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Inside The Bills

Wilfork knows big plays could cost them

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2012 – 9:54 am

The New England Patriots are riding high right now. After a 1-2 start they’ve won four of their last five and sit atop the division at 5-3. One area of their game that they’ve been unable to improve upon however, is giving up big plays in the passing game. It’s something that Patriots DT Vince Wilfork hopes doesn’t cost them a game.

“If we don’t give up big plays, the defense can be very, very good,” he said in a conference call with Buffalo media. “That’s one of the things we have to get better at – stop giving up big plays and stop hurting ourselves. And like I said, they’re a team that can strike from anywhere on the field – in the air and on the ground. We have to do a better job of that this time around because that game was close. We got a couple turnovers in that game that basically led to points on our end. But without those turnovers, you’re looking at a different ballgame so we definitely have to minimize the big plays on our defense.”

Buffalo had seven pass plays of 20 yards or more in the first meeting with four of those plays going for touchdowns (Donald Jones – 68 yds, Brad Smith 35 yds, Scott Chandler (2) 22, 24 yds).


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Wilfork wary of Bills big pass plays

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2012 – 10:39 am

We’ve already chronicled how the Bills ripped off seven pass plays of 20 yards or more in their first meeting against the Patriots and how giving up big pass plays has been a persistent problem for New England dating all the way back to last season. Heading into the divisional rematch, Pats DT Vince Wilfork is wary of what Buffalo’s attack is capable of.

“If we don’t give up big plays, the defense can be very, very good,” said Wilfork. “That’s one of the things we have to get better at – stop giving up big plays and stop hurting ourselves. And like I said, they’re a team that can strike from anywhere on the field – in the air and on the ground. We have to do a better job of that this time around because that game was close. We got a couple turnovers in that game that basically led to points on our end. But without those turnovers, you’re looking at a different ballgame so we definitely have to minimize the big plays on our defense.”

New England has given up a league-leading 42 pass plays of 20 yards or more this season including 10 for touchdowns. Four of those 10 touchdowns were scored by the Bills in the first meeting with the Patriots.

 

 


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Wilfork’s dirty play costs Pats

Posted by Chris Brown on September 26, 2011 – 9:48 am

He’s got a history of dirty play against the Bills, kicking Chris Villarrial in the back when he was on the ground after a field goal attempt. Burying the crown of his helmet into the side of Jonas Jennings’ helmet behind the play giving the offensive lineman a concussion and his deliberate flying elbow that caved in the knee of QB J.P. Losman putting him out of action for a month with a sprained MCL. His latest transgression Sunday finally cost his team a shot at tying or even winning the game in the closing moments.

After Fred Jackson’s 38-yard yard catch and run was ruled down at the one-yard line, Buffalo had it first-and-goal at the one and decided they were going to kill the rest of the clock with a few kneel downs and kick the field goal to win it. On second-and-goal from the one Ryan Fitzpatrick tried to sneak the ball forward and Vince Wilfork not only tackled the Bills QB, but slammed his head into the ground drawing an unsportmanslike conduct penalty.

While the penalty stopped the clock, it also gave the Bills a fresh set of downs and ensured that the Patriots would not get the ball back before the clock ran out. Had he not committed the penalty Buffalo would’ve had to kick off to New England because there would’ve been about 15 seconds left on the game clock had Fitz’s sneak led to third-and-goal with the Bills likely running off 39 of the 40 seconds on the play clock two plays in a row before Lindell came on for the field goal.

When Tom Brady is your quarterback and you have even a remote chance to give him the ball, you take it. Wilfork was too busy resorting to his all too familiar tactics to realize the opportunity he cost his team.


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Pats tag Wilfork

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2010 – 2:12 pm

As expected the New England Patriots placed the franchise tag on NT Vince Wilfork Monday.

The Patriots announced on their team website that Wilfork was officially given the designation. The tag for DTs this year is $7.003M. A team statement read as follows.

“A long-term agreement with Vince Wilfork has been the team’s top contractual priority for some time. Unfortunately, despite numerous conversations and proposals, the goal has not yet been realized.

“Vince is a tremendous player for our team and remains a significant part of our future plans. It is because of Vince’s importance to this organization that we have assigned the franchise designation as we continue to work toward a long-term agreement.”

The Patriots had until the 25th to make use of the franchise tag. Other NFL clubs expected to use the franchise tag on DTs include San Francisco (Aubrayo Franklin), Pittsburgh (Casey Hampton) and Green Bay (Ryan Pickett) if they much like the Patriots cannot reach long term agreements with their soon to be free agents.


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All top DTs to be tagged?

Posted by Chris Brown on February 19, 2010 – 4:50 pm

If long terms deals are not worked out for some potential free agent defensive tackles, it’s almost certain that they’ll be tagged with the franchise label prior to Feb. 25.

That’s the deadline for NFL clubs to make use of the franchise tag, and according to NFL.com’s Jason LaCanfora, four of the top six players most expect to get tagged sans a long term deal are DTs. With the franchise tag just a shade over $7M for DTs, it’s not surprising that NFL teams are willing to go that route to protect one of the more important parts of their defense.

The four defensive tackles expected to be franchised if no long term deal can be reached are New England’s Vince Wilfork, Pittsburgh’s Casey Hampton, San Fran’s Aubrayo Franklin and Green Bay’s Ryan Pickett.

Not surprisingly, all four play in 3-4 systems and those teams know that quality NTs don’t grow on trees. The other two players expected to be franchised are New Orleans S Darren Sharper and Oakland DL Richard Seymour.

The Bills are in need of a true nose tackle as they make the transition to the 3-4 defense, but it doesn’t appear that making a play for any of the above NTs will be an option.


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Tag time

Posted by Chris Brown on February 11, 2010 – 9:28 am

Thursday marks the first day that NFL teams can begin using the franchise or transition tag on players that are set to hit the free agent market.

Most believe that New England NT Vince Wilfork will be tagged with Pittsburgh NT Casey Hampton possibly getting a tag of some kind as well. For DTs the amount is just a shade over $7M, so it makes sense for the Patriots and Steelers knowing how hard it is to find two gap DTs for a 3-4 system.

It’s not anticipated that the Bills will make use of the franchise or transition tag on any of their prospective free agents. The deadline for clubs to use the franchise or transition tags is Feb. 25.


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Wilfork future with Pats?

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2010 – 9:58 am

Free agent to be Vince Wilfork reiterated his stance on Boston radio this week stating that he wants a long term deal with the Patriots or explore free agency.

Appearing on WEEI radio in Boston Wilfork said the following.

“I want a long-term deal, or I want to be free,” he said. “Point blank.”

Unfortunately for Wilfork that won’t be his decision to make. It’s widely believed that the Patriots would put the franchise or transition tag on Wilfork.

So before fans of other NFL teams get all excited about the possibility of Wilfork being available to sign to a mega-deal, stop and realize that the Patriots do not let players the caliber of Wilfork walk away without getting anything in return.

In my opinion Wilfork is too important to New England’s defensive rebuilding effort to send him elsewhere even with the young Ron Brace on the roster.

If they do decide to move him, I would anticipate them doing something similar to what Tom Donahoe did with Peerless Price after the 2002 season. He put the franchise tag on him, found out which teams were interested and then did a sign and trade deal with Atlanta getting a first round pick in return for the following year.

Wilfork however, could potentially comnand more than just a first-round pick, which is why there’s no way New England lets him get away without some form of compensation.


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Wilfork might meet his match

Posted by Chris Brown on December 17, 2009 – 10:35 am

If the recently acquired Richie Incognito happens to be thrust into the lineup Sunday against the Patriots because Kendall Simmons shoulder injury sidelines him, Vince Wilfork may very well have met his match.

It’s no secret that Wilfork has had his share of cheap shots against the Bills over the years. For those that don’t know here’s the quick laundry list.

1. Kicked Bills G Chris Villarrial in the back when he was on the ground after a field goal attempt.
2. Buried the crown of his helmet into the side of Jonas Jennings’ helmet while Jennings was engaged with another defensive linemen at the tail end of a pass play. Jennings suffered a concussion.
3. Flying elbow at the left knee of J.P. Losman, caving it in and forcing Losman to miss the next three games with a sprained MCL and ultimately lose his starting job. (Wilfork actually fined for this).
4. Cold cocked Duke Preston behind a downfield pass play delivering a forearm to the back of his neck almost knocking him over.

Incognito has had his share of on field flare ups including this past week when he was involved in a head butting incident with a Titans player that drew a pair of personal foul penalties. He also was assessed two personal fouls in Week 1 while with the Rams.

Only difference between Incognito and Wilfork is the Patriots DT rarely gets caught.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Brady, Moss don’t practice

Posted by Chris Brown on December 16, 2009 – 4:24 pm

Patriots QB Tom Brady did not practice on Wednesday and neither did Randy Moss. Moss’ absence from practice however, was not injury related.

Brady didn’t practice because of his right ring finger ailment and his right shoulder according to the Patriots injury report. Moss’ absence however, appears to be a veteran rest day.

There’s no way to confirm it, but there is speculation that Moss might be getting coddled after he reacted so negatively with his performance on the field last week.

Both Brady and Bill Belichick have come to Moss’ defense this week after the widespread report of Moss and three of his teammates being sent home last week after being late for a team meeting. Belichick reiterated his stance on Moss in a conference call with Buffalo media Wednesday.

“I think Randy Moss’s situation pretty much speaks for itself. I mean, over the last three years with the New England Patriots and throughout his career, he’s produced probably more than most every other player in the league at his position, or even in the history of the game for that matter. His teammates elected him captain the last two years, so I think that speaks to his leadership and the respect that he has off the field.”

Other starters not practicing Wednesday for the Patriots were DE Ty Warren (ankle) and DT Vince Wilfork (foot).


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Cards’ safety at it again

Posted by Chris Brown on November 17, 2008 – 3:14 pm

Fined in the past and fined for his hit on Trent Edwards that left the Bills quarterback with a concussion, Cards safety Adrian Wilson is likely looking at another fine after he helmet to helmet hit on Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck.

Wilson hit Hasselbeck square in the face on a pass rush and after the game Hasselbeck predicted that Wilson will be fined as well as teammate Travis LaBoy.

Nice to see how well the fines are working for guys like Wilson and Wilfork. Some suspensions need to happen if the league really wants to get this part of the game under control especially for repeat offenders.


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Wilfork cheap shot

Posted by Chris Brown on November 9, 2008 – 6:40 pm

Vince Wilfork is at it again. He just cheap shotted Duke Preston on the interception play that Edwards threw to Ellis Hobbs with a shot from behind in the back. It’s why he was down on the field behind the play.

We’ll see if Preston returns to the game, but Wilfork as I’ve always said is as dirty as they come and he’s back to his old tricks using cheap shots to intimidate.

Nice to see Goodell’s fine did a lot to change his ways. Like I said a leopard never changes his spots.


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Wilfork, Hobbs questionable for Pats

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2008 – 9:48 pm

Starting DT Vince Wilfork and starting CB Ellis Hobbs are both questionable for Sunday’s game against the Bills.

Wilfork, who is battling a toe injury, practiced only on a limited basis the whole week. Hobbs is battling a shoulder injury and also could only do limited work this week.

If neither of them can go Sunday it would be a huge loss because there would be no true number one corner to cover Lee Evans for the Patriots. Deltha O’Neal is currently the other starting corner and he was benched in favor of rookie Terrence Wheatley who is also hurt and out for this game with a wrist injury, putting O’Neal back on the field. If Hobbs can’t play rookie Jonathan Wilhite would be thrust into the starting lineup.

I like my chances if I’m Lee Evans and I’m facing either Wilhite or O’Neal. 

If Wilfork can’t go his backup is Mike Wright, a four-year vet that has spent the last two season on injured reserve. I would expect one of two things to happen if Wilfork doesn’t play. First, Richard Seymour goes to the nose and Jarvis Green starts at end in the 3-4. The other option is the Patriots go to a 4-3 and put Seymour inside with Wright and put Jarvis Green on the end in Seymour’s spot.

New England went to a 4-3 last year in their second meeting with the Bills in Buffalo and caught them completely off guard. Buffalo prepared for that possibility this week and if Wilfork can’t play it’s a very realistic possibility.  

As for the rest of the important players on New England’s injury report, LaMont Jordan is questionable with a calf injury and did not practice on Thursday or Friday.

CB Lewis Sanders (hamstring) did not practice all week and is listed as doubtful. Also doubtful is RB Sammy Morris (knee).


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Wilfork refutes report of admission of being dirty player

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2008 – 4:36 pm

I’ve officially heard it all from Vince Wilfork. Last Sunday I posted the ESPN report that stated that Patriots DT Vince Wilfork in his meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted to him that his flying extended elbow that caved in J.P. Losman’s knee last season was in fact a dirty hit.

Now almost a week later, Wilfork issued a statement refuting that report.

It read in part as follows.

“After a very productive and fulfilling meeting with the NFL commissioner, it was inaccurately reported by ESPN that I stated that the hit on Buffalo Bills quarterback J.P. Losman last season was a cheap shot. I did not say that. I am not that type of player and would never intentionally try [to injure] a fellow NFL colleague.”

My response is actions speak louder than words and apparently the NFL agrees in light of the most recent fine he received.

Everyone is aware of they eye gouge attempt on Brandon Jacobs (fine), the late hit behind the play on Jason Witten (got a fine), the Losman hit (fine), the Cutler “love tap” with his elbow (fine), the dangerous facemask yank on Michael Turner (fine). But he’s been doing this since his rookie year.

No one remembers him kicking Bills guard Chris Villarrial in the back when he was down on the ground following a Bills field goal attempt in 2003. No one remembers him cold cocking Jonas Jennings with a helmet to helmet hit from behind, while Jennings was engaged with another defensive lineman on a pass play that left the offensive tackle knocked out cold with a concussion.

A leopard doesn’t change his spots and Wilfork has proven that throughout his NFL career. It’s time to sit him down before he puts someone out of the game for good.


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Patriots injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 6, 2008 – 9:19 pm

It’s not looking good for Patriots RB LaMont Jordan (calf) to play this week. After participating on a limited basis Wednesday, he did not practice Thursday. RB Sammy Morris (knee) also has not practiced this week. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Kevin Faulk are expected to shoulder the load in the running game for the Pats Sunday.

CB Lewis Sanders (hamstring) also did not practice for a second straight day and is not expected to be available. Neither is CB Terrence Wheatley (wrist) who did not practice again on Thursday.

Veteran CB Deltha O’Neal, who has not performed well, is expected to play LCB for the Pats Sunday.

Limited in practice for a second day in a row were DT Vince Wilfork (toe), CB Ellis Hobbs (shoulder), WR Matthew Slater (ankle) and LB Eric Alexander (hamstring).

After practicing on a limited basis Wednesday Randy Moss (foot) practiced fully on Thursday.


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Patriots injury update

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2008 – 9:37 pm

Not practicing for the Patriots on Wednesday was RB Sammy Morris (knee), CB Lewis Sanders (hamstring) and CB Terrence Wheatley (wrist).

Limited in practice are LB Eric Alexander (hamstring), CB Ellis Hobbs (shoulder), RB LaMont Jordan (calf), WR Randy Moss (foot), WR Matthew Slater (ankle) and NT Vince Wilfork (toe).

With all the nicked up cornerbacks on the roster, the Pats re-signed CB Jason Webster, who they had originally signed in the offseason. They put rookie LB Shawn Crable on I-R to make room for the former Bills defensive back, that was injured in Week 1 of the 2007 season and put on I-R.


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Wilfork admits cheap shot on Losman

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2008 – 6:29 pm

Patriots DT Vince Wilfork admitted to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that his flying elbow at J.P. Losman’s knee last season was a cheap shot and not an accident.

Nice to see he’s come around to our way of thinking. In light of that admission I’d guess he’d also have to admit he’s a dirty player, something he’s refused to do.

So the guy admits to Commissioner Goodell he’s made dirty plays before. Hopefully a stiff suspension comes his way the next time, because players like that don’t change, there will be a next time.


