Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 7/25/13
FOXBORO, Mass. — If any team can get through distractions, it’s Bill Belichick‘s Patriots. But that’s not to say it will be easy for Vince Wilfork and Co. The Patriots defensive captain says the Aaron Hernandez situation will be a test for the team. They’ll have to ignore the noise, ignore the media and concentrate fully on football. I think it’s going to test this team’s chemistry,” Wilfork said. “It’s going to test everyone that’s in this locker room, individually and as a team. It’s going to test to see how important football is to us. As a family, you just have to take it day-by-day, move forward day-by-day. At the end of the day, the ball is going to continue to roll and the last thing we want to do is be stuck behind the ball. We have to try to stay above it.” That’s a telling statement from the nine-year veteran. Many may assume the Patriots are nearly invincible after rallying off winning season after winning season. But Wilfork is the second-longest tenured player on the team is saying this situation will be a challenge for his team. Wilfork will try to get past it by sticking with his teammates. There’s a sign that hangs above the players’ entrance to the stadium that the All Pro will pay special attention to this year. “When we walk through this door we have a sign that says, ‘Put the team first and do your job,’ you have to read it every time you come in and I’m pretty sure I will, even though it’s been there for a long time and I do every year,” Wilfork said. “I think we’re all going to do it because that’s what we’re going to have to do.” Wilfork was very respectful of the situation from the top, calling the death of Odin Lloyd “sad” and “disappointing.” Wilfork has a job to do, though, and the only way to get away from thinking about a former teammate spending time in Bristol County Correctional Facility is by getting back on the field. “Football is an outlet for us,” Wilfork said. “When we come here, we expect to play football. We get away from everything and it’s started. Training camp is here and to come in on a note like this is tough. But at the same time, we have to continue to do our job. We’re not going to disrespect anything that’s going on with the families, but we do have to play football and our job is to play football and we’ll try to do that the best way we can and try to keep the ball rolling the best way we can. It’s starting with coming into training camp and starting a good season. We’re going to do everything in our willpower to ignore the noise and stay focused on the task at hand.” As Belichick stressed on Wednesday, if the Patriots are going to have another successful season, they’ll have to move on. Belichick’s defensive captain understands what while the team has to respect the situation, they also have a job to do. “We have to move forward as a football team,” Wilfork said. “That’s sad to say, but it’s reality.” Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyedNESN or send it here. Filed under: Doug Kyed, New England Patriots, Top Stories

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kyrie Irving asked Cavs to trade him

Report: Knicks open to trading Carmelo, picks for Kyrie

Landon Collins: Giants will ‘definitely’ topple Cowboys atop NFC East

Are the Cowboys bracing for possible Elliott suspension?

Simpson parole board member opens up about Chiefs tie

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Draymond Green calls out Damian Lillard

Pacman Jones suspended for Week 1 of upcoming season

Stenson had rental home robbed at Open Championship

Report: Carmelo would waive $8M trade kicker for Rockets

Report: Rangers shopping Yu Darvish in trade talks

Floyd Mayweather dating former reality TV star Abi Clarke?

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Every NFL team’s biggest question as training camps start

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker