Karen Guregian reports Vince Wilfork hates that his defensive line is no longer in the top-ranked category, but he accepts his role as the backbone for the young D to grow on.
"People move on. Sometimes it’s just the way the ball rolls. You can’t stay forever. Wish you could, but it don’t happen like that,’’ Wilfork said Friday, when asked about the line no longer being considered in the elite class. ‘‘I’m very happy with what we have. We have a bunch of guys who love to play football, who want to learn. And they learned most of the year.’’
"Sometimes you have to do that. As a leader, as a veteran, you just have to be a backbone,’’ Wilfork said following Friday’s AFC workout. "Sometimes I might not be in the best position to make plays, but to see the team grow, to see the defensive line grow, it was something special this season. And now, with Ty (Warren) coming back next year, that gets a little pressure off of me because he brings a lot to the table. So I’m very excited about the year coming up.’’
"The good thing with all that, [the young players] were forced to play. We couldn’t hold them back any longer to groom them. They were thrown in the mix because we needed them,’’ Wilfork said. "We didn’t know how it was going to turn out. Sometimes, it was OK. Other times, you could see the lack of experience, and the lack of knowing what we do. But during the course of the year, they grew. So you can’t complain about that. Now, they have a year, or in some cases, two years under their belt. They’re not rookies anymore. That’s going to be big for us.’’
- Matt Smith files his report from the Pro Bowl, recapping Day 3.
- Erik Scalavino reports Logan Mankins is pessimistic about returning.
- Andy Hart and Paul Perillo debate whether or not the Patriots should pursue Chad Ochocinco.
- Sarah Leong Oliver reports the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and CVS Caremark celebrated a $25,000 donation to the Special Olympics of Massachusetts.
- Patriots Today - Welker's third Pro Bowl. (2.02 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Pats team up with Special Olympics. (2.30 min. video)
- WEEI - Bill Belichick gives an interview on 'The Big Show' on Thursday. (25.43 min. audio)
- Christopher Price reports how the Patriots players performed in Sunday's Pro Bowl 55-41shootout.
- Jason Kaneshiro wraps up the Pro Bowl after an AFC loss.
- Pat Bigold reports from Honolulu on the NFC victory over the AFC in this year's sloppy Pro Bowl.
- Karen Guregian notes Bill Belichick sought out Logan Mankins for a private chat following the Pro Bowl game last night, but Mankins wouldn't spill what it was about.
- Jason Kaneshiro focuses on the reuniting of Peyton Manning and Bill Belichick at the Pro Bowl.
- Kirk Minihane presents the case against Wes Welker being signed to a new contract this season.
- Mike Reiss talks about the NFLN putting a camera on Wes Welker's helmet and mic'ing him up.
- Karen Guregian reports that with the upcoming season in doubt, Wes Welker plans to keep going as if football will continue.
- Karen Guregian notes Devin McCourty took his twin brother Jason along with him to the Pro Bowl.
- Mike Reiss offers some quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and with the Patriots.
- Mike Reiss notes Mel Kiper re-graded the Patriots 2010 Draft from a B-minus to an A-plus. Easier in hindsight, eh Mel?
- Brandon Lawrence offers some observations from the Senior Bowl.
- Karen Guregian notes Darrelle Revis thinks the Jets' gameplan vs the Patriots is bound to be copied.
- Ian Rapoport looks at some hot topics heading into the hype storm that builds the week before the Super Bowl.
- Tom E. Curran reports Bill Belichick calls in to WEEI and laments missed opportunities during the Jets game, but offers few details on why the Patriots flopped.
- WEEI highlights Peter King's appearance on the Dale & Holley show Friday.
- Mike Reiss offers a behind the scenes glimpse at retiring exec Jim Hausmann's 19-year tenure with the Patriots wasn't supposed to last that long.
- Mike Reiss focuses on the future at each position: Defensive Line and Kicker, Punter & Snapper.
- Christopher Price examines the Patriots by position: Offensive Line - Special Teams - Quarterback - Running Back - Tight End - Wide Receiver.
- WEEI scouts out some potential Patriots: DL Allen Bailey (Miami) - C/G Mike Pouncey (Florida) - WR Julio Jones (Alabama) - WR Tandon Doss (Indiana) - WR Jonathan Baldwin (Pittsburgh) - RB Daniel Thomas (Kansas State)
- Ian Rapoport posts the new NFLPA's Super Bowl ad for its "Let Us Play" campaign. (1.01 min. video)