The Monday press conferences from Pats coach Bill Belichick typically are an exercise in informative non-information.
This Monday, the day after a 30-23 victory at Atlanta, Belichick explained (repeatedly) that he knows nothing about defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, who according to multiple reports suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon on Sunday night against the Falcons.
Here’s the excerpt from the transcript circulated by the team.
Q: What is the impact of losing Vince Wilfork going to have on you guys?
BB: I don’t really have a lot of new information on that. We’ll just have to see how things turn out here. But he’s an outstanding player, we all know that. He gives us great leadership and he’s a strong contributor on and off the field and in the locker room and everything else. We’ll just have to see how things come together for him and also what, obviously if he’s not there, it will mean everybody having to pull a little bit more weight on their end.
Q: As far as you know now, does Vince Wilfork have a torn Achilles?
BB: I really don’t have a lot of information here. Like I said, we got back late last night. I know they’re going to look at him and do some tests this morning and that’s really about all I know. I haven’t heard any more about that. I’m not sure exactly what the status of that is. That’s pretty common after every game. We get back here late off the road and then guys come in and they, whatever the injury is, they either get it treated or sometimes get it looked at in a little more detail with a test or whatever, whatever the case might be, whatever our medical department decides they need and then we go from there.
Q: Do you expect him to miss most or all of the season from what you know?
BB: I really don’t know much right now. Really, I don’t know much. I haven’t had a chance to meet with our medical people and I don’t even know what they’ve done yet this morning. I’m just trying to get caught up on what I need to do and then it will all come together here at some point during the day.
Belichick does know that he really likes undrafted rookie Joe Vellano, who will be one of the men to fill the large shoes that hold upright the even larger body of Vince Wilfork.
“Joe is a hard working kid,” Belichick said. “He was a productive player in college and he played a lot of spots at Maryland. He played end, he played tackle, he played some on the nose. He has good instincts, kind of has a nose for the ball and a good feel for what’s going on. He’s really worked hard to, of course, come in and as an undrafted player and earn a spot on the roster. He’s had an opportunity to get some playing time as we went through preseason and he took advantage of those opportunities, made a few plays, had some production and it probably led to a little bit more opportunity and so forth.
‘I think that there are a lot of things that he’s improved in, in terms of technique and recognition and reaction and all that. He’s still got a long way to go but definitely making progress. He works hard every day. He’s usually the first one on and the last one off the field or close to it. He puts in a lot of extra time, tries to get better at the things he needs to work on and that’s helped him.”
It could be helping the team, too, once Belichick really does know what everyone else seems to know — Wilfork is done for the year.