Pats DT Wilfork says fellow linemen must avoid rushing upfield

Published: Jan. 14, 2012 at 10:42 a.m.

Updated: Jan. 14, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.

After a shaky opening 16-plus minutes during which they saw the Denver Broncos jump out to a 16-7 lead, the New England Patriots defense adjusted on the fly en route to shutting down Tim Tebow, limiting the Broncos to seven points the rest of the way, and escaping Sports Authority Field at Mile High with a resounding 41-23 win in Week 15 of the regular season.

Now the Patriots defense faces the Broncos again Saturday night in the divisional playoffs and a quarterback in Tebow coming off perhaps the best game of his NFL career. Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork told the Boston Herald on Friday that people can expect to see a similar defensive strategy -- one that de-emphasizes an upfield pass rush -- to the one New England deployed in the first matchup when they sacked Tebow four teams and forced him into two fumbles.
"We all have jobs that we have to take care of," Wilfork said. "We can't be out of rush lanes, we can't be thrown off blocks, we have to play with good technique, trust our technique, trust one another, just trust that the guy next to you is doing his job. Do that and we'll be OK."
Against a dual-threat quarterback like Tebow, who thrives when the play breaks down, Wilfork said discipline among the defensive linemen will be key Saturday night.
"It's going to be a very disciplined game for us," Wilfork continued. "We might not be happy that we're not rushing the passer and stuff like that but this is one of those games where you have to make sure you take care, you can't guess at anything, you can't take a chance at anything because it may cost you. Especially against a team like this, it's going to cost you. I think guys understand that."