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New England Patriots Links 10/28/11 - Wilfork Prepared For 'Tough-Fought Football Game' vs. Steelers

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<em>Vince Wifork says the team is ready for a tough, physical game in Pittsburgh Sunday</em>.
Vince Wifork says the team is ready for a tough, physical game in Pittsburgh Sunday.

Vince Wilfork responds to a question about his increased playing time, and how that might diminish if Ron Brace and Brandon Deaderick are activated.

I don't know. I always want to be on the field regardless of how you slice it. Sometimes I can; sometimes I can't, depending on how many plays I've been out there or how I'm feeling at the time. Like I said, I always work hard towards conditioning. Being a big guy and playing a lot of snaps, you really don't see that around the league anymore because you have guys that can come in and give guys breaks at times. But I'm the type of person that I'm going to do whatever I can to stay on the field because I want to be on the field. I want to be out there in every situation. I know that sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't, but I'm prepared for it. I love to play. I love to play because I think the more I'm on the field, the better chance for me to help my teammates. And vice versa, when I'm off the field, the guy whose in for me, I'm confident in [him] doing his job. I always want to play. I always want to be on the field, no matter how you slice. I'd play both ways if they let me but I don't think that would last too long at this level.

Andy Hart catches up with Brandon Spikes, who emphasized the importance of his improving comfort level and playing with the guys around him.

"Different players do different things. They have different strengths and weaknesses. So you just have to get used the guys," Spikes said of guys rotating in front of him like Vince Wilfork, Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Love.

"I feel like if I get a running start or get up some steam, I try to be disruptive," Spikes said with a smile. "But whatever I’m asked to do, if that’s what I’m asked to do, I try to do it to the best of my ability."

Ian Rapoport doesn't get much information from BenJarvus Green-Ellis on how much pain he has been playing with from his toe injury, but Benny knows how important those yards after contact are.

"That’s a question everyone has to answer," the former Ole Miss standout said. "Every athlete has to answer that for himself. There’s going to be bumps and bruises along the line. So, I’m straight."

"I don’t really go out there and try to tally up the number of plays or (yards)," Green-Ellis said. "Each and every play, I just go out there and try to compete."

"Once I get there, obviously, there’s 11 players out there who want to have the ball who are always trying to get to me," Green-Ellis said. "My mindset doesn’t change. When things come up, when people come up, I just deal with it when I get there. Whatever comes naturally, just make a decision and go."

"As far as breaking tackles or making guys miss in the open field or putting a shoulder down or running through a guy for a few extra yards, those yards definitely count."

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Shalise Manza Young reports Vince Wilfork is aware that the game will hinge on how well his defense protects the red zone.
  • Mike Reiss mentions the growing bond between the defensive linemen in his quick hits from the Patriots locker room.
  • Ian Rapoport takes a look at the numbers for BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who gains yards after the first hit with stunning consistency.
  • Ron Borges always sees the same pattern from the Steelers: Pittsburgh talks before the game, then cries after it.
  • Tedy Bruschi warns if Roethlisberger is allowed to improvise, the Patriots will pay. Picks Pats to win 30-27.
  • Chris Forsberg breaks down just how dangerous Mike Wallace's speed can be.
  • Paul Kenyon depresses us with the reminder that the Patriots could have had Mike Wallace in the 2009 Draft, but opted for Brandon Tate.
  • Mike Reiss relays CBS studio analyst Bill Cowher's insight on Patriots-Steelers.
  • Chris Gasper breaks down his three keys to a Patriots win over the Steelers. (3.06 minute video.)
  • Tom E. Curran offers his Patriots-Steelers preview. (3 min. video)
  • Christopher Price tries to figure out how much Wes Welker is worth, and says Santonioo Holmes deal could provide the framework for a deal.
  • Mike Petraglia finds Rob Ninkovich is proving to be a real edge-setter for the Patriots.
  • WEEI Patriots Friday: Devin McCourty knows he has to try to match the Steelers' physicality Sunday.
  • Chris Forsberg notes Ron Brace is more than ready to play if called upon.
  • Mike Reiss compares the base and sub defenses for the Patriots through six games.
  • Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat.
  • Julian Benbow Patriots Notebook: Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have been to seven Super Bowls between them and won five; Both QBs credit consistency to their teams' success; Steelers defense feels the absence of LB James Harrison; Roethlisberger has been sacked 20 times; Practice report and injury update.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Vince Wilfork has been on the field more than ever, but he loves every snap; The D-linemen know they have a tough task in bringing down Ben Roethlisberger; Brian Waters notes that even the younger Steelers are as physical and tough-as-nails as the veterans they replaced; Hard-hitting James Harrison may not play but backup Lawrence Timmons is performing well in his absence; Devin McCourty knows it's his job to limit the NFL's fastest receiver, Mike Wallace.
  • WEEI highlights Michael Lombardi's guest appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show. Lombardi sees the Patriots as the kind of team that gives Pittsburgh the most trouble.
  • Jim Lazar ratchets up his Steeler hate while making his Week 8 picks. Pats win 30-20.
  • Eric Wilbur Prediction Roundup: All the Week 8 picks in one place, with who's picking the Patriots to win, and who isn't. His money is on Ochocinco to grab a TD.

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