Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork joined Dale & Holley on Monday to discuss the Patriots’€™ 16-9 win over the Raiders. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

With the Raiders driving deep into Patriots territory at the end of the game, Wilfork helped close out the New England victory with a key interception — the third of his career. Two of his interceptions have come against Oakland.

“That play I caught it, but that play probably wouldn’t have been possible without my teammates,” Wilfork said of the interception. “I just happened to be there to catch it. That’€™s the main thing.”

Continued Wilfork: “It was something I thought I was going to be able to get. I didn’t know when, but I actually called it earlier this year. I think going into this past week, I was talking to Chandler [Jones] and I told him, ‘€˜I think I have one coming soon.’€™ A little vision I had. Some call vision that I saw in my sleep. A little birdie tapped me on the shoulder and was like, ‘€˜You’€™ll be ready.’ ”

The Patriots defense allowed nine points to Oakland on Sunday and just 16 combined in the last two weeks. Wilfork said the defense still has room for improvement throughout the season.

“We haven’€™t played our best game yet, it has yet to come,” Wilfork said. “The more we practice at it, the more consistent we become, I think you’€™ll see the defense play a lot better. It’€™s just one of those things each week where you have to continue to just grind away. Things we make mistakes of, correct them and move forward. And get better each day. I think that’€™s one thing we have done from the first week to now. We’ve gotten better each week. And that’€™s the only thing you can ask for. It’€™s still early in the season.”

Oakland running back Darren McFadden is one of the top tailbacks in the league when healthy. The Patriots held him to just 3.3 yards per carry on 18 rushes.

Said Wilfork: “He’€™s a tough runner. He hits a different level every time he touches the ball. He explodes so quickly. There was one play yesterday that I went out and arm tackled him and he was by me so fast. It just shows you the explosiveness that he has as a running back. Not too many running backs have that. But he’€™s one of them. He’€™s fast, he’€™s powerful, he’€™s big and he can run. He’€™s a good back. … I think we did a real good job yesterday of handling the run game.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On Darrelle Revis‘€™ performance with the Patriots: “He’€™s every bit of a New England Patriot player. He’€™s unselfish, he’€™s a guy that just comes in and puts his head down and goes to work. Every day he’€™s competing. Any time you see guys at that level of their game, to compete the way they compete in practice and get upset if you complete a pass, that’€™s a special player. It kind of rubbed off on the other guys back in the secondary, just seeing how he approached the game.”

On the rest of the defensive corps: “The one thing that I really love about this defense is that the guys that aren’t starters that know their roles, they come in and compete every day. They’€™re not mad that they’€™re not starting. They’€™re not pouting. They’€™re coming to work and competing every day. We always want to be the best at what whatever we do. And it’€™s just going to make our team a lot better, especially our defense.”

On playing in Kansas City and a loud environment: “They’€™re going to be riled up. They’€™re going to be ready to go. I played there once as a rookie, and I tell you it was probably one of the loudest stadiums I’ve been in. I think they’€™re going to be rocking coming off a good win this week. We’€™re going to their house Monday night. I’€™m pretty sure we’€™re going to get their best. We have to be able to match it and start with a good week of practice.”

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano
We check in with Big Vince Wilfork on a Patriots Monday and get his take on the defense's progression, his interception, his teammate Darrelle Revis and playing Monday Night Football in KC.
We check in with the head coach for his reaction to the Patriots win against Oakland, the offense's struggles, Julien Edelman, and playing in KC on Monday Night.
We check in with Tedy Bruschi on a Patriots Monday for his reaction to the Patriots struggles, Julien Edelman and his strong comments about his desire to see Roger Goodell lose his job.

Making his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley Show, ESPN analyst, and former Patriots linebacker, Tedy Bruschi reiterated his stance that Roger Goodell should be replaced as commissioner of the National Football League.

Tedy Bruschi (Getty Images)

Tedy Bruschi (Getty Images)

Making his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley Show, ESPN analyst, and former Patriots linebacker, Tedy Bruschi reiterated his stance that Roger Goodell should be replaced as commissioner of the National Football League.

“It was just all about me saying what I believed in, what I felt,” said Bruschi regarding his statement on ESPN shortly after Goodell’s Friday press conference, suggesting it was time for a change in the NFL’s commissioner’s office. “Just that I’m proud of the time I spent in the National Football League. I tried to conduct myself during my 13-year career to do the right thing. I still feel part of it, a part of the integrity of the game to how I still conduct myself. My commissioner I want to be that man you can look to and he represents the integrity of our game. He’s got to be the figurehead. He’s got to lead in his image. He’s everything. He represents the players. He represents the owners. And, yes, I do feel he represents the players because he is the face with the shield. Roger Goodell’s integrity has been compromised. Now, has that been proven? There are still investigations. There’s an internal investigation with the NFL All I’m saying, moving forward I just feel, personally, we need a new face.

