Friday, October 19, 2012

Wilfork says Mangold is the best center in the NFL


Let the love fest continue.

New England Patriots and New York Jets coaches and players have spent the entire week trying to out-compliment the other's team, and after Jets coach Rex Ryan and quarterback Mark Sanchez talked up Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork Wednesday, Wilfork returned the favor Thursday.

The four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman said he believes four-time Pro Bowler Nick Mangold of the Jets is the best center in the NFL. The pair will square off Sunday in Foxborough.

"I’ve been saying this ever since the guy’s been a rookie," Wilfork said, according to "He’s been pretty steady for them. And it hasn’t changed. Everything it seems like goes through him: the run game, he calls the plays on the line slides, he’s the guy in charge. That’s how it should be, because that’s their bread and butter.

"When they need a play, if they’re running the ball, it always seems to end up behind [number] 74. He’s a big-time player for them. I give him all the respect in the world facing him numerous times.”

Mangold is rarely penalized and is the Jets' best blocker both in the run and in the pass. Behind Mangold and the center of New York's offensive line, the Jets have rushed for 15 first downs and have recorded just one negative rushing play.

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily