Wilfork: Pats know meaning of one-game season

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Wilfork: Pats know meaning of one-game season

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO --@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Vince Wilfork has been giving advice to his younger teammates all season. And now he has the biggest piece of advice of all:

Win or go home.

It's now a one-game season, and every tip he's passed along to his youngerdefensive teammates will have to pay off on Sunday against the New York Jets,or New Englands season will end just as quickly as it ended in last yearsplayoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

"You lose this one, you go home," said Wilforkprior to Thursdays practice at Gillette Stadium. "The emphasis has been,all this time, to just remember what we're here for. If we lose this game, wecan't go back and say, 'Next week we have to get ready for this,' because nextweek would be over. I think everybody understands that.

"When Sunday comes, we have to be ready to play. We've got to expect theirbest. We've got to prepare for everything. Like I said, with it being aone-game season, we're likely to see anything, things that we haven't seen,things that we've seen. We kind of know what they like to do, but on top ofthat, like I said, with it being a one-game season, you never know."

Still, the Patriots are approaching it the same way they've approached everygame this season: not too high, and not too low.

"We make sure we know what we're doing out there," said Wilfork."We make sure we know exactly what's going on. That's the key. If we can'tdo that, we're in trouble. I think you get a lot of people pumped up, morejacked, going through the pregame on game day, so as of right now, I thinkwe're even-keel.

"Right now, we're just relaxed, going through our stuff, making our rightpreparations, getting ready for this game. Come Sunday, I'm pretty sureeveryone is going to be jacked up, but we've got to make sure we controlourselves because we've got to play football games. You can get in troublesometimes like that."

Wilfork said he hasnt looked back at what got them introuble last year, when Ray Rice ran one up the middle for 83 yards and anearly seven-point lead. The Ravens took a 24-0 lead after the first quarter,and finished their 33-14 win over the Pats with 234 total rushing yards andfour rushing touchdowns.

New Englands rush defense has significantly improvedthroughout this season, and Wilfork said that came with more studying, morereps, and most importantly, more players understanding their job.

Early on in the year, our run phase was kind of crazy, said Wilfork. Justseeing guys not understand the defense the way it needed to be played. So, astime went on, we got better and better and better. I think now, were sittingback and can say, Okay, weve gotten better, we have to continue to getbetter. We just cant sit back and say, Oh, were good. I think its justeveryone knowing their role, knowing exactly where they need to be and whenthey need to be there and preparation. I think everything we do can revolvearound preparing. If you prepare well, if you do that, youll be okay.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: What's going on between Patriots, Butler?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: What's going on between Patriots, Butler?

0:41 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith discuss what’s going on between the Patriots and Malcolm Butler after Bill Belichick praised Jonathan Jones and Eric Rowe but didn’t have much to say on Butler.

5:39 - John Farrell thinks David Price out of the bullpen can be similar to Andrew Miller with the Indians last year in the playoffs. Our panel on BST break it down.

10:35 - Curran, Holley, Smith, and Phil Perry talk about the NFL ratings being down and why that continues to be.

15:15 - Evan Drellich joins BST after the Red Sox win to explain why Drew Pomeranz could be even more threatening, how good the bullpen actually is, and the offense not driving in runs.

Dorsett (knee) hoping to be able to practice this week

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Dorsett (knee) hoping to be able to practice this week

FOXBORO -- The picture at wide receiver wasn't pretty for the Patriots by the time the clock hit zeros in the fourth quarter in New Orleans over the weekend. 

Chris Hogan looked hobbled for much of the second half. Phillip Dorsett left with a knee injury. Danny Amendola was ruled out well in advance of kickoff with a concussion and a knee injury. Matthew Slater was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Brandin Cooks looked like the only Patriots wideout to finish the game feeling spry.

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But as the team prepares for the Texans this week, Dorsett is hoping he'll be back on the field with his teammates for practice. 

"I feel good," Dorsett said in the Patriots locker room Monday. "Just a little sore, but I'm alright."

Not only would it help the Patriots offense to have another body available at receiver, but Dorsett understands how crucial it is for him to practice as much as possible. He was acquired in a trade with the Colts just before the season, and he knows he has work to do to get adjusted to his new offense.

"It's just me going out there and getting the plays in practice," Dorsett said when asked about his confidence level in running New England's system. "I feel like practice builds my confidence. If I get to play in practice, I feel more comfortable when it comes to the game."

Dorsett looked comfortable in Week 2, catching three passes for 68 yards. His first grab in the first quarter went for 23 yards and came on a play when Tom Brady, who was hit as he released, threw a floater down the right sideline. Dorsett alertly saw the pass falling short and worked back toward the line of scrimmage to make the catch. 

"I think he trusts me," Dorsett said of Brady. "We work a lot during practice and after practice. Hopefully we can continue to gain more trust as the season goes on. It's only the second game. We got a long way to go."

More practice time would be helpful in allowing that relationship to continue to grow. We'll see if Dorsett gets any when the Patriots take the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

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