FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork isn’t interested in looking back as he enters his ninth NFL season.
Less than four months after falling to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, Wilfork insists the loss has no effect on him today.
“No effect on me. No effect on me. You start back to where you started at, from zero. That’s where I’m at right now. You can’t dwell over spoiled milk,” Wilfork told reporters at Gillette Stadium on Thursday afternoon. “Last year was last year. That’s how you have to look at it. You have to be a professional. When it comes down to it, you have to be a professional about everything, and that plays a big part now. We have to be able to move forward, I’ve moved forward.”
Part of the process in moving forward for Wilfork is the addition of new teammates and a new position coach for the first time in his career. As Patrick Graham takes the reins as defensive line coach (with Pepper Johnson moving back to tutor the linebackers), Wilfork doesn’t believe the switch will have a major impact.
“It really won't affect us in a different way," he said. "I think we all talk the same way and that’s one good thing that you can always count on, being talked the same way. Everybody knows each other’s job. That goes for coaches also. So that move really isn’t big for us.”
Wilfork admits he was a little surprised by the switch, but added that Johnson won’t have moved too far, as the linebackers will work closely with the defensive line.
Graham will oversee Wilfork in his new role, as well as a handful of youngsters added this offseason, notably first-round pick Chandler Jones and third-rounder Jake Bequette.
The Patriots' defensive anchor isn’t ready to offer up his impressions of the newcomers, but trusts the organization he plays for and its ability to add talent.
“You never can doubt the capability of this organization and what they do. I’m just happy to be back started, and whoever we have, we have a lot of faith in them,” Wilfork said. “If we didn’t, they wouldn’t be here. Hopefully we can get this thing started fast. I’m excited about this upcoming season.”
One area of focus for the Patriots' defense –- a young group in Wilfork’s eyes -– is re-establishing a swagger that former Patriots left tackle Matt Light recently suggested was lacking last season.
“I think he’s right, there’s a level, you have guys in this game for a long time, been in this system for a long time, they just know how to play,” he said. “When you’re around something for so long, you adapt, you can start doing different things because you know it so well. Being a young defense, I think guys with the lockout and all that, I think we struggled at certain points at some of the things that we did.
“Hopefully it can be better this year, but I think the OTAs are good for us. It’s definitely good for a younger team, especially with us being a younger defense. And not saying we’re too young, but just being able to get together and getting little things out the way that can make a big, big difference down in the season,” Wilfork continued. “I think some of those things we can get done now, and we’re trying now. With OTAs we’re trying, every day we’re putting something in, every day guys are coming to work, and we’re just going to work.
“That’s what its going to take, you have to strive to get better, and that’s where I’m at right now, striving to get better and hopefully my teammates are doing the same thing,” he said.