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Vince Wilfork Press Conference Transcript

Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, December 1, 2011.

Q: Can you talk about the impact Andre Carter has had on the defensive line?

VW:He brought a lot of leadership, veteran leadership. [He's] a hard worker. It makes it easier for guys that haven't been in the league or are just now getting here, to see how this guy works. It makes it easy for you to go out and work. That's one thing that I've taken from him, as a veteran myself, just being able to work every day, however your body feels, just fighting through. That's what he's brought and it shows. It shows. On Sunday, it shows. He's 100 miles per hour. The guy never gets tired. We all have to pull our own weight, but just by seeing a guy work like that, however long he's been in the league, makes it easier for us to go out and contribute. There's definitely some leadership there.

Q: Do you guys make marks in the sand or say 'This is where we want to be defensively at this time' and are you where you want to be?

VW:No. I think you can ask any football team or any professional team, 'Are you satisfied with where you are?' and you're never satisfied but you have to keep striving, you definitely have to, to be the best you can be – individually and as a team. If you take the chance and just look at film on yourself and critique yourself, it makes the team better. The last thing you want to do is go out there and put the team in a situation where they can't trust you. That's one thing we preach around here is, 'Make sure you're doing your job because the guy next to you is depending on you.' When we do that, things work out great, but when we don't, we have problems; it's a breakdown. That's one area where you can always continue to get better at. Each day, find something you can get better at and it starts with yourself. Don't look at the big picture; take care of the little things, the little technique stuff, the little conditioning, whatever it may be. That's small because the small stuff always takes care of the big things and that's one thing we've been doing. Like I said, when we've done that, we've been good. When we haven't, it's been a problem. You want to continue to try to do that because the more we do that, the better we feel around here come Mondays.

Q: Do you have any recent film on Dan Orlovsky now that they've changed their starter?

VW:Whatever we have, Bill [Belichick], they'll get it. I don't care where it's from. It's tough when you have a guy that you haven't really seen much of and you have to dig and dig and dig. If that's what we have to do, that's what we have to do. We were in that situation earlier a couple weeks ago with Kansas City and we had to find some clips and we did. I'm leaving it up to Bill and those guys to find that stuff for us, which they always do, to make it a little easier for us. It can be tough at times because you just don't know how a team is going to attack you in certain weeks and teams always attack us a little differently than they do everybody else. We have to be prepared, whatever it may be, we definitely have to be prepared for it. Whatever they give us to work with, they give us. If we have to figure things out on the run, we will. That's where our sideline adjustments come in, halftime adjustments come in; we've been pretty good with that this year. If that's what it takes, we'll do that, but we definitely have to prepare well and it starts in practice – preparing well and we'll see where it takes us on Sunday.

Q: Forgetting the record, when you see the blue horseshoe on a helmet or on a uniform, what does that mean to you?

VW:It's a rivalry game. Like you said, the record doesn't mean anything to us. This is the National Football League and we know any given Sunday, a team is going to try their best, especially against us, to try to wear us out and beat us up to prove a point. We're always walking around with a target. One thing we have to do is, we have to be ready to go; start fast and finish fast. That's one of things that we put an emphasis on is being able to put a whole game together, not just 48 minutes or 58 minutes, but 60 minutes of good football together. That's our goal. Really, it's not about the record; it's really not. We're not looking at the record; we're looking at a Colts team that, over the years, always played us tough. Guys get injured all the time, you play with injuries all the time, you play with key players sometimes that aren't out [there], so we're not looking at that as an issue for us. We're looking at how well we can play as a football team, the New England Patriots, how well we can play on Sunday. That's what it's going to be all about: who can play the best football on Sunday. Records have nothing to do with it. That's our goal, that's definitely our goal – to start fast and finish strong. If we can do that, we'll be okay.

Q: You said it's still a rivalry?

VW:Oh yeah, absolutely, absolutely. You can go back and just see the games we played. Even though, like I said, there's an injury factor, but we've had that too with [Matt] Cassel. That's something you have to deal with. I'm pretty sure it's tough but hey, it won't stop us. We won't allow that to be an excuse for us. Our game is how well we can execute on Sunday; that's our biggest challenge. It's about what we can do between now and game time to walk away with a 'W,' point blank.

