Now Harrison, the former New England safety, makes his living chatting about football for NBC. In that role, he's dished out a torrent of sharp words for the Patriots' last-ranked defense, a trend his old teammate could do without.
Wilfork acknowledged this week that he's been tempted to fire back in not-so-pretty fashion.
"I want to do it all the time and tell them to shut the 'f' up. But everybody has a job to do," Wilfork told WEEI-AM on Monday, via The Boston Globe. "You have to respect their job. People have opinions. It's just an opinion. If that's how they feel, that's how they feel. The only thing we can control is this locker room."
"They're going to get in trouble in future games because that defense doesn't seem like they're going to get any better," Harrison said. "You've got wide receivers playing safety, wide receivers playing nickel back. You cannot survive in the league with wide receivers doing that."
The Patriots defense is smarting from a rash of injuries and rocky play, and that classically signifies trouble in January. Harrison isn't off the mark in that regard, but if he's hanging around the mailbox waiting for his Christmas card from the Wilfork clan, it's time to adjust expectations.