Vince Wilfork is the seasoned veteran of the Houston Texans' locker room after finding himself a new home in Houston via free agency in the 2015 off season. There have been plenty of stories already told of Wilfork being the calming force and taking younger players on the team under his wing. Most recently, D.J. Reader, who appears to be the future at Wilfork’s position, is depending on the 13-year veteran to relay any information Reader can soak in.
“You know what, for two years in a row being here, we have a bunch of great rookies, especially in my room, the defensive line room,” explained Wilfork. “Last year was Christian Covington and Danny (Dan Pettinato), those guys now are D.J. (Reader) and Joel (Heath) and Ufomba (Kamalu). They work their tails off and it shows.”
As time moves on, Wilfork continues to influence and inspire the younger defensive linemen to become not only good football players, but better men. Wilfork talked about who made the difference for him as a player coming up in the NFL.
“I had a lot of help on my way, just learning by example, just sitting down and talking to people at times,“ said Wilfork. “Sometimes, it wasn’t all about football, it was just about being a human being and being the best person that you could be. To this day I respect those guys to the fullest. But I love who I am, I love the road that I have, and I think the guys around me understand who I am.”
It started early for Wilfork at the University of Miami, which most considered to be one of the more dominate teams in college history. Wilfork has been quite successful throughout his career, winning a National Championship with the Hurricanes in 2001 and two Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots. The players he has looked up to and learned from make up quite a list and that is part of the knowledge he is passing down in the Texans locker room today.
“Coming from the University of Miami and being with Ed Reed, Reggie Wayne, and those guys,” said Wilfork. “I was shown the ropes at a young age and it carried over to my career now.
Wilfork continued, “Growing up I always looked up to my father. In football, when I got to the league, I had guys like Willie McGinest and Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison and Richard Seymour, a bunch of guys around me where I kind of fit in that role.”
It is more than football for Wilfork and that is what he is trying to instill to the defensive lineman and others in his stint for the Texans.