Vince Wilfork is still the New England Patriots’ heaviest player, but the big man is looking a little slimmer this summer.
Wilfork worked on shedding some pounds this offseason to recover from surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. Wilfork credited his wife, Bianca, for helping him lose weight.
“We worked our tails off. My training camp began a long time ago — in March,” Wilfork told the media, via ESPN.com, on Monday in Richmond, Va., after joint practices with the Washington Redskins. “I’ve been working for a long, long time and there’s a reason I feel good and a reason I have the confidence to play. It won’t stop.”
Wilfork doesn’t plan on regaining the unneeded girth, and it might not be necessary. Wilfork has seen reps all over the defensive line, including five-technique defensive end and three-technique defensive tackle with Sealver Siliga manning Wilfork’s normal position: nose tackle. Teams typically want their nose tackles to be as big as possible while maintaining speed and agility. If Wilfork isn’t playing the nose on every snap, he can afford to cut weight.
“Every year I always try to work on something and one of the things (this year) was, with an Achilles the more weight you can try to take off the better your body feels,” he said. “I tried that and it went well. That might be something in the long run where if I feel that helped me, it might be something I have to stick with.”
Losing weight aided Wilfork in rehabbing his torn Achilles, and the 11th-year pro doesn’t feel limited 10 months after suffering the injury.
“I feel fine. To me, that’s in the past,” Wilfork said. “I don’t even think about it. From the first day I stepped on the field with full pads back at Gillette (Stadium), I knew I could move around and play on it. I really didn’t think much of it after that. It’s an afterthought to me right now.”
The Patriots’ defense already looks better with Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner added to the secondary, and a healthy — and slimmer — Wilfork can only make them more dangerous.