Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Like Wilfork, Kelly can draw double-teams


Vince Wilfork might have a little more room to work with this year.

Wilfork, the anchor of the New England Patriots' defensive line, has been a regular subject of double-teams from opposing offensive linemen and blocking backs. With former Oakland Raiders lineman Tommy Kelly entering the fold, Wilfork thinks the Patriots' opponents may now have to pick their battles.

“You can’t single up on [us], especially with a guy like Tommy coming in -- his size, and the speed he plays with,” Wilfork told WEEI's Christopher Price. “The power that he plays with. His size in general. We’re both big guys, but he’s a lot taller than me. He’s longer than me. At the same time, he also brings some power."

Wilfork and Kelly are both entering their 10th years in the league and are both very versatile. That combination of wisdom and ability should cause problems for opposing blockers, and they're using training camp to get on the same page in order to maximize that impact.

“I’ve got to learn how Vince likes to rush. He’s got to learn how I like to rush,” Kelly said. “You’ve always got to kind of figure out what you’ve got, who you’re playing next to, what they like to do, so you won’t get in their way.”

Kelly amassed 14.5 sacks in 2010 and 2011, though he mustered only 1.5 last year. He's totaled 289 tackles, 34.5 sacks and 9 forced fumbles in nine years with the Raiders.

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