Morning Sports Update

‘Everything wasn’t all bad’: Vince Wilfork stressed patience after Patriots’ slow start

Wilfork also shared his thoughts on Kendrick Bourne.

Vince Wilfork in 2015.
Vince Wilfork in 2015. Charles Krupa / AP

The Red Sox lost to the Yankees 5-3 on Wednesday. Boston begins a three-game series against the Royals on Friday at 7:10 p.m.

The Connecticut Sun host the Las Vegas Aces tonight at 9 p.m. in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals. Las Vegas leads the best-of-five series 2-0.

Vince Wilfork on the Patriots: After the Patriots lost to the Dolphins in Miami in Week 1, Bill Belichick has been a subject of criticism.

But as a longtime Patriots player pointed out, the margins in the 20-7 defeat were tighter than they might’ve appeared.

“If you eliminate bad football, I think [the Patriots] probably have a shot and probably walk away South Beach with a [win],” Wilfork said during an interview with NBC Sports Boston’s “Gameplan” on Wednesday. “But hindsight’s 20-20. You learn from that and then you move forward and get ready for the next game.”


Having been a part of slow starts during his time playing for Belichick, Wilfork understands that analyzing the early-season Patriots has required a level of patience over the years.

“Everything wasn’t all bad,” said Wilfork. “Early in the year you’re always going to have some things that pop up that you can do better because everybody’s starting from ground zero. I think Bill’s going to have them right [and] ready to go this week coming up with Pittsburgh, and they just have put this one behind them and learn from the mistakes and eliminate bad football.”

One Patriots player who has been discussed recently is wide receiver Kendrick Bourne. Borune, 27, played just two snaps in Week 1, recording a 41-yard catch in the process.

Exactly why Bourne saw so little playing time has become a recent subplot, though Wilfork took a more general view of the situation.

“Nobody ever wants to be benched. And one thing I know about the Patriots and the organization, they’re going to put the best people on the field that they think can help win,” he said. “Sometimes, some guys don’t get more playing time than others and sometimes you get a lot of playing time that’s not expected.


“So I think it’s early in the season. You never know what’s going on there, if it’s health-related or if it’s game planning, whatever it may be,” Wilfork added. “But you might see his plays spike next week and the week after that. So beginning of the year, I wouldn’t say let’s run around with our hair on fire. Bill knows what he’s doing. So hopefully we can get that situated and put the best 11 on the field that can help [the Patriots] win ballgames.”

Trivia: Vince Wilfork was one of six players from the University of Miami to be selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Can you name the only player from Miami University to be picked in the same round that year?

(Answer at the bottom)

Hint: He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2004.

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On this day: In 2019, the Patriots recorded the team’s most recent win in Miami with a 43-0 shutout.


While notable for being Antonio Brown’s first (and only) appearance in a game for New England, it was the Patriots’ defense which slammed the door shut on the Dolphins. Four interceptions, including defensive scores from Jamie Collins and Stephon Gilmore, turned the game into a rout in the fourth quarter.

Daily highlight: Erling Haaland’s winning goal for Manchester City in a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday was one of the better finishes likely to be seen this season (along with skillful outside-of-the-foot cross from João Cancelo).

Trivia answer: Ben Roethlisberger


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