Vince Wilfork is seemingly on the verge of retirement, being an unrestricted free agent at the age of 35. He hasnt come out and said that hes hanging up his cleats, ensuring everyone that hell make the decision when hes 100 percent certain.
Until that time comes, hes spending his time sharing stories about Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Wilfork was a guest on Barstool Sports Pardon My Take podcast Thursday and discussed everything from ribs to football to his former coach.
The most interesting takeaway was his claimthat Belichick used to use food as motivation for Wilfork. No, he wouldnt run down the field with a steak tied to his back as funny as that would be but Belichick would bet Wilfork some sort of food that he wouldnt make a special-teams tackle in practice.
We used to do this thing every Friday. Friday would be our cool-down day in a light practice, and we would always kick the ball off, Wilfork said. The team, wed all cover the kick, like a kickoff team. And every day I would go to Bill and say 'Im going to make the tackle. And hes like, Oh, youre not going to make it. So every day we would bet some type of food or something or push-ups. Anything. We would bet something if Id make the tackle or not. That tradition carried on throughout they probably still do it now.
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Belichick has a reputation for being too serious all the time, stemming from his boring, monotone press conferences in which he gives the media absolutely nothing to work with. That, and the fact that hes like Kanye West when it comes to not smiling.
However, Wilfork knows a side of the coach that very few people know, and according to the nose tackle, Belichick is very, very funny.
"That's one thing people don't understand about Belichick: He is so down to Earth, Wilfork said. He is such a good dude and his players love him. He knows how to turn a key to get you to get right, and he also knows how to back off and have fun. That's one thing I always noticed. We always had fun in practice. I always had fun at practice."
Belichicks unorthodox method of motivation seemed to work because Wilfork was a stud in New England. He won five Super Bowls, was a five-time Pro Bowler and a first-team All-Pro in 2012. He was a staple of the Patriots defense for a decade, starting a total of 148 games.
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In addition to revealing Belichicks methods of motivation, Wilfork also shared a little fact about himself: Hes faster than Tom Brady or so he says.
Me, he said, when asked whos faster. Wilfork said its not even close, either. This seems like a shocking revelation, but Wilfork ran a 5.08 40-yard dash at his pro day in 2004. Brady, on the other hand, clocked a 5.24 at the Combine.
Mustve been all those kickoff coverages Belichick made him do for food.