Add Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork to the legions of NFL players who aren’t in favor of all the rules designed to improve player safety.
Asked on Monday what he’d change about the NFL if he could, Wilfork said NFL rules don’t do enough to protect defensive linemen like him from guys taking out their knees, while simultaneously doing too much to protect quarterbacks from anyone laying a finger on them.
“One thing I’d get rid of is the penalties, certain penalties,” Wilfork said, via the Boston Herald. “I can do without them. You have a guy that’s making $30 million a year, but you can’t touch him. C’mon, let’s be for real now. Me as a defensive lineman, it’s OK for somebody to hold me up, and another guy to come and chop my legs, and I can’t protect myself. I can do without that. That’s probably the main thing. Being able to hit a quarterback good. We need that. We need that back right there. But you hurt the franchise of your team if you’re allowed to tee off on the quarterback. Cuz you know, quarterbacks are wimpy.”
In 2008, Wilfork was called into a meeting with the league office after multiple personal fouls, and Wilfork called that meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “very productive.” But that doesn’t mean he’s completely on board with the way Goodell is trying to change the culture of the game.