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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

New England Sports 366, #75: Vince Wilfork

Two New England Patriot players were on the field for the 2005 Super Bowl victory over the Eagles and the Super Bowl win over the Seahawks ten years later. One was Tom Brady. The other was Vince Wilfork. The two rings were bookends to the big man’s Patriots career, coming in his first and last seasons with the team.

Wilfork came out of Miami drawing comparisons to fellow Hurricane Warren Sapp for his ability to take on multiple blockers and eat up huge amounts of space along the defensive line. Running backs tended to disappear into the enormous paws of number 75, never to be seen again. He could shift the entire line of scrimmage backward into the opposing backfield - exhibit A being the infamous Butt Fumble by Jets QB Mark Sanchez in 2012, when Wilfork used overmatched Jets lineman Brandon Moore as a blunt instrument to separate Sanchez from the football.

Wilfork was the heartbeat of the Patriots defense for eleven seasons, anchoring the line and making five Pro Bowls to go with two championships. He did it all with a huge smile and huger personality, a grinning grizzly who had speed and grace that belied his bulk. He may have spent two seasons with the Texans at the end of his playing days, but Vince Wilfork is an indelible New England legend, part of the two chapters of the greatest dynasty in football history.

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