Vince Wilfork: Brandon Meriweather illegal hit sparked Patriots

Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show as part of WEEI’s Patriots Monday. To hear the interview, check the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Wilfork said Sunday’s win over the Ravens was as physical at it looked.

“It was a very physical game,” he said. “I think that’s probably one of the most physical games I’ve ever been in. We knew what Baltimore was going to come in and do. We knew our game plan. We knew they weren’t going to back down, and we weren’t going to back down. It was from whistle to whistle.”

Added Wilfork: “They wanted to be physical. They wanted to run the ball. And you know what? We answered the call. We knew that they wanted to do that. And don’t forget, we’re built the same way. We’ve been around here for a long time, too. We’re built to stop the run. We’re big and we’re physical. That’s one thing we said: We have to play up to our potential. And I think yesterday we did.”

Patriots defensive back Brandon Meriweather was hit with a 15-yard penalty and faces a fine from the league for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Ravens tight end Todd Heap after an incomplete pass in the second quarter. “Brandon wasn’t happy with himself,” Wilfork said. “That’s something that he’s going to have to deal with. … From a guy that’s been fined [for rough play], the last thing I want to do to him is go harp on it. Because he’ll hear it from every point — from the media, from friends, from family, from the Patriots. He’ll hear it from everywhere. The last thing I want to do is be that voice also. I’m the voice for him, ‘Hey, look, that’s bygone. What going to happen is going to happen. But don’t allow it to happen anymore.”

However, Wilfork said Meriweather’s hit may have served to inspire the Patriots. “I just think at that time, it was like, ‘Wow, somebody’s out here trying to be play some football and trying to be physical.’ Yes, it’s a penalty. But at the same time, something happened in that play. After that, I think after that everybody was, like, in tuned. We were in tuned. That was one thing I saw happened after that play.

“Like I said, I didn’t wish anything on anyone on anything like that there. The last thing I want to see is guys get hurt — and the penalty, a 15-yarder for Meriweather. But it was like after that play, it was like, ‘OK, let’s play some football.’ We started rolling from that. … Whatever it was, it worked. I hope it wasn’t the 15-yard penalty that got us riled up or got us going. But whatever it did, we were ready to play.”

Wilfork said the Patriots did what they had to to make sure the Randy Moss situation would not be a distraction to the team in the days leading up to the Ravens game. “That’s one thing we didn’t want to happen,” he said. “Guys understood that. … Whatever’s being said outside of here, let it stay outside of here. When we come to work, let’s work.”

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