Wilfork stresses focusing, finishing strong vs. Bills


Wilfork stresses focusing, finishing strong vs. Bills

FOXBORO -- The Patriots want to know what it's like to win again. A week 1 victory in Tennessee seems like it was too long ago.

"It'll be very exciting to see how a win feels around here," said veteran Vince Wilfork. "So, that's my focus."

Everyone knows that Buffalo has historically been a tough place for New England to play. The Patriots expect another dogfight at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.

To get back on the winning track, Wilfork believes it's about focus.

"We have to put more into what we're doing, just a little bit more," he said. "When times get tough, when your back's against the wall, you have to be able to settle down and get back to basics.

"We have to focus, we have to focus. Do some things a lot better than we have been doing, plain and simple."

The concept of this Patriots team beginning the season 1-2, hasn't been a simple one to grasp.

But entering Sunday's Week 4 game against the Bills, the Patriots are reminding everyone that it's a 16-game schedule.

"There's a lot of football left," said Wilfork. "And it's not how you start. It's how you finish. So, hopefully we can get better as each week goes on. And hopefully we'll be ok."

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'


Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."