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Bill Belichick praises athletic, in-shape Vince Wilfork

Bill Belichick9 AP

Vince Wilfork’s physique may not show it, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick says Wilfork is a great athlete who’s in great shape and one of the biggest reasons the Patriots are in the Super Bowl.

At his press conference in Indianapolis today, Belichick praised Wilfork for making back-to-back big plays late in the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship Game, noting that Wilfork had already been on the field for more than 60 snaps at that point but still had the energy to stuff a run on third down and pressure Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco on fourth down.

“Late in the fourth quarter when we had to have it, the whole game was on the line, he made the plays for us,” Belichick said.

Wilfork, who’s listed at 325 pounds and looks heavier than that, had two interceptions during the regular season, returning one for 28 yards and the other for 19 yards, and Belichick said those plays proved just how well Wilfork can run.

“Vince is really a good athlete, as we can see from all his interception returns and open-field running and those kind of plays,” Belichick said.

Belichick also noted that Wilfork can play in running or passing situations and doesn’t ask to come off the field and rotate with other defensive linemen.

“He takes a lot of pride in not coming off the field, which I love in a defensive lineman — that they want to be on the field and not come out,” Belichick said. “He’s in good condition. Out there at practice today during the offensive period he’s running sprints back and forth on the field, working on his conditioning, with a week to go in the season. I think that’s a sign of his dedication.”

The big gut that hangs over Wilfork’s waistline makes him look like something less than a great athlete, but looks can be deceiving.

“You can talk about his appearance — maybe it’s not the classic appearance — but he’s a good athlete, he’s in good shape and he works real hard,” Belichick said.

And without Wilfork, the Patriots probably wouldn’t be in Indianapolis right now.

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13 Responses to “Bill Belichick praises athletic, in-shape Vince Wilfork”
  1. chadmurdigan says: Jan 30, 2012 4:30 PM

    Gee, Belichick really has softened up for this SuperBowl. Wilfork of course deserves the praise, but it’s amazing that it’s coming from BB before such a big game.

  2. dabreesknees says: Jan 30, 2012 4:40 PM

    Gotta love the guy. Big plays, big heart.

  3. grogansheroes says: Jan 30, 2012 4:45 PM

    Love big Vince, but he hasn’t seen 325 since high school.

  4. Lev says: Jan 30, 2012 4:54 PM

    Hopefully Albert Haynesworth is taking notes somewhere

  5. yettyskills says: Jan 30, 2012 4:55 PM

    That’s what players from the U do, nobody should be shocked.

  6. carlsaganist says: Jan 30, 2012 4:56 PM

    Vince Wilfork is the best NT in the game. He can even lineup at DE. love this guy

  7. ampats says: Jan 30, 2012 5:11 PM

    Gotta love Big Vince. Maybe he can run back a Pick6. He has done a great job also mentoring the unsung hero on D Little Vince(Kyle Love)

  8. lemmam says: Jan 30, 2012 5:20 PM

    After the Belichick interview Wilfork was hear dto say, hey, hey, hey coach – love to play tackle

  9. godfatherd says: Jan 30, 2012 5:37 PM

    Wilfork is not only the best NT in the game today, he’s one of the tow 5 ever to play the game. He can take up blockers, he can rush a little, and he doesn’t get lost when he’s in space. He is no where near 325lbs though, 375lbs is probably closer to the real number.

  10. binarybulge says: Jan 30, 2012 5:54 PM

    Vince is the only NFLer to come out of my high school (Santaluces H.S., Lantana, FL). It will probably stay that way, too. The blue chippers usually come from Broward County.

  11. backindasaddle says: Jan 30, 2012 7:48 PM

    Wilfork is the consummate professional. He is the anti-Haynesworth.

  12. welkersstache83 says: Jan 30, 2012 10:34 PM

    The way he moves he reminds me of a hundred pound heavier Jerome Bettis

  13. irishnativeson says: Jan 31, 2012 4:17 PM

    My little brother, ten years younger not really little, was 6’3 325 as a high school freshman. If Wilfork is 325 my brother was anorexic.

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