“We need a new leader to implement new policies and to have a new image. Because going forward when you look to the NFL and you see the head of the NFL, and it is Roger Goodell, no matter what happens with the investigation, you remember and you wonder. You wonder what he’s saying. Is he telling the truth? Is everyone behind him? And right now there isn’t. Everyone is not behind him and I would like new leadership to lead the league forward.”

Bruschi also touched on his concerns in regards to his former team.

He noted that perhaps the biggest issue facing the Patriots is their play at the center and guards positions on the offensive line. If improvement is made on the line’s interior, Bruschi said, there could be a concern in regards to quarterack Tom Brady‘s ability to stay healthy for an entire season.

“There’s been only limited improvement over the first few weeks, so that’s somewhat discouraging,” he said. “Is there still plenty of time? Yes. But I really worry. I really worry about the health of Tom Brady and the interior offensive line and what they’re doing there. To me, inside-out, it starts at the center position, which is a very valuable position now in the National Football League. It’s getting to be just as valuable as the left tackle, how you have to solidify the center of that pocket and the running game because that’s where all the pressure is going to come from. Especially when you have a pocket passer, which is what Tom is. It’s the quickest track to get to him and it disrupts the running game the most, if you get to get disruption over the center and the left guard and the right guard. Right now, they’re having problems in there.

Bruschi added, “You can have the best coach there is, Dante Scarnecchia can still be there, and you still may have a center and a right guard that struggles because the players on the other side of the ball are just better. I think offensively what they’ll try to do is mask their deficincies there. How do you have it more that the interior offensive line to have the advantage in terms of protecting your quarterback? You run the ball more. You try and be more physical. You use misdirection. You do play-action pass. Those type of things you have to win on first and second down and keep it manageable on third down because if it ends up second and long or third and long, I as a defensive pass rusher or linebacker we can attack those A gaps, that’s where it’s going to come. If you have the problems there, coupled with your tackles getting beat like a drum, like they were at times on Sunday, you have some major problems going forward.”

To listen to the entire interview, go to Audio on Demand at the Dale & Holley page by click here.

Blog Author: 
WEEI
Oakland drove down deep into the Patriots red zone with a minute to play on Sunday in a bid to tie the game and send it to overtime. Jones was asked if he and his teammates were nervous at all towards the end; He refuted the assertion saying the team clamped down and became more composed. Veterans Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork are vocal leaders and can calm the defense down. And then, all four of the guys had a laugh over rookie Brian Stork's post-game interview with reporters.
Edelman talked about his scary play in the red zone to start off the 4th quarter, in which he flipped in the air and landed on his head. He was fine, but admits that players need to be aware of the down and importance of putting your health in jeopardy over the course of a 16 game season. The guys asked him about the offense's struggles, and Gronk's inability to pull in a tipped ball in the end zone.

[0:00:00] ... is a patriots Monday at Gillette Stadium for -- with NFB Maloney Christian Fauria -- And Julian Edelman has always brought to you by fire ourselves into play Penske insurance. You're getting flipped. Over like that ...
[0:03:46] ... west hasn't been around right that's one of the things they're reliable Wes Welker was to yourself and that while he was doing his job it. You learn from him is this has become you sort ...
[0:05:55] ... home. And try to get that thing down. -- -- You know Tom Brady get hit and then you get beat up there as well eagle at the human -- -- the turn around he's -- ...
[0:09:55] ... I -- catching the sidelines that is you know look like the Oakland Raiders bench -- eating get -- feet and possessed the ball and it was ruled the kitchen I think huge turnaround of them ...






Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones

Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, part of a defense that has allowed just 16 points combined in the last two games, made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Monday to recap Sunday’s win. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Jones and his teammates kept the Raiders out of the end zone in a 16-9 victory, but he said there are plenty of things the team needs to work on.

“I feel like we also have room for improvement, always room for improvement,” Jones said. “We definitely could have done better, but a win is a win, and we’ve got to keep moving forward. That’s our thing is to keep moving forward.”

Jones was complimentary of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr last week, and he said Carr was quick to offer thanks — among many comments he made during Sunday’s contest.

“I spoke to Derek Carr during the game, actually,” Jones said. “He was one of the quarterbacks that actually spoke the most — most of any quarterback I’ve ever played against. … Not trash, not trash at all. Stuff like [saying hello]. Or, ‘You’re not going to catch me. It was strange.”

Added Jones: “I had said in an interview before the game, I don’t see Derek Carr as being a rookie quarterback — which I don’t, he’s a very good player. I guess he’s one of those guys who reads articles about him, because early in the game he came up to me and said ‘Hey, Chandler, I really like what you said about me.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, thanks.’

“He’s a really good quarterback. He’s a very good quarterback. We didn’t get a chance to get him, because that’s credit to him. He has very good awareness in the pocket. There were a few times when I would have got another quarterback or someone that stood back there. He got away from me a few times, which is credit to him. He has very good scrambling abilities. He’s a young quarterback; I still don’t see him as a rookie quarterback. He’s a good player.”

