Patriots expecting teams to run the ball more without Vince Wilfork

Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork (75) lines up against the Baltimore Ravens in the first quarter of the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots defensive front took a serious hit when they lost defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. The Patriots are expecting opposing teams to take advantage of that absence. Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly knows that offenses will test him and he is ready for the challenge it.

“I’m sure they’re going to try to run the ball more,” Kelly told the Boston Herald. “I mean, we’re lighter up front now. Take Vince out, I mean, I’d try to run the ball more. That’s being smart, but I think we’re more than capable of handling the job.”

“If you’re any type of competitor, who wants someone to look at you, to me, to make me look like a little stepbrother? Without the big brother and you’re going to try me like that? I just told Joe (Vellano), ‘Don’t try to be like V. Be the best Joe Vellano you can be, and you’ll be fine.’ ”

The Patriots run defense wasn’t necessarily spectacular with Wilfork. They were ranked 14th against the run by ESPN, allowing an average of 105 yards per game. It was better than their pass defense though, which was ranked 17th by ESPN.

Topics: New England Patriots, Vince Wilfork

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