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Wilfork fined $35K

Posted by Chris Brown on October 30, 2008 – 4:51 pm

According to ProFootballTalk, Pats DT Vince Wilfork was fined $35K for his elbow hit to the helmet of Denver QB Jay Cutler behind the play in the Monday Night football game more than a week ago.

I don’t really think fining Wilfork is going to change him. He’s a cheap as they come. Suspending him for games will get his attention and tick off his coach, so he’d get it from the league and his coach and that might finally straighten him out.


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Pats DT Wilfork to only be fined?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 29, 2008 – 2:02 pm

According to ProFootballTalk.com the Patriots DT Vince Wilfork will only be fined and not suspended for his behind the play elbow shot to the helmet of Denver QB Jay Cutler. I hope their report is wrong.

If it is just a fine it would be disappointing considering his long history of flagrant play (eye gouge to Brandon Jacobs, flying elbow on Losman’s knee, helmet to helmet hit on Jonas Jennings and kicking Chris Villarrial in the back when he was down on the ground after a field goal attempt).

Suspension will be the only way to make that guy changes his ways. He’s a dirty player and changing that by way of a fine obviously hasn’t changed him.

Case in point, a $12,500 fine last year for his flagrant elbow that gave Losman a grade 2 sprain of his MCL and forced him to miss over a month of action didn’t change him. 

The Jacobs eye gouge and Cutler elbow shot happened after that.

Oh but you’re not a dirty player right Vince? Isn’t that what you said after your hit on Losman?

The league has to sit him down for a couple of games. End of story.


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Pats DT Wilfork to reportedly meet with commish

Posted by Chris Brown on October 28, 2008 – 5:44 pm

According to Pro Football Talk, one of the diritiest defensive tackles in the game has finally earned himself a meeting with Commissioner Goodell. The meeting is reportedly taking place Tuesday in New York.

It’s in response to his elbowing of Jay Cutler in the Monday night game a week ago. Behind the play Wilfork elbowed Cutler in the head, which officials and even ESPN cameras did not see. But the Denver coaches’ tape has it plain as day. They sent it into the league and Wilfork could be facing a suspension.

I think two games without pay would be perfect considering his history. That would take him out of action this week and next week when the Bills travel to Foxboro, which would be fitting justice in light of all his infractions against the Bills over the years.


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Pats DT Wilfork could be suspended

Posted by Chris Brown on October 27, 2008 – 2:31 pm

The dirtiest defensive tackle in football could be fined and suspended according to NFL Network reporter Adam Schefter.

New England DT Vince Wilfork, who was fined $12,500 last year for his flying elbow on J.P. Losman’s knee that cost Losman four games with a sprained MCL and ultimately his starting job was at it again against the Broncos last Monday night. Denver saw on their coach’s tape that Wilfork hit Cutler in the helmet with his elbow behind the play. No penalty was called on Wilfork.

Studio analyst Vince Wilfork upon seeing the blatant elbow said, “Cheap, cheap, cheap.”

Fortunately Denver sent it into the league and the NFL is investigating and a fine is guaranteed. With his history a suspension could also result. I just hope they take their time on this one so if he is suspended he misses New England’s game with the Bills on Nov. 9. 

That way he won’t add to his hit list of Bills he’s illegally injured the past five years. Sure he eye-gouged the Giants’ Brandon Jacobs earlier this season and has a host of infractions against other teams. But his list has to be longest against Buffalo. For those that don’t remember here’s the list.

2007 – Wilfork dives at J.P. Losman’s front leg after he has thrown a pass and deliberately extends his elbow caving in Losman’s left knee. The result – Losman suffers a sprained MCL that costs him four weeks and his starting job. Wilfork is fined $12.5K.

2003 – Following a field goal attempt by the Bills Wilfork kicks guard Chris Villarrial in the back after he fell to the ground on the play. Result – no penalty, no fine.

2003 – Bills LT Jonas Jennings while engaged with another defensive lineman on a pass play is blind-sided and cold cocked by Wilfork with a helmet to helmet hit from behind. Jennings suffers a concussion. Result – no penalty, no fine.

He is the dirtiest defensive lineman in football. And the sooner he’s out of the league the better for every offensive player in the NFL.


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