Wilfork: Belichick is the best ever 'because he can relate to his players'

Wilfork: Belichick is the best ever 'because he can relate to his players'

Vince Wilfork continued his wide-ranging media tour when he joined Barstool's Pardon My Take podcast with Big Cat and PFT Commenter. He's still not retiring, in case you were wondering. And when he does announce what's next for him, he'll do it his way, he explained: On his Twitter account. 

With the retirement/non-retirement business out of the way, the hosts peppered Wilfork with football questions produced some insightful answers from the former Patriots and Texans defensive lineman. 

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One of the most noteworthy responses was Wilfork's take on why Bill Belichick is the greatest of all time. 

“He’s funny, and he enjoys what he do,” Wilfork said. “That’s one thing people don’t understand about Belichick. He is so down to Earth. He is such a good dude. And his players love him. He knows how to turn a key to get you right and he also knows how to back off and have fun. That’s one thing I always noticed and we always had fun in practice . . . 

“I remember we used to do this thing every Friday, Friday would be our cool down day and a light practice. We always kicked the ball off, and the team, we would all cover a kick, like a kickoff team. Every day I would go to Bill and say, ‘I am going to make the tackle.’ He was like, ‘You’re not going to make it.’ Every day we would bet some type of food or pushups or something. Every day we would bet something that I would make a tackle. That tradition carried on . . . They probably still do it now.

“That was just a side of Bill just understanding and having fun with his teammates -- even if it was something conditioning wise -- we always had fun doing it. He made the game fun, but at the same time, he would make it tough for you, too. But it’s the reason why he’s the greatest coach of all-time because he can relate to his players.”

Here are a few more quotes of note from Wilfork's interview on Pardon My Take . . . 

On who is faster, him or Tom Brady: "Me."

On if it's even close: "No."

On if he's ever accidentally fallen on Brady in practice: "If I would have fell on Tom Brady in practice, I wouldn't have had a career . . . I would have cut myself."

On Texans defensive coordinator and former Patriots teammate Mike Vrabel: "Even when I played with Vrabel, I looked at him almost as a coach because he was so smart. Hands down the smartest defensive player I ever played with . . . When I came to Houston, that was one of the reasons I came down here was because of Vrabel and because of Romeo Crennel."

Vince Wilfork says he's not ready to retire just yet

Vince Wilfork says he's not ready to retire just yet

Vince Wilfork hinted at retirment late last season. He waved goodbye and blew kisses to the crowd at Gillette Stadium after being knocked out of the playoffs by his former team.

But he says he's not ready to call it a career just yet. 

The former Patriots and Texans defensive tackle told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that he hasn't decided if he will be returning to play football in 2017 or not. Wilfork's interview on PFT Live will air in full on Thursday. 

Wilfork's doing a media car wash of sorts recently, which suggests he's very interested in keeping himself at the top of the minds of NFL general managers and head coaches. 

"Right now, I’m doing everything I possibly can to make sure, 100 percent, whatever I want to do, I’m good with it," he told ESPN's SportsCenter on Wednesday. "I’m not rushing anything. I’m in no rush to say if I’m going to play or not going to play. I’m just taking it day by day."

Wilfork also made it very clear to Sirius NFL XM Radio on Wednesday that he hasn't retired. 

 

Texans general manager Rick Smith said in April that he doesn't believe the 35-year-old defensive lineman will be continuing his playing career in 2017.

"I haven't spoken to Vince Wilfork since last season," Smith said. "My expectation is that Vince is not playing anymore."

Wilfork, who is technically an unrestricted free agent, was named to five Pro Bowls and won two Super Bowls in New England. He was also the No. 2 ranked Patriots player on Tom E. Curran's list of Top 50 Patriots in the Bill Belichick Era for his productivitiy, his longevity and his impact on the locker room.

After losing to the Patritos in January, Wilfork said he felt as though he was done.

“I’ll take my time to think about it, but I think I’ve played my last NFL game,” Wilfork said. “I’ll do my due diligence, sit back and see if I really want to retire. I enjoyed every bit of my career. I enjoyed 11 great years in New England, and I enjoyed two great years in Texas with these teammates, unbelievable teammates. I couldn’t have any better teammates in both organizations.”

Texans GM: The expectation is that Wilfork will retire

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Texans GM: The expectation is that Wilfork will retire

Vince Wilfork has acknowledged that he's thought about retiring, and now it sounds like maybe he's already embarked on that chapter of his life. 

According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Texans general manager Rick Smith said on Friday that he doesn't believe the 35-year-old defensive lineman will be continuing his playing career in 2017.

"I haven't spoken to Vince Wilfork since last season," Smith said. "My expectation is that Vince is not playing anymore."

If that is the case, Wilfork will have played his final NFL game at Gillette Stadium when Houston fell in the Divisional Round to the Patriots a few months ago. 

Wilfork, who is technically an unrestricted free agent, was named to five Pro Bowls and won two Super Bowls in New England. He was also the No. 2 ranked Patriots player on Tom E. Curran's list of Top 50 Patriots in the Bill Belichick Era for his productivitiy, his longevity and his impact on the locker room.

After losing to the Patritos in January, Wilfork said he felt as though he was done.

“I’ll take my time to think about it, but I think I’ve played my last NFL game,” Wilfork said. “I’ll do my due diligence, sit back and see if I really want to retire. I enjoyed every bit of my career. I enjoyed 11 great years in New England, and I enjoyed two great years in Texas with these teammates, unbelievable teammates. I couldn’t have any better teammates in both organizations.”

As he trotted off the turf that night, he waved to the crowd, slapped the hands of Patriots fans lining the visitor's tunnel, and blew kisses to the those he couldn't reach overhead. He looked like a man who was saying goodbye.