Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork spoke with the media following yesterday’s practice, and it was obvious that he felt good coming off his Achilles injury, and is ready to progress towards the regular season.
Wilfork is a staple in New England’s run defense, and if they want their front seven to match their secondary this year, they will need Wilfork healthy all year long.
On how he feels:
I feel fine. Throughout all season and just working hard, I’m pretty sure there’s going to still be some stuff that I may need to do so, so far so good. I’m not looking back. I’m looking forward. I’m just excited to be here.
On if he feels any limitations:
If I had limitations, I wouldn’t be practicing. Like I said, my job is to help my teammates the best way I can, whatever that may be. The only way for me to help my teammates is to be on the field and be healthy. Right now, I’m on the field and I’m healthy. If anything happens in the future, I can’t predict that. But right now my job is to help this team the best way I can and get better each day and that’s what I’m going to do.
On managing expectations:
Do your job each day. Do your job and like I said, you come to work every day to prepare, to get better each day, you’ll be fine. Never get too high, never get too low, just manage expectations and put one foot in front of the other each day. Your goal is to get better. Help the team, help one another get better. That’s what we’ve been doing and we’re going to continue to do that. As long as we do that, we’ll be OK.
On what he is looking forward to the most:
Just playing; just playing. Being here with my teammates, getting another season up under your belt. We’re all blessed to play this game. I’m fortunate to be at this level, to play at this level, with this organization, my coaches [and] my teammates. I don’t take anything for granted. It’s just excitement. It’s just after practices, just getting the little stuff, little one-on-ones, it’s made me feel very good. I’m very happy today.
Big Vince has always been one of my favorite players to watch, and I am getting the feeling here that he truly is excited to just get out there and play. I am sure missing nearly an entire season last year really took a toll on him (mentally), which in my opinion makes for a legendary comeback season.
Now with that said, I still believe Bill Belichick and company should ease Wilfork back into things, to avoid another injury. Wilfork is not exactly young (32 years old), which makes re-injuring that Achilles even more likely. But the Patriots are smart. They will monitor his progress, and make sure to maximize his talent, while also doing all they can to prevent another injury from occurring.