New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork addressed the media during the Super Bowl Media Day at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Courtesy of Patriots.com
(on the 'MHK' patches the Patriots wear in honor of the late Myra Kraft) "It means a lot, what she brought to this organization, what she brought to this team. For her not to be here physically with us, I think everybody thinks of every moment that she was around. This year is dedicated to her, and hopefully we can finish it off with a good outcome for her and for the Kraft family. This is the biggest stage. This is the biggest game. We would like to go out on top on this stage. It's a good place to be."
(on Myra Kraft) "She was always in the community. You never knew something was wrong with her, because she was always out and about. She was doing. You would see her around the stadium, but she spent most of her time in the community just helping folks. That was her biggest thing, you know, making a difference in the world, just helping people that weren't able to help themselves-were it physical or financial or whatever it may be. She just had a big, big heart for being such a small woman. She is absolutely missed from all of us, and I'm pretty sure from around the world because of what she meant to a lot of people."
(on what he remembers about getting his Super Bowl ring in 2004) "I don't too much take it out, but it's a memory that you'll never forget. Being on the biggest stage in sports, you're going to always remember it. Win or lose, you're going to remember it. That was the first- I've had the pleasures of (winning) two, to be the three. This will be my third one-win one, lose one. Any time you can get to this step, it's a big, big accomplishment, because it's so hard to win and so hard to compete. We're talking about the best athletes in the world competing on one stage, and it's just tough to win. So, any time you get here, it's always special. I think guys have got to understand that. It's not by mistake we're here. We work very hard, and I'm pretty sure there are 30 other teams out there that are going to be looking and saying, 'We could have been there. We beat these teams,' and stuff like that, but you know what? There are only two teams that remain standing, and it's us and the Giants."
(on reaching out to the young players on the team about what to take from the experience) " I think these guys have done well. I think there are a lot of distractions, but at the end of the day, you have to remember that once the ball kicks off, it's going to be a football game. I think everything leading up to the Super Bowl, with family and fans and friends and stuff like that, is big. Everybody wants to be a part of it, this game, because like I said, it's probably the biggest game in sports. Everybody wants to be a part of this, which is understandable. So, as a player, you have to understand how to distance yourself at a certain point in time in the week and understand that we have to get the work. Gameday, once that ball kicks off, it's 'lights camera, action,' but it's a football game, and you have to understand that. I think these guys have been doing a real good job with that. They've been focusing and practicing well. Guys understand what it means to be a professional. I think this is probably the biggest test of everyone-young guys, veterans. It's probably the biggest test to see what it is to be a professional. It's distractions, not because you made it a distraction. It's just the big stage, so it's going to test a lot of guys, even the young guys. Right now, they don't even know they're getting tested as what it means to be a professional, but they're doing it. So, at the end of the day, they'll always look back and say, 'That was probably my biggest challenge- on Super Bowl Sunday-as a professional."
(on getting over the 2007 Super Bowl loss) "That wasn't hard at all to get off of that loss. Any time you lose a ball game, you try to move on. I don't think anything was said in our locker room about that season or that loss or it being a rematch or anything like that because I don't think it means anything. Both teams are so different now, so it really doesn't mean anything. It's just you have the two same teams that played playing again, but as far as revenge and they're holding the torch and all, I don't think it's anything big there. It's another football game. Like I said, it's two good football l teams that are playing, two good teams that are very well coached, very disciplined- two tough teams that are playing in the Super Bowl. That's the way it's supposed to be. We earned the right to be here. The giants earned the right to be here. Some people may agree, some people may not, but it is what it is. You made the plays to get you here, and hopefully, we walk away with the 'W.' At the same time, I'm pretty sure the Giants are saying the same thing. If you lose this one, there's no more next week. It's see you next year. There's a lot riding on this game, but at the end of the day, it's going to be a game. That's what it's going to be on Sunday. Once the ball is kicked off, it's going to be a regular football game."
(on his relationship with the late Myra Kraft) "I think it was more personal than anything. She was always the type that she cared less about who you are as a football player-which it meant a lot to her-but she was more on the part of who you are as a person, where your heart is. I think in this locker room, you have a bunch of guys that have that similarity in them, a good football player but an even greater person off the field. That's what she was all about. It seems like every week she was in the community doing something. Who it may be for didn't matter, but she was always helping. That was her motto. She always wanted to help; she always wanted to make a difference in someone's life. She touched a lot of people's lives, not just in America but across the world. She touched a lot of people's hearts, and she had the biggest heart-a small, small person- but she probably had one of the biggest hearts ever. I think a lot of people respect her for that, and I think a lot of people saw deeper past football when it came to Myra Kraft."
(on his relationship with Patriots Owner Robert Kraft) "We've always had a good relationship. I think our relationship got deeper once she (Myra Kraft) passed because, like I said, it was more than football there. My wife and I always were true believers in helping people, and it's just like we're the same people as Mr. and Mrs. Kraft. So, I think it got a little deeper just because of the relationship that we did have and the bond that we did have over the years. I think it just got deeper. I think it's two guys that really understand what it means to have a good woman behind you and to lose someone as close and dear to your heart. So, I think our relationship is probably one of the best relationships that a player and owner probably have in this game."
(on playing in the Super Bowl for Kraft) "It's always amazing to get here, and to see him every day and know that he's hurting, it's big for him. We're very happy dedicating this season. We're very happy with being in this situation for this organization, but mainly for Mr. and Mrs. Kraft. I think she would be here right with us today with Mr. Kraft walking around on a day like today, but she's not. She's got the best seat in the house though. Like I said, it feels good to be here in this type of season. It's been a long season. It's been a stressful season. You could look back at this season and say a bunch went on that year. A bunch went on that year, but hopefully we'll be looking back and smiling and laughing."
(on the secret to being a Patriot) "I think you can't be selfish. I think the Patriots are all about team, family, smart football players, things like that. I think the older you get, and you've probably been in the organization for however long-to come to this organization, right away you'll see it's a different organization because of, first, our head coach, how he handles business. He wants nothing but the best. He won't settle for anything other than that, and that's for a rookie and 15-year vet. So, he holds everybody accountable. If you don't have that team spirit or that team motto coming in here, it won't work. A lot of the guys have it, some guys don't have it, but you know what? Who wouldn't want to play under (Head Coach) Bill Belichick? He's going to go down as probably the best coach ever. Even if he doesn't, I'm already putting him there. He's the best coach ever."
(on stopping the Giants' running game) "That's probably one of the biggest things we have to do in this game is to, first of all, be able to handle the run. They have three good backs that can actually run the ball, and trust me, they're tough. They're tough backs, and Eli (Manning), he's playing lights-out ball right now. He's going to be pretty tough to maintain in the pocket, because he doesn't get rattled quick. He doesn't get rattled quick, so we have to do a good job for 60 minutes playing good football. If that's stopping the run more or getting pressure on Manning- just making it tough on those guys. It's going to be a challenge for us, but it's the big stage."
(on carrying over the momentum from his performance in the AFC Championship Game) "I don't change anything. My preparation doesn't change, because I prepare well. I prepare to go into battle each week and play my heart out. So, if that's what it takes, then that's what I'm going to do."
(on if he will eat his pregame meal with the team) "Absolutely, trust me. This game isn't any different from any other game that I've played. It's just the biggest game of the year, but the way I approach it won't be any different from how I approach any game, because I approach every game to win."
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