Wilson, 33, accomplished a lot personally during his career with the Cardinals. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, four All-Pro teams and became one of just six players with 25 career sacks and interceptions in NFL history. But when it comes to team success, Wilson is a bit of a stranger.
He made the playoffs just twice in 12 seasons in Arizona, while the Patriots have missed the playoffs just twice in that time. Wilson did compete in his first and only Super Bowl in 2009, but the Patriots can do him four better — and with three rings to show for it. So, when entering free agency for the first time in his career, there was only one thing truly on his mind.
“Winning,” Wilson said during a break in workouts at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. “They win. Other than that, very disciplined team, a team that you’re going to have to beat ‘em. It’s like a champ — you have to decidedly beat the champ, you can’t just go out there and box a good 12 rounds, you have to actually knock ‘em out.”
Wilson’s typically glowing reputation on the field took a hit last season, as the Cardinals began to phase him out of their defensive scheme. The proud veteran didn’t like the decision, but he assures that his future with the Patriots is all that is on his mind now.
“Last year was last year — obviously, things didn’t go my way as far as the way I wanted them to go,” Wilson said. “Obviously, players slow down as they get older, but they also have experience. They’ve seen a lot of things as far as football. To say that a person is not good enough, that wouldn’t be the right verbiage to use as far as that is concerned. I feel that I could help this team win. That’s pretty much what I’m here to do.”
As for the transition to his new team, Wilson is just trying to fit into the system and with his new teammates.
“Obviously, you want to come in with the right mindset, and you just want to get along with the guys, really, and you want to kind of make sure you hang around them, get to know each and every guy,” he said. “I think that’s probably really the biggest concern I have right now, is just trying to make sure I know all of the guys that I’m going to be playing with.”
With that sort of attitude, there is little doubt Wilson will win the guys over in the locker room. Now, he just needs to focus on winning out on the field.
Photo via Facebook/Adrian Wilson