Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork addresses the media during his postgame press conference on Sunday, January 2, 2011.
Q: They couldn't stop you from getting to the quarterback today.
VW: All year we've been working our tails off rushing the passer and every time I come free either he's getting rid of the ball or someone's picking me up or [there is] a scramble, whatever it may be, so I was pretty excited to come in and be able to get a sack. Last year I finished with zero and going into the last game I was at zero, so that's something I was talking about with my wife. I joke with Pepper [Johnson] all the time that I can't go O-for again this year. And you know what, God answered my prayers and I made a couple of plays today. I'm excited about the win. I think this team, we've fought all year. We fought all year. When things weren't going well, everybody just pulled together and we fought. And the last couple of weeks or months, whatever it may be, I want to say after the Cleveland game, there's something different about this ball club. We're clicking. We trust one another out there on the field. We put the team first. Everyone is unselfish and we've been just having fun. It's like practice has been getting easier for us. I'm not saying that we haven't been on the field as much, but it's like the checks and everything - we've been doing it for a while. And you know what? We're not making the mistakes we were making earlier in the year and that's been a big positive for us. So it's time to move on now. One loss now and you're out. We understand that. We get a week to basically recuperate and try to find out who we're going to play. One thing that's definite is whoever we play is a pretty good football team; they wouldn't be in the postseason if they weren't. We're going to have our hands full, but at the same time, we have a little time and we worked hard for a first-round bye. So we have a little time to reflect a little bit, heal up and get rested and get a couple of practices under our belts - things we need to work on, things that we're not so good at, so it's going to be a positive week for us from here on out, especially starting with this week. I think if we're able to get everyone back close to full strength that would be very big for us.
Q: Does the memory of the Baltimore playoff game a year ago kind of refocus guys?
VW: You know, we played the Ravens this year and I don't think even then we reflected back to that. This is a whole new ball club [on] both sides. We both have new people, new personnel. That's something that we want to keep in the past. And when we played them the first time [this season], I don't think there was one time when we actually clicked on that film and reflected back to last year because we were dealing with everything in the present and in the future. Now we're back here again. That's something we won't look at. In everything we try to do, we try to be positive. And 2010 and 2011 now, this is a new football team and that's how we're going to approach it. Every week is different for us, but one thing we can do is get better, so I don't think we need to reflect back to what happened last year. If you reflect back then, you can go back to '04 when we were champions and '03 when were champions, but that is something we don't do. We just have to continue to play good football and get better as time comes and hopefully we'll be good enough for a win.
Q: You've talked about the progress, but how far has this team come?
VW: It's come really far. Like I said, the road wasn't smooth all the way and I think after the Cleveland game it was really a gut check. Reality set in. we went into that game and Cleveland had just beaten the Saints and they were coming off the bye facing us and they beat us down pretty bad - physically, mentally, you name it. They did whatever they wanted to do. I think from that point on guys really buckled down and started to understand, 'Hey anybody is beatable. If you step on the field on Sunday and you're not prepared to play good football, you'll end up on the losing end.' I think from that point on, guys just really hated that taste of losing. I don't care who we played, every week we started day by day - coming in, putting stuff in, going outside in the walk-through and making the corrections, go practice it, come on in and watch film, correct it the next day. I think we just did a really good job of taking it one day at a time and I think it helped us in the long run. It's something we have to continue to do, especially now. Any little slippage and your season will be done, so we're going to have to do a real good job of coming to work, being able to work for 60 minutes on Sunday and hopefully, with this week, we can get some guys back and try to get a little fresher. We worked hard for a bye, so we deserve it, but at the same time we're going to make sure we're taking care of what we need to take care of, and that's the things that we make mistakes on and trying to correct them.
Q: What's up with the shirt?
VW: It's Sponge Bob.
Q: Is that your choice?
VW: I'm a Sponge Bob fan. I have kids at home, so if it's not sports, I'm looking at cartoons and the majority of the time it's Sponge Bob on TV. I think I've had it for like a year or so.
Q: Can you talk about the production you guys got from Kyle Love, especially on the kickoff coverage?
VW: Once again seeing a big man being athletic. When Bill [Belichick] put him in this week, he runs well. I hoped Bill would put him in, and when he got the call today, 'Hey Kyle get in,' the whole sideline was trying to see what he was going to do and he ran down there. I'm pretty sure Miami didn't prepare for that. He went down there and he made some havoc, knocking guys down and stuff like that. The more you can do around here the better you are. Once again, like I said, it started with Dan Connolly [returning punts] and now Kyle Love running down on kickoffs. I don't know what's next. I don't know what's next.
Q: Maybe returning kicks?
VW: I don't know. I don't know. At this level that's pretty tough, so pretty impressive from Kyle today.