32° Good Afternoon
32° Good Afternoon

Pats' Wilfork wants to deck Belichick haters

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) looks to pass

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) looks to pass under pressure from Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork in the first quarter. (Dec. 6, 2010) Credit: AP

Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork knows there are many people out there who may not think very highly of Bill Belichick. And he’s ready to throw down with any of them.

“People who don't respect him need to be punched in their face,” Wilfork said on WEEI in Boston today. “The guy's been around this game so long and been successful so long, you can't do anything but respect him.”

It’s hard to say whether or not Wilfork is talking about Rex Ryan disrespecting Belichick. Ryan certainly wants to beat him on Sunday and made it a personal battle earlier today when he made that the focus of the game on Sunday. And even Belichick had a little fun with it, too, opening his press conference by saying that he’s ready.

“I might have a little quickness on him, he’s probably got a little more strength and power on me,” Belichick said in a rare moment of levity. “I don’t think you’ll see either one of us out there making any blocks or tackles or runs or throws or catches. At least you won’t see me doing it. It’s probably a good thing for our team.”

(Wonder if that “at least you won’t see me doing it” part was a dig at Sal Alosi and the Jets’ special teams. Nah, couldn’t be!)

Anyway, Wilfork said that Belichick was pushing the team hard last week, even though they had a bye. Tom Brady earlier in the day had mentioned that the team had two training camp-like practices.

"He hit us as a team," Wilfork said. "He never wants us to get complacent or get relaxed. Just because we were on a bye week, we went in and we worked. … Bill is the type of guy that whenever you get a chance to get better, if we agree with it or don't agree with it, he's going to do what's best for the team. I think last week was a great example."

And if you don’t agree with it, you’d better put up your dukes!

New York Sports