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New England Patriots Links 9/06/11 - Wilfork Excited To See How Defense Operates

<em>Vince Wilfork likes what he sees so far from his fellow linemen</em>.
Vince Wilfork likes what he sees so far from his fellow linemen.

Christopher Price notes Vince Wilfork is excited to see how the defense operates in the regular season.

"I’m excited — who knows where it takes us?" Wilfork asked on Monday morning as the Patriots started preparing for next Monday’s opener against the Dolphins in Miami. "It’s one of those things that you can only tell when you get out and actually go 60 minutes and play a full game against a top opponent, which is the Miami Dolphins. Wherever it takes us, if we have to make adjustments, we will.

"But I’m looking forward to a great year, a successful year, hopefully. A good, healthy year for this ballclub. You go from there. We definitely have our hands full, I can tell you that. Opening up Monday night down there, it’s not an easy. But that’s something, that’s a challenge for us, early in the year, that’ll be a challenge. We’re going to have to get off to a good start this week."

"I’m happy I’ve got all those guys up front with me, I tell you that," he said. "Just being able to be on the same field and play with the same team with those guys is a pleasure, and hopefully, we can just stay healthy and we can execute well together."

"That’s going to be the bottom line — can we execute well together, no matter who is on the field? Can we execute our game plan? Can we play together as a team? It’s not just going to be one or two of us that this defense is based around. It’s going to be all 11. They’re veterans, they understand that. We expect a lot of each other. We push each other. It’s going to be a growing year, and hopefully, we can grow fast. We’ll see."

Jeff Howe catches Rob Gronkowski's enthusiasm about the start of the regular season.

"I'm definitely fired up," tight end Rob Gronkowski said. "It's about to be the first game. We're starting up on Monday Night Football, so I'm definitely fired up."



  • Karen Guregian says Vince Wilfork is happy to be playing with the new defensive lineup and hopes they will adjust to each other pretty fast.
  • Chris Forsberg reports that with the preseason behind them, the Patriots turn their attention to the Dolphins.
  • Christopher Price takes a closer look at the Patriots' acquisition of Brian Waters.
  • Paul Kenyon reports Brian Waters was hoping the Patriots would call.
  • Monique Walker notes OL Brian Waters decided he could be picky when the Chiefs released him after 11 seasons. Playing for the Patriots seemed like the perfect fit.
  • Christopher Price says Brian Waters brings a Mankins-style edge to the Pats' offensive line.
  • Karen Guregian says Brian Waters wouldn't have minded finishing his career with KC, but playing for a contender has it's lure.
  • Ian Rapoport reports Josh Barrett and Sergio Brown now have the unexpected opportunity to start next to Patrick Chung.
  • Monique Walker spotlights Josh Barrett, relatively unknown and now one of the top safeties on defense.
  • Mike Reiss assesses the 53-man roster and feels Belichick isn't done, especially after cutting Meriweather AND Sanders.
  • Mike Petraglia wonders if Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski will be enough at tight end.
  • Chris Forsberg notes the Patriots are quite thin at tight end, and will need both Gronkowski and Hernandez to stay healthy.
  • Mike Reiss points out no NFL team had more players claimed on waivers than the Patriots (5) after Saturday's final roster cutdown.
  • Mike Reiss offers some quick hits from the Patriots locker room.
  • Mike Reiss shares some leftovers from media access at Gillette Stadium Monday.
  • Jim Donaldson looks at how the division shapes up and says the Pats are still the team to beat in the AFC East.
  • Mike Reiss notes the Patriots have one of the NFL's older rosters, with an average age of 27.1.
  • Mike Rodak informs us which Patriots have had their jersey numbers changed. Most notably, Brian Waters will be wearing number 54.
  • Tom E. Curran notes Brandon Meriweather takes the high road in Chicago, expressing nothing but respect for Bill Belichick and the New England organization.
  • Tom E. Curran thinks Belichick hinted Meriweather's play had slipped.
  • Monique Walker Patriots Notebook: Steve Maneri is the latest Patriot to be cut and quickly claimed by another team (Chiefs); Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski will have small position meetings as they are the only two TEs on the team; Leigh Bodden, Dan Connolly and Ryan Wendell were present for the media portion of practice Monday; Jersey number updates.