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Vince Wilfork Postgame Press Conference Transcript

Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, October 16, 2011.

Q: For a guy who didn't have an interception until this year, you almost got a third one. How close were you to picking off that one?

VW: Actually, I didn't see that one until the last minute. I tried to tip it. It's just one of things - you're out there playing ball [and] you get the chance to look at the quarterback and just read him. [Tony] Romo's a good quarterback, but I didn't know. I was at the right place at the right time. That's all it was, once again.

Q: From your perspective, what makes Tom Brady special?

VW: I see this guy work here every day and he wants to be perfect. It's hard to be perfect, but the way this guy strives in practice and the way he approaches practice and his work, he can't do anything but carry everybody else with him and he's probably one of the toughest competitors I've ever seen, especially from a quarterback's standpoint. He's just a tough individual. He's going to try to put the team in the right situation at all times. Bill [Belichick] has - we have - a saying around here [about] mental toughness and doing what's right when everything isn't going your way and I think tonight we showed a lot of mental toughness. I think everyone kept their poise. It wasn't perfect, but you know what, we stuck together as a team; we came together. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that our offense wasn't going to put us in this situation at the end of the game and they did; they came through for us. One thing we want to do is just keep playing football; it's not over until it's over. The guys stuck with it, I'm real happy with the team. We stuck together - we stuck together as a team. There was no fussing; there was no hooting and hollering. We just stay even keel throughout the course of the game. It paid off for us at the end. It definitely paid off for us.

Q: What do you think the game says about your defense, specifically?

VW: We're getting better, we're definitely getting better. Each week we go in and we improve and that's one thing you want to do. You want to be able see improvement throughout each week and I think we've seen that. Going into the bye week, there are a couple of things that we can work on and continue to improve. Ever since week one, there's been improvement and guys moving forward and guys starting to get familiar with everything, with plays and playing together and everything. We're moving forward, we're definitely moving forward. I'm happy with the guys' effort. They come to work and never complain. They're tough. Bill put us in tough situations in practice. Sometimes it goes well; sometimes it doesn't. We practice a lot of situational football and being down by three at the end of the game with two minutes - two in a half minutes, whatever it was - was plenty of time for our offense because we practice that a bunch and with a timeout. We were very confidant. Defense was sitting back and watching our offense work even though things didn't go as well for them for the whole game. But at the end of the day, when it matters the most, they came up with what we need.

Q: Holding them to the field goal was significant. On that third-down play, how did you guys kind of sniff that out?

VW: Just going, looking at the film, just looking at different things throughout the course of the week. We had a good feel for what they try to do. There were some things that they'll show the same stuff over and over at times, and going down there in the red area [and on] third down, they always have something they want to do out of the ordinary. I didn't know it was going to be a shuttle pass. I thought it was going to be some type of run. I sent the alert and everybody was on point and that was a huge, huge stop for us. To be able to walk away making them kick a field goal, that was a big stop for our defense. Like I said, we're getting better each week. Each week we're getting better. We're working hard, we're working very, very hard. These guys, they don't walk off the field until we're all set, come in and watch film and actually get extra work, so that's paying off for us.

Q: Tell us a little about your line-mate, Andre Carter.

VW: He's one of the guys, you watch him on film [and] he'll tell you, he'd probably be leading the league in sacks with the ones he missed, the quarterback getting rid of the ball or stepping up. He has a great motor. He's a very smart, smart player. And we always talk as a defense, especially as a defensive line, we might not be getting the sacks, but we're getting the pressure, we're getting to the quarterback. Sometimes he's throwing it away, sometimes he scrambles getting rid of, sometimes he scrambling for some yards. One thing we say is that we just keep putting the pressure, just keep going, keep going. Because once you get the pass defense with the secondary and linebackers are on point with the defensive front, that's when we'll start seeing more sacks, more pressures and stuff like that. It works hand in hand. It definitely works hand in hand. We're not going to take all the credit. Those guys have to cover in the back and I think they've been doing it. Each week, we're improving as a defense and that's what we need to do in this league.

Q: On the play that Brandon Spikes made on the tackle, you sent the alert. What does that mean?

VW: In my stance, I kind of smelt some boo boo. Like I said, just being in that situation, that was one of the situations that we covered throughout the week. When they get down there in third down, there are some things that they do a little differently. We have to be alert for a lot of things. Like I said, I didn't know it was going to be that, but I had a feeling it was going to be some type of run or whatever it may have been. So I sent the alert and I said hey, 'look to the run here' and Spikes was over and we just ate it up. And it feels good, because it's hard to trust someone when they say something on the field because you're always coached to do your job but they had that trust in me. They had faith in me that I was going to put them in the right situation and they walked away with kicking a field goal.

Q: How surprised were you at the way they approached the drive when they had the ball at third and 16?

VW: I wasn't surprised. At that point, they had the lead. Everyone would probably approach it a little different or the same way, you never know, but the chances of putting it in the air, it's pretty scary. They wanted to be conservative, but at the same time, we played everything. We were alert for everything - screens, runs, deep pass, we were alert for all that stuff. We just got it and we made the plays when we needed to make the plays and got the offense back on the field. Those swing of events - being able to go out there, three-and-out and get the offense back the ball with two and a half minutes left to go and to put a drive together to win the ball game for us, that says a lot about our football team. Our mental toughness - I know Bill challenges that a lot, and I think tonight we showed him we have the capability of being a mentally tough football team and a physically tough football team. So that should be able to take us a long way. As long as we move forward and continue to build on it, we'll be okay.

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