I said, everybody has been doing a real good job coming in and learning the defense doing what they have to do to get on the field and help this ball club. I'm still excited. The draft is all over, but now we get the chance to get on the field and put some things together. That makes it even more exciting and just anticipating the schedule. Can the game hurry up and get here? Can the season hurry up and start? You have to go through certain ropes to get to the first game of the season. That starts last week with New Orleans and this week with Atlanta. Every time we take the field, we take the field for one thing: to compete and get better and be [a] tough, smart football team. So far we've been pretty good.

Q: When you put it together, last week against the Saints and this week with the Falcons, how much is that going to help you guys?

VW: That was big last week. We practiced against the guys we actually played against. You see some things and you get familiar with their offense. I'm looking at film again more now. The practices against them are the same thing. I think that's a pretty good transition for us this year of doing something different with that schedule. I'm happy with it. It's like we have three, four games in one week because of the practices and everything. I'm all about competing. I'm all about getting better. I feel my teammates are the same way. We all want to take this field. We want to go the mile to win and get better and compete. We want to win everything, so it's not personal, but that's just the mindset that I have. I hate to lose. I want to win everything. I don't care if it's a spitting contest, I want to win it. Anything you can win, I want to win it. As long as we have that mindset, I think everyone will do their job and contribute and help us win.

Q: Myron Pryor was a surprise last year. How have you seen him? There's so much about the jump to the second year.

VW: He's working well. He's been doing everything the coach asks him. He's been getting better. Not just him, but everybody. They were first year guys last year, now they're moving into their second year and you always see a little development there. You definitely see that on guys who were rookies last year. Now all of a sudden, they have a year under their belt. They've had an offseason with us. Working well together. It's those little things. Just one year, just seeing how we do things, they grew from that. That's what we need. We need everyone to grow. We need everyone to be working toward that one goal. Right now I think we have everybody working toward that one goal.

Q: Is it good to see Derrick Burgess back?

VW: Yes. Hell of a football player. Hell of a person. And most of all, he loves what he does. He loves this game. He gives it his all out here. I'm happy he's back out there. I'm happy he's my teammate. He brings what we need to this team, a love for the game, and that's what we need.

Q: That's interesting that you say that. I think that some people might think that when a guy comes back after most of the two-a-days are over, some players might look at him and say, "man, you weren't here when we were grinding." Can you elaborate?

VW: I played with the guy last year. He just loves what he does. He loves this game. If you can pick one guy out, aside from myself, that loves this game, I don't think I could pick one guy. But he'd definitely be one of them that, he loves what he does. He loves to step on this field and go to work. That's another guy who had to make a transition to this defense. It was a working process for him last year. He's back. And he's stepping right in and he's doing whatever he can to help this ball club. He's a hell of a ballplayer. I'm happy he's back with us. He's happy he's back with us. And he made it very clear that he's happy he's back with us. So we have no love lost for him. He's family. That's family. And we are ready to work. We're just excited about the season.

Q: When you broke down the film from yesterday's practice, was it a tough plane ride for you when you looked at [your] passing performance? I heard there was some Miami favoritism [with] the first pass to [Brandon] Meriweather. Some of those guys were saying, "what's going on?"

VW: I'll tell you what. Meriweather will never get a pass from me again. We didn't even have pads on and he got the gator arms. He acted like he didn't want to catch the ball. I'll tell you what. The defense won. We won. We scored on the second series [out of four times]. Get the ball in the endzone. That's what we did. We did a really good job of that. But you know what, as I move forward, that's something that I have to look at the film and just study and see what the defense showed me out there and come back with another game plan.

Q: Does [Brian] Hoyer have to worry about the backup job? Would you like that backup job?

VW: I'm not in competition with those guys. I'm just setting my accolades right up next to them as they talk.

Q: Wes [Welker] said that it wasn't fair that you needed so much time back there.

VW: Tom [Brady] has the same amount of time. Seven on seven is seven on seven. I actually went back and watched film. I saw Tom and [Brian] Hoyer, the backup quarterbacks, doing the same thing holding the ball for four or five seconds. Hey, I counted the time. I was holding the ball four or five seconds. I'm ready to play with them. I showed them some skills back there. They didn't think I had it, but I showed them a little something. That's what it's all about. We joke about it, but everybody was on that field playing, everybody wanting to win. That's what it all comes back down to: wanting to win, wanting to compete. But it was a fun way of competing, but at the same time everybody had that one goal: they wanted to win. I'm pretty sure Randy Moss is pissed off with me right now because they didn't win. I'm just happy. Like I said, we like to have fun. It's training camp, but every now and then Bill [Belichick] gives us a little fun time and we take advantage of it.

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