Earlier in this 2014 offseason, there was concern among Patriots fans that defensive tackle Vince Wilfork would not be in New England for the upcoming season. The Pats did not want to pay him his current salary, and he refused to take a pay cut.
However the two sides eventually worked this issue out, and Wilfork is now ready to roll for the regular season.
Wilfork on not holding any grudges against the team:
“I’m here. That’s a dead issue. I’m here for a reason. If I didn’t believe in the things that were brought to me, I wouldn’t have signed it. I’m here. There’s a reason that I’m here. I’m not upset. I’m not holding no type of grudge. Business is business. Everybody handles business different ways.”
On responding to criticism that he might not be able to return from last year’s Achilles injury:
“It was never in my mind that I thought I could never come back from this. From the time they told me I did, from the time I had the surgery, I knew that I was going to be back ready to rock and roll. I knew it was going to be tough. I know how tough the injury is, but I tell myself over and over again, I’m not the average person. I just do things a little differently than most people that had this injury, or the size of people that had this injury.
On the progress of his rehab:
“We still have a lot to do, but I’m very confident where I’m at. I’ll continue to just get better. It’s going to take time but I’m very positive where I’m at right now. [Doctor] Thomas Gill, with the surgery and everything, everything went well. It healed up fine. It’s just knocking the rust off.”
And finally, why this year will be extra special for him:
“I think this year is probably going to be one of the most exciting times in my career to actually put pads on and be able to practice. Every year I’m excited but I think this year is going to be a little more special because of what I’ve been through and how far I came along.”
I have to tell you, after listening the big man talk, I am so excited to see Wilfork back in action in a few months. I had my doubts earlier in the year, especially when it looked like he would be gone. But I have a feeling that we will see big number 75 come back just as good, maybe even better, as his attitude has me convinced that he will be the rock in the middle once again.