FOXBORO, Mass. — Wednesday afternoon was a time of reflection for Vince Wilfork, who officially retired as a New England Patriot in a ceremony at Gillette Stadium.
As the big defensive tackle reminisced about his 13-year NFL career, he included a lengthy riff on why he believes Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, his teammate for 11 seasons, stands alone as the best QB in league history.
Wilfork’s reasoning was that while Brady did spend a few seasons throwing to Randy Moss and Wes Welker, he’s played much of his career with a receiving corps largely devoid of superstars.
“I had the luxury to play with the greatest quarterback that ever played the game — hands down,” said Wilfork, who won two Super Bowls during his 11 seasons in New England. “If you can take a quarterback and give him different receivers and put him in different offenses, and day in and day out, every year, do what you do, you’re the greatest.
“Tom doesn’t have Randy Mosses and Jerry Rices and stuff like that. He has (Rob Gronkowski). He has (Julian) Edelman. He has guys that proved to him that they can win. And to do that day in and day out with some guys that come from other teams, that people overlook, hands down he’s the greatest.
“If you give him four top receivers in the game on one field, what do you think will happen? Some of these quarterbacks we talk about that are supposedly the greatest, they had that around them. They had three, four targets around them that were Hall of Famers, the best of the best. They had that. Tom doesn’t.
“I’m not saying (the Patriots’ receivers) aren’t good or great, but he doesn’t have the Jerry Rices. He doesn’t have the Randy Mosses anymore. And when he did have Randy Moss and Wes Welker, he broke the (single-season NFL) touchdown record. And he’s breaking (more) records with what he has.”
Brady, Moss and Welker teamed up on the 2007 Patriots squad that set league records for points scored and passing touchdowns. He enters the 2017 season with a similarly loaded complement of weapons led by Edelman, Gronkowski and newcomer Brandin Cooks.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP