Former NFL defensive tackle Vince Wilfork has slimmed down significantly since he retired from pro football in 2017, and his former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had quite the reaction to his new look.
On Thursday, Wilfork, 40, appeared at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts ahead of his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame on Saturday and told reporters an amusing story of running into the longtime Patriots coach last year in Miami.
"Bill was being Bill. He was on his treadmill working out, and I was like, 'I want to go see Coach,'" Wilfork told reporters, according to NBC Sports Boston. "He's on the treadmill working out, and I come in and he's like, 'What the f---?' What??'
"And I'm trying to talk to him, and the only thing he [could] say was, 'Oh my gosh, you look good! You look like you can still play,' " he added. "And I was like, 'Okay Coach, listen, I just came to see you.' He couldn't stop saying how good I looked and everything."
A slimmed down and snazzy Vince Wilfork in his Patriots Hall of Fame jacket talks about his time with the Pats and why going into the Pats HOF means so much to him pic.twitter.com/ta1xqfrsQn
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Wilfork was listed at 325 pounds during his 13-season NFL career, 11 of which he spent with New England, according to Pro Football Reference. He told reporters Thursday that he attributed his weight loss to a focus on a healthy lifestyle and a "stress-free" life post-retirement.
And as Wilfork prepares for his Patriots Hall of Fame induction, the two-time Super Bowl champ said he still struggles to wrap his head around the honor.
"Never once when I played I thought about being where I'm at, honestly," Wilfork said. "I just love football, that's how I approached every day, to be the best teammate I possibly could be and be consistent."
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The former lineman won two Super Bowls with the Patriots during his career and earned five Pro Bowl selections as a stalwart on New England's defense.
"This weekend is for everybody I played with, for my fans and the coaches, this weekend is for all of us," Wilfork told reporters Thurday. "Not just me, it took a lot of us to get done what we did, and for two decades the Patriots ran [the NFL], so I don't think we'll ever see any other organization do what we did in two decades."
"We won't see that not while we're living, so this is special," he added. "To be a part of that, it's special. Very special."
Though Wilfork remains in tip-top shape, he made sure to add that Belichick could not convince him to return to play in the NFL through his forties like his former Patriots teammate, Tom Brady.
"I was one of those players who said, 'No matter how old I get, I can play football.' That was my mindset," Wilfork told reporters Thursday, according to NBC Sports Boston, "But I'm here to tell you that I can't play. I'm officially retired from football."
"So don't ask me to get in my stance. Don't ask me, 'Do I have one play in me?' No," he added. "I'm just here for looks now."