Q: Do you look at it as you don't want to be the first team to lose to them? I know you don't look at the record, but outsiders might.

VW:If you take care of things throughout the week and prepare well and execute, you won't have a problem. That's where we are right now. We're trying to get our game plan in order. Preparation is everything for us right now and on Sunday it's going to be executing. If we do that, it's fine. Like I said, record doesn't mean anything right now. It's how well we can play. The game is going to be decided [by] who plays the best football out of these two football teams, point blank. It doesn't mean anything if we go out there and can't get off the field on defense and give up big plays everywhere and they make more plays then us; [then] we're in trouble, point blank. But looking at the guys on film, it's tough to see [why] they haven't won a game, to be honest with you, because they're making plays, but it's just the little things. That's one thing I'm looking at from my point of view. They have the plays downfield, they have the big runs and stuff like that, but it's just the little things that are holding them back. I'm pretty sure they're saying the same thing and they're absolutely right. Just little things here and there, if you change that, it would be a different story and they probably would have won a couple games. Trust me, you're not looking at a terrible football team when you're looking at 0-11 or the Indianapolis Colts this year. It's not a terrible football team, it's just they haven't made enough plays. I'm pretty sure they're preaching every week, 'If we just do the little things a little better, the outcomes will be different.' Like I said, that's what we're looking at.

Q: It must be frustrating for the Colts to be 0-11 because they're trying hard but they're not getting the results. Have you ever been in a situation like that on any team, certainly not here but elsewhere?

VW:No, I haven't. I won in college and I won in high school; little league I won. No, I haven't. But like I said, just by looking at them on film, it's pretty amazing to see them not having won a game yet, because there are plays they're definitely making. They just have to make a little bit more. We understand that. When we watch film, we go in depth and see what exactly the problem is, or we try to. But it always boils down to one thing: it's just the little things, doing the little things right. It can cost you or it can sustain your season, you never know.

Q: Do you have friends on the Colts or on the Detroit Lions team from a few years ago that went through those difficult seasons? Do you know how they felt?

VW:I really try not to talk to guys in the middle of the season about what they're doing. I check in on guys that if I have friends or someone I played with or grew up that I'm playing against, I always just make sure they're healthy and see how they're doing personally. I try not to get into 'How's your team doing?' and into all that. I have a couple buddies over there in Indianapolis, so same thing – just checking in to see physically how you're doing. It's a personal level. It's not, 'I'm talking to you for the New England Patriots' or you're talking to me for whatever team it is. It's from a friend to friend or family to family type of situation.

Q: Teams that you've played against have over 100 yards worth of penalties more than you guys do. I know one of the things Bill Belichick emphasizes is penalties. How does he teach you guys or what are some of the things that he says to you guys about penalties?

VW:'Don't kill ourselves.' That's the main thing. But it's hard in this league to walk away from a game without a penalty because it's just so tough. You have guys on the other line across from you and you're lined up against the best athletes in the world, playing this game, especially at this level. It's very, very tough. Some of them you can get away with but like the bonehead stuff, like the unsportsmanlike and jumping offsides and stuff like that, it's just uncalled for. You're going to get a pass interference here and there. You might get an intentional face mask if you're trying to make a tackle. Stuff like that is understandable. But when you kill yourself with the bonehead ones – the 15-yard unsportsman-likes and just things you can prevent – those are the ones that he really harps on. Bill knows that when you play this game, it won't be perfect. You'll never look at a game – even if a team wins 60-0 – you'll never be perfect. There's always something. You scored 60; you could have scored 100. There's always going to be something. That's how it is, especially with the best sport in America with the best athletes. You're going to have – because it's competition, you're competing at a high level at all times, for 60 minutes you're competing with some of the best athletes around. We just try to eliminate the bad plays, just the bonehead plays where you say, 'I don't have any clue why I did that or why he did that.' Those are the ones you try to eliminate. For the most part, we've been okay. But that's something we have to continue to do a good job of: penalties and turnovers of course, getting them and not giving them up. I think those things have been pretty big for us over the years, especially this year being able to get our offense back the ball and for those guys to keep it and score points. That's been big for us. That's something we're always going to work on. When I'm long gone out of this league, I'm pretty sure you're going to have a coach riding us, harping on the same thing.

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