Bill Belichick: Vince Wilfork never failed to make weight at Patriots weigh-ins

Bill Belichick: Vince Wilfork never failed to make weight at Patriots weigh-ins

FOXBORO -- If you ever asked Vince Wilfork about his weight during the last few years of his Patriots career, he gave the same answer: 325 pounds. That's how he was listed on the Patriots roster, and no matter what kind of prodding you did, you got the same three digits. And, no, he wouldn't be stepping on a scale for you.


In reporting a story on the Patriots nutritional approach back in 2014, Wilfork -- who was feeling as strong as ever late in the season due to what he said were some changes to his diet -- was anticipating my disbelief before he even had the chance to proudly boast about his weight. 

"Everybody always questions me because I got a big belly," Wilfork said with a smile. "I tell them all the time that I'm always gonna have a belly. I'm always gonna have a belly. That's my trademark. I'm gonna have a belly. But when you do body-fat tests and all that stuff, all my fat is in my stomach. Everywhere else, I mean, you cut my belly out you'd think I'm a linebacker or something. You know what I mean? Everyone always questions me about that, but there's no question. That's what it is. Just because I got a big belly, I'm proportioned a little bit differently than everybody else."

Proportioned differently, yes. But during Wilfork's retirement announcement on Wednesday, Bill Belichick said that Wilfork always made weight during his Patriots career, just as anybody else would be expected to.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft brought up Wilfork's "trademark" when he recalled a trip that the Wilforks and Krafts once made to Florence, Italy. 

"I remember Vince saying he had camp coming up, and he wanted to eat healthy and just eat protein," Kraft said. "This place was famous for pasta and they brought many pastas and meat and desserts. Vince was a full participant in every course, not wanting to make them feel bad. I'd check when he came back here, and he was able to pass his run, but I think he might have been a few pounds overweight and had to pay a fine -- which Bill, I really should have paid because I brought him there."

Belichick made sure to double-check with Wilfork on stage, but he then made a quick correction to Kraft's story when he got his chance to speak.

"This is maybe surprising, but it’s true," Belichick started. "Vince never one time was fined for being overweight and never one time missed the conditioning test. The conditioning test honestly wasn’t even close. Vince could run. That was never an issue. There were times when he would come in for the weigh-ins and we would say, like, 'Man, is he going to make it today?' But 11 years, never fined one time for being overweight.

Belichick paused. "Now I’m not saying he was never overweight. I’m not saying that," he said. "I’m saying at weigh-in, he made every weigh-in."

Wilfork laughed before taking his turn at the podium to announce his retirement officially. "Yeah, I never missed a weigh-in," he said. "But catch me 30 minutes later and it might be a different story. That’s just being honest."

Wilfork is, after all, a man who broke the news of his own retirement with a video that featured him smoking ribs in his overalls

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley explode in shootout win vs. 49ers


THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley explode in shootout win vs. 49ers

Jared Goff threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns and Todd Gurley ran for two TDs and caught another to help the Los Angeles Rams put up another big offensive performance with a 41-39 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.

The NFL's lowest-scoring team last year looks like a completely different outfit this season under first-year coach Sean McVay thanks to vastly improved play by Goff after a rough rookie season as the No. 1 overall pick.

The Rams (2-1) have also been helped by the additions of receivers Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods and the play-calling of McVay as they have scored 107 points through three games. That's the second-most in franchise history, trailing only the 119 by "The Greatest Show on Turf" squad in 2000.

This win didn't come easy as the Rams nearly blew a 15-point lead, giving up two late touchdowns, fumbling a kickoff return and failing to recover an onside kick. But Los Angeles managed to stop a potential game-tying 2-point conversion and then used an offensive pass interference penalty against Trent Taylor and a fourth-down sack by Aaron Donald to stop the Niners after the onside kick.

The 49ers (0-3) scored five touchdowns after failing to get any the first two weeks but still came up short in part because a missed extra point by Robbie Gould forced them to try for 2 on their late touchdown.

This time it was a tired defense that hurt San Francisco. After facing 79 plays in a 12-9 loss at Seattle on Sunday, the 49ers appeared to run out of gas on the short week as Goff frequently had wide-open receivers, especially on third down.

All three of Goff's touchdown passes came on third down, including a 13-yard pass to Watkins early in the fourth quarter that gave Los Angeles a 41-26 lead.

The Rams needed all that offense on a night where Brian Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.

QUICK START: The Rams took just 12 seconds to get on the board as Nickell Robey-Coleman intercepted Hoyer on the first play from scrimmage and returned it to the 3-yard line. Gurley ran it in on the next play to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.

DROUGHT BUSTER: The 49ers came into the game without a touchdown on the season but broke through in the first quarter with some help from the Rams. After Blake Countess jumped offside on a punt, the Niners took advantage of the second opportunity and drove to score on Hoyer's 9-yard run 126:43 into the season. That was the longest it took a team to score its first TD since 2006 when both Tampa Bay (143:03) and Oakland (127:10) took more time.

FOURTH DOWN CALLS: Both teams drove to the opposing 1 on their opening drives of the second half with help from a Willie Mays-style basket catch by Watkins and a perfect toe drag on the sideline by San Francisco's Pierre Garcon. But the Rams opted to kick a short field goal, while the 49ers went for it and converted on Carlos Hyde's 1-yard run that cut Los Angeles' lead to 27-20. Hyde added a second 1-yard run on fourth down in the fourth quarter.

INJURIES: Rams S Lamarcus Joyner left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. ... Los Angeles C John Sullivan injured his groin in the second half and Watkins and Tavon Austin left with concussions. ... 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt (concussion), FB Kyle Juszczyk (neck), DL Tank Carradine (ankle) and LB Brock Coyle (concussion) all left with injuries in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Rams travel to Dallas on Oct. 1. The 49ers visit Arizona.


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Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?


Boston Sports Tonight Podcast: Is there a blueprint to beat the Patriots?


0:41 - Tom E. Curran breaks down the ‘blueprint’ to beat the Patriots and if the Texans have the talent to do it.

5:27 - Michael Holley and Kayce Smith discuss Kyrie Irving’s comments that he made on Early Edition about going back to Cleveland for the opening game. 

9:52 - We take a listen to what Malcolm Butler had to say about his role on the team and discuss how the cornerback keeps saying all the right things. 

15:18 - Michael McCann, Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated joins BST to talk about Aaron Hernandez’s brain found to have CTE and his family now suing the NFL and the Patriots.