Belichick calls Wilfork “best defensive lineman I ever coached”
With today’s news that Vince Wilfork has signed with the Texans, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has offered some fond memories as he says goodbye.
Belichick, the only head coach Wilfork has played for in the NFL, referred to Wilfork as the best defensive lineman he’s coached.
“Few players reached or will ever reach the special level of Vince Wilfork,” Belichick said. “He is a great champion and one of the classiest people I have ever been around – just a kind, genuine and giving person who was all about our team, football, winning and bringing joy to others. There may have never been anyone at his position with as much strength, toughness, intelligence, instinctiveness and athleticism. He is the best defensive lineman I ever coached, an all-time great Patriot whose place on our team will be missed but whose remarkable career as a Patriot will be remembered forever.”
Belichick has coached some great defensive linemen. Former Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s. Belichick also coached six-time Pro Bowler Michael Dean Perry for four years in Cleveland. But Wilfork is the best of them all. It says something about Belichick’s approach to managing his roster that even the best defensive lineman he’s ever coached will get cut and leave for greener pastures when Belichick thinks he’s past his prime.