Carr led the Raiders deep into Patriots territory in the final minute, looking for the tying touchdown. After a TD run was called back, Carr threw a pass that was deflected and landed in the arms of Vince Wilfork.

“We were just trying to be composed,” Jones said of the final drive. “I know it was a very critical situation at that time of the game where they had the ball in our high red area and we had to stop them. I wouldn’t say we got nervous, I’d just say we knew how critical the situation was, and a big-time player like Vince Wilfork made a great play.”

Jones said Wilfork predicted he would get a pick.

“Vince Wilfork called that. He called that interception,” Jones said. “He told me, he said, ‘I’m feeling one this week.’ He said that to me.”

Jones credited Wilfork and linebacker Jerod Mayo as being the players who inspire the defensive unit.

“Those guys are both vocal leaders out there on defense,” Jones said. “If you guys are watching in the games, you’ll see their helmets going back and forth and them trying to line us up right, them trying to encourage us to move forward to the next play. When we do get a big play scored on us or a big play, a pass completed on us or something like that, those are the guys that are saying, ‘Hey, let’s move forward, next play, you’ve got a whole game to play.’ Or if you have one bad play, those will be the guys who will come to you and be like, ‘Hey, you know what? Move on. We’ve got [more] time to play.’ “

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Alex Smith helped lift the Chiefs to their first win of the season Sunday in Miami. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Alex Smith helped lift the Chiefs to their first win of the season Sunday in Miami. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Here are five things you have to know about the Chiefs (1-2), who will host the Patriots (2-1) in the Monday Night Football debut for both teams next week in Kansas City.

Quarterback Alex Smith can run the football.

Through three games, Smith is second among all quarterbacks when it comes to rushing yards — he trails only San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, 131 rushing yards to 95 yards. He’s had at least 100 rushing yards every year the last four years, including 431 last season on 76 carries, second on the team to Jamaal Charles. Some of that can lead to problems — while the two aren’t directly related, it is interesting to see that Smith has been sacked 11 times this year, second-most in the NFL. (Some of that can also be tied to the Kansas City offensive line, which is apparently having some issues with pass prospection.) But on Sunday against Miami, Smith did a nice job spreading the ball around, as he completed at least one pass to seven different receivers, and added two carries for 17 yards. A fairly conservative passer — his completion rate hasn’t dipped below 60 percent for the season over the last three years — he’s carved out a nice niche for himself with the Chiefs.

When healthy, running back Jamaal Charles is one of the best multidimensional threats in the league.

Charles is a phenomenal offensive threat — last season, he had 1,287 rushing yards on 259 carries, and added 70 catches for 693 yards on top of that. (He finished the year with a whopping 19 combined touchdowns.) The 27-year-old Texas product suffered a high-ankle sprain in a Sept. 14 loss to Denver, and even though he practiced last week, ended up sitting out last Sunday’s win over the Dolphins. Knile Davis started in his place and had a very productive afternoon, finishing with 132 yards on 32 carries. (The Chiefs also got some good work from backup running back Joe McKnight, who moved up the depth chart when Charles went down. Used mostly as a third-down option against the Dolphins, he caught six passes for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns.) While Davis and McKnight did well filling the offensive void against Miami, there are few versatile options in the Kansas City offense like Charles, and his health status should be closely monitored this week.

Their defense doesn’t force a lot of turnovers.

Remarkably, through three games, the Chiefs are the only team in the league that has yet to force a takeaway. They come into the game minus-five in takeaway ratio, the worst total in the league. (They have three picks and two lost fumbles through three games.) Overall, Kansas City is 12th in the league in pass defense, allowing an average of 223.7 yards per game. On the ground, they’ve given up an average of 130.3 rushing yards per game, 24th in the league. As a team, they’ve allowed 21.7 points per game, tied for12th in the NFL.

They are really tough at home.

Arrowhead is one of the toughest places to play in the NFL. Known as one of the loudest open-air venues in the league, the Chiefs enjoy the support of a really good fan base when they’re home. Expect the Kansas City fans to bring the noise Monday night against New England.

They’re not desperate for a win, but they’re not too far removed.

The Chiefs went into Sunday’s game at 0-2, and without Charles. For a team that made the postseason last year and fully expects to return to the playoffs again in 2014, that qualifies as a bad start. (Since 1990, 196 teams started the year 0-2, and only 23 of those teams made the playoffs, a rate of 12 percent.) And with the recent renaissance enjoyed by quarterback Philip Rivers and the Chargers, it complicates things even more for Kansas City. While the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos all made the playoffs last season, Kansas City can ill afford to lose any more ground to either Denver or San Diego, as all three teams figure to jockey for position in the AFC West throughout the year. Considering the fact that over their next seven games, the Chiefs face New England, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle, we’ll know a lot about this Kansas City team and its playoff chances over the next month or so.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price