FOXBORO, Mass. — While Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork is impressed with the Jets' offseason transactions, he knows New York's new additions are about as useful right now as a human appendix.
"The game is played between those lines out there," Wilfork said Tuesday morning while standing alongside the field at Gillette Stadium. "On paper, they're making moves and making great moves. But you know what, at the end of the day, it's played between the lines. It doesn't mean anything to us one way or the other. We see each other twice a year, sometimes three times. It doesn't bother us whatsoever. We need to keep our focus on what we need to do to be a better football team. We can only control what the Patriots can control. We can't control what any other team is doing. Hey, more power to them."
The Jets, who advanced to the AFC Championship in January, have acquired cornerback Antonio Cromartie, running back LaDainian Tomlinson and wide receiver Santonio Holmes. There's a lot of skill and name recognition on that list, but it might be a challenge for the trio to mix in well with New York's established locker room. Cromartie, Tomlinson and Holmes each carry a varied degree of suspect personalities.
"Those guys they've brought there are pretty good players, probably some elite players at their position," Wilfork said. "They're hell of players. That's something we're going to have to deal with on the field. On paper, you can look great. I'm pretty sure a lot of teams look great on paper. But putting it together is another thing. I think that's something that we can't focus on what they're going to do. We can only focus on what [are] our strengths, how can we get better, day by day, each week. When that time comes, I'm pretty sure it's going to be a big deal, the Jets and the Patriots.
"When that day comes, it comes. It will be won between those lines out there, not in papers."