Wilfork and Watt share special relationship


You'll never hear Vince Wilfork bark.

But Wilfork and J.J. Watt already have a special, canine-like relationship.

"Vince and I have a big brother, little brother relationship, like a puppy and an older dog relationship," Watt said on Friday. "It's pretty funny, man. It's a blast."

The 12-year veteran "brings a lot" to the Texans, according to head coach Bill O'Brien. But for Watt, having Wilfork around has been great for his game, and for his daily life away from the football field.

"We have great conversations, both about life, football, everything," Watt said. So, we talk about how he had success at where he was and we talk about different things on the field, off the field, but Vince and I, I don't know, we're just buddies, it's just a friendship and it's a lot of fun."

Wilfork's not limited to being just a nose tackle. He's capable of playing multiple positions in coordinator Romeo Crennel's defense. He's earned a pair of Super Bowl rings, and played in two others as well. His leadership has been lauded by O'Brien, but his ability to impact the organization in multiple ways is especially appreciated by O'Brien.

"He's one of the best nose guards to ever play the game, so he brings a lot to our scheme," O'Brien said. "That veteran presence in your locker room and on your defense means a lot."

The head coach gave Wilfork the day off on Friday in Richmond. After more than a decade with the Patriots, it might have been tough to transition to a new team and city. But that's not been a problem for Wilfork.

"It's not difficult for me because I love the game," Wilfork said. "I think if you have a bunch of guys that love this game, you're going to all compete at the same level because you're always competing for that one goal."

Nose tackle Chris Neild signed with the Texans on July 30. Just over a week on the job with Wilfork has been an eye-opening experience for the fifth-year pro.

"I used to watch him all the time," Neild said. "Being able to play with him and learn from him and watch him, it's really helping me out. It's helping out a lot of the young guys too."

Wilfork "re-mastered the position for noseguards like me", according to Neild. But for somebody as accomplished as the former Miami Hurricane, you wouldn't know it.

"You can sit and talk to me about anything in the locker room," Wilfork said. "I'm a regular human being, even though I've played the game for a long time. I'm just a normal guy that loves this game."

Wilfork and the Texans will practice one more time in Richmond against Washington, and will do so on Saturday morning at the Bon Secours Training Center.

Take a look at the best photos from the second practice against the Redskins in Richmond, VA.

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