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New England Patriots Links 1/14/11 - Patriots Keep It Light In The Locker Room; All Business On The Field

Kyle Love told reporters how much of an influence Vince Wilfork has been on him this season.

"One hundred percent. One hundred percent. Every step of the way, every time I’ve needed him. Every time he feels like I need him. I might be kind of shy about asking him something, but he’ll tell me before I ask him. I really kind of molded myself around his play in college, watching him. A lot of guys used to tell me, ‘You play just like him.’ And I started to watch him a lot more once people started telling me that."

Vince Wilfork talks about what has been the biggest improvement on run defense in the second half of the season.

I think everybody's just been doing their job - focusing [on it], preparing a little bit more, watching more film. The more you play, the better you get. I'm a believer in the more reps you get in practice or in the game, the better you'll be. And I think some of it came with that. Early on in the year, our run phase was kind of crazy. Just seeing guys not understand the defense the way it needed to be played. So, as time went on, we got better and better and better. I think now, we're sitting back and can say, 'Okay, we've gotten better, we have to continue to get better.' We just can't sit back and say, 'Oh, we're good.' I think it's just everyone knowing their role, knowing exactly where they need to be and when they need to be there and preparation. I think everything we do can revolve around preparing. If you prepare well, if you do that, you'll be okay.

Tully Banta-Cain describes the mood at practice this week.

"You know, it's a big game and everybody is obviously getting excited about it and nerves are running wild. But we're trying to still do what we do and not get too tight. We're staying loose for the most part, but the urgency is a lot higher."

"The game is on Sunday and usually everybody goes into the game real tight, but as the game starts to play out, guys loosen up and get into the flow of it. Just the preparation part of it is really intense and the sense of urgency, like I said, is really high right now."



  • Shalise Manza Young breaks down her keys to a Patriots victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.
  • Tedy Bruschi breaks down the upcoming Patriots-Jets playoff matchup.
  • Karen Guregian takes a look at how the Patriots and Jets match up at each position.
  • Gary Marbry offers his stat-filled, Pats-Jets Nuggetpalooza.
  • Mark Farinella focuses on the stellar leader Vince Wilfork is to the young guys on the team, and who set the example for Wilfork when he was a rookie.
  • Christopher Price focuses on how things are different for Vince Wilfork between this year and last.
  • Ian Rapoport notes BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn’t flashy, doesn’t have many moves and is not the most elusive player on the roster, but he is stunningly efficient.
  • Shalise Manza Young reports Brandon Meriweather unquestionably makes a hard-hitting, interception-catching impact on this defense.
  • Steve Buckley knows Wes Welker is eager to return to the playoffs, especially after being sidelined last year.
  • Christopher Price tells us the five most important things to know about the Patriots on Thursday.
  • Ron Borges notes Wayne Hunter is ready to step in for the injured Damien Woody as the starting right tackle, and take on Vince Wilfork.
  • Tom E. Curran chronicles Patriots one-sided trash talk over the years.
  • Mark Farinella wonders if Wes Welker's foot references in his press conference were just a coincidence or a shrewd retort to a week's worth of nonsense from the Jets.
  • Bob Ryan says the hiring of Bill Belichick was one of the best decisions Bob Kraft ever made.
  • Ian Rapoport notes Belichick vs. Ryan is the man vs. the mouth.
  • Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat. "I sense a business-like feel from the Patriots. They seem ready to play."
  • Mike Rodak points out the Patriots players are keeping it light in the locker room.
  • Matt Pepin presents a Bill Belichick word quiz.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Leigh Bodden, rehabbing from his torn rotator cuff, still feels like a part of the team and likes the way the secondary is improving; Kyle Love might be the third player on the line with Vince Wilfork and Gerard Warren; Brandon Deaderick made his first appearance in the locker room since his suspension and declined interview requests; Brandon Spikes was wearing the yellow jersey of the scout team players and may be eased back into his role on defense instead of being handed back his starting spot.
  • Monique Walker Patriots Notebook: Wes Welker spoke about not being able to participate in last year's playoff game and may have poked at Rex Ryan a bit with his 'foot' references; Vince Wilfork talked about how he looked up to Richard Seymour and Willie McGinest in his early years with the Patriots; Tully Banta-Cain said a lot of players have injuries and have to just suck it up and play; Injury update.
  • Tony Massarotti theorizes about five scenarios that could happen Sunday and predicts the Pats will win 30-20.
  • Jim Lazar makes his divisional round playoff picks. Pats 31, Jets 20.