"There's being smart and being stupid, and the one thing I didn't want to be is stupid," said Wilfork. "With the training staff and coaches, we made those decisions -- that it wasn't best for the team [for Wilfork to play]. Sometimes I don't like those decisions, I love to play, but like I said, you have to be smart about some things -- and that's one of them."
"It's going to be a tough one, a real physical game. Trust me," said Wilfork. "They're playing with high energy, we can see that in their game. They've got a big offensive line that's been mauling people. We know we're going to get their best."
Bill Belichick on the absence of Wilfork and Warren for much of the last three games.
Well, it certainly gave other players more playing time. And so I think in a way, that's valuable. Anytime you are out there on the field and you're taking plays, you should be learning from it and gaining experience from it. Those were opportunities for other players to do that and - some cases - maybe [there was] some movement in positions. I don't think we really played anybody in a position that they hadn't played earlier in the year, but maybe a few more snaps there. Ron [Brace], Myron [Pryor], Mike [Wright], Jarvis [Green], Derrick [Burgess] - those guys that have played basically on the defensive line the last couple weeks certainly have gotten a good workload, and I think in the long run that will benefit them.
I think a lot of just good execution - guys in the right spot doing the right thing. Wednesday, you put together the plan and [there's] a lot of new stuff out there, so you walk through it once. But then you get on the field and it's full speed and you're going against a defense and guys have to make the right adjustments and pick up the right blitz. Ultimately, we complete passes. Guys are in the right spot, making the right reads. It's encouraging when you have a good day because it just builds confidence for the next day. And rather than going out ... We always meet on Fridays as captains with Coach Belichick and we talk about practice. And it's not good when you're sitting there and Friday and it's like, 'Man, I don't really feel good about what we've done the last two days,' as opposed to 'we had a really great week of practice.' Now, ultimately, it comes down to what happens [and] how you play on Sunday. But like I said, it gives you a lot of confidence when you go out there and execute pretty well.
- Erik Scalavino Wilfork eyeing return versus Ravens; Wednesday practice notes from Gillette.
- Transactions: Wes Welker officially placed on IR; LB Thomas Williams signed to active roster; WR Nick Moore and WR Robert Ortiz have been signed to the practice squad and WR Darnell Jenkins has been placed on the practice squad/injured list with an ankle injury.
- Wednesday Pressers: Bill Belichick (22:30 min. video), Tom Brady (16:28 min. video) Plus Transcripts.
- Wednesday Injury Report. -
- Patriots Locker Room Quotes.
Patriots Today: Brady, Pats come back to practice. (9:34 min. video)
- Monique Walker says Julian Edelman has that burning desire to compete and succeed at everything he does.
- Karen Guregian writes that if the Pats are going to do any damage in the playoffs this year, Randy Moss has to be an imposing force.
- Ian Rapoport notes Vince Wilfork is rested, ready and itching to be on the line with his teammates.
- Christopher Price reports that with three Super Bowl titles and a 14-3 postseason record, Tom Brady is the second-winningest QB in playoff history among QBs who have made at least 10 postseason starts (he trails only Green Bay’s Bart Starr, who was 10-1).
- Dan Shaughnessy notes Tom Brady is 14-3 as a playoff quarterback, the Patriots have won 11 straight home playoff games and went 8-0 at Gillette this year. They are 5-0 lifetime against the Ravens.
- Ron Borges asserts that this 2009 Patriots team will only go as far as Tom Brady can take them.
- Carolyn Johnson and Adam Kilgore lay out what's likely ahead for the Patriots' offense this year, and Wes Welker's recovery for 2010.
- Peter Abraham says Patriots' run-stopper Ty Warren hopes he's a go for Sunday.
- Albert Breer reports Ty Warren switched agents from Vann McElroy to Kennard McGuire. McGuire is agent to Vince Wilfork and Shawn Springs.
- Shalise Manza Young reveals Leigh Bodden's gratefulness to be on one of the handful of teams that made it to the playoffs.
- Steve Buckley focuses on outspoken Ravens' LB Ray Lewis, who put Week 4 behind him a while ago.
- Michael Vega notes Ravens' QB Joe Flacco feels confident he can take the team further than last year.
- Michael Vega catches up with Ravens' WR David Tyree, who talks about 'the catch' and being happy to play for the Ravens after his Giants let him go.
- Shalise Manza Young says the Patriots defense has its sights set on Ravens' RB Ray Rice.
- Dan Duggan Behind Enemy Lines: WR Derrick Mason and S Ed Reed.
- Mike Reiss looks at the importance of the third corner spot. Against the Texans it was Jonathan Wilhite, who was targeted in key situations.
Mike Reiss looks at the final Patriots special teams tackles leaderboard for the 2009 regular season. Arrington and Woods tied with 18.
- Bill Barnwell (Football Outsiders) In his final 2009 Quick Reads analysis Barnwell ranks the five best and worst among QBs, RBs, WRs and TEs. Tom Brady is number one.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Brady rates as NFL's best QB in 2009.
- Breaking down the playoff quarterbacks. (ESPN)
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Randy Moss still held in high regard by peers.
- Dan Graziano (NFL Fanhouse) Ravens-Pats: You can cut the mutual respect with a knife.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) There's a chance Wes Welker's unhinged left knee will be ready for the start of the 2010 season. Just don't count it.
- Judy Battista (NY Times) Brady and Patriots ready for life without Welker.
- Five figures under playoff microscope. Bill Polian and Bill Belichick make the list. (SI)
- Tom Worgo (Yahoo! Sports) Rice's emergence sparks Ravens offense.
- Ralph Vacchiano (NY Daily News) Former Giants LB Pepper Johnson could be Big Blue's next defensive coordinator sources say.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East Team Wrap-ups.
- NFL Live (ESPN) Tedy Bruschi and Mark Schlereth give their keys for the New England Patriots against the Baltimore Ravenss in Sunday’s AFC wild card game in Foxborough. (2:10 min. video)
- Don Banks (SI) 2009 NFL playoff power rankings. Patriots 6th.
- Jeffrey Chadiha (ESPN) Ten NFL playoff predictions. Cowboys-Chargers Super Bowl.
- Mike Silver and Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Wild Card Playoffs: Ravens-Patriots Preview. (3:33 min. video)
VIEW FROM BALTIMORE
- Jamison Henley (Baltimore Sun) Rice has an eye on Vince Wilfork.
- Edward Lee (Baltimore Sun) Clayton says he isn't dwelling on crucial drop last time in New England.
- Kevin Van Valkenburg (Baltimore Sun) Ravens cornerbacks prepared for Moss.
- BaltimoreRavens.com Questioning the enemy: Patriots playoff edition.
- Kevin Van Valkenburg (Baltimore Sun) debates Chris Gasper (Boston Globe) on who will complain more about the officiating. No brainer here - the Ravens, as usual.
Mike Duffy (BaltimoreRavens.com) Snaps must be corrected.