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Vince Wilfork Postgame Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots NT Vince Wilfork addresses the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, January 22, 2012.

Q: When he (Cundiff) missed the kick, were you stunned?  

VW: Yeah. That's a lot of pressure. Fifteen seconds left to go in the game and you've got a chance to tie the ballgame. That's a tough kick, but one thing we always preach is we always want to do the right thing and practice is everything for us and preparation. We always go through certain situations: with certain time and timeouts and you just don't know when you're going to get in that situation. Tonight, everybody had to be on their p's and q's, especially with that last kick. I think it was a hell of an effort from our guys and just executing the way we wanted to rush and set up the block and everything. It's just a good football game. You saw a great football game tonight. You've seen a classic of two football teams that didn't want to budge. [It was a] physical football game and plays being made, but not many. Every yard was tough. That's what you saw tonight. You saw just a great, great effort and it came down to the last couple of seconds. But, two guys don't want to have to lose. I'm happy to be on the winning side.  

Q: Has it hit you yet that you're going back [to the Super Bowl]?  

VW: Yeah. I don't think it's really set in. Just to see all the excitement from all the guys: the fans, the players, the coaches, the first year guys, the second year guys, guys that have never been in this situation. Just to see those guys excited just brings back memories. You're going to the Super Bowl. Everybody plays this game for this moment. This is what we play for. At the beginning of the year, you have 32 teams at the bottom and everybody is climbing the ladder to get to this moment right here. Luckily, we got to this moment. It's been tough. Nothing's been easy. We had to deal with certain situations, but you know, this team handled it pretty well. They never gave up. They're very, very passionate about what they do. They love this game and I can take the field with anybody like that.  

Q: You went to the Super Bowl in '04, your rookie season. Now, as a veteran, what does it mean this time around?  

VW: Every time you get here is a blessing. Like I said, you've got 32 teams that everybody's fighting to get to this moment. It didn't really dawn on me in '04 because here I am, a rookie, my first year in college I win the national championship. The second year, I lose, but I went there. So, it really wasn't a big deal at the time. So when I got here as a rookie I said, 'I could do this all the time. I'm used to winning; I'm used to playing in the big game. This is easy.' Years passed, '07 came, we lost, and then you're like, 'Woah, you know, this thing is serious.' I think about every moment. I think about it all the time. It's a special feeling. To be in this situation was a great feeling but you have to cherish this moment. This is America's game, this is America's sport. Everyone is going to be watching. Everybody was watching tonight. Even whoever we face in the Super Bowl, guess what, they had a chance to see us, this game a little bit. You have so many people just watching this football game. All the eyes are on you. Every move, every interview, every play: you have to make the best of it. Hopefully you can prepare well and walk away with a 'W.' Like I said, I've been on both teams - a win and a loss. I hate losing, especially in this game. I'm going to have to do everything I can to help my teammates and I'm pretty sure that it won't be hard to get that same attitude from these guys.  

Q: Can you talk about the two plays you made there: on third down on the inside run and the fourth down rush? Can you go back over that?  

VW: I think to be honest with you, on the run, I think they just cut me loose. I don't know. I'm always taught when someone [doesn't] block you, it's a set up and all. I don't know if they just missed a block or it was a setup block and I just beat it. I don't know. I'm going to have to watch the film and see it. Critical plays like that, you just have to take advantage. At that split second, the only thing I saw was: did he have the ball? If it was a setup block, they got me. They didn't get me. On that play that [Joe] Flacco play, it was just an adjustment we made on the sideline. We went to a different front and we knew exactly what we had to do and I got the matchup I wanted and we got the matchup we wanted and we took advantage of it. I knew going into this game, Flacco was a pocket passer. He'll stand in there, he'll take hits and will deliver a good football. I knew he really wasn't going anywhere and just like I said, everything around me worked well and it was just a great defensive play from all eleven - not just myself.  

Q: Why was the run defense working so well today?  

VW: It's everything. We knew last week against Denver, we had to go in and slow down the best running offense and I think we did a pretty decent job there. Then coming here, Ray Rice and Ricky [Williams], we knew we had to slow those guys down. We did that and we knew we had a pretty good chance to win the ballgame. It worked out well for us. We started fast, that's one thing defensively we wanted to do: start fast. I think we did. We got on the field, we got off the field. Any time you can start fast, it's a positive thing. That's what we're going to have to continue to do next week also. It's going to always be a part of our game plan: starting fast and finishing strong. There's no doubt in my mind, this team will finish ball games. They will fight, no matter what the outcome may be. This team is [a bunch of] warriors. They're a bunch of fighters, coaches and everybody, this whole organization is just a special group of guys and I love playing for guys like this.  

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