Not a banner week for New England's secondary.
The unit absorbed friendly fire in the form of a Rodney Harrison diatribe, and then suffered humiliation from Steelers wideout Hines Ward, who said he skipped last Sunday's showdown because he felt Pittsburgh's wideouts could handle the Patriots' league-worst pass defense without him (and they did).
On Wednesday, the secondary's (literally) biggest supporter, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, came to the aid of his embattled comrades with a team-first riff.
"You know what?" Wilfork told the Boston Herald. "We all take part in that. You're not going to sit back and say, 'You know what, they catch a ball because they're not covering.' It's part of us up front, too. Not being able to get to the quarterback quick enough, so it works hand-in-hand. ... You win together. And the quicker we understand that, the better we'll be."
Wilfork went on: "Trust me, I don't want none of our DBs to think it's their fault that we're not off the field on third down or they caught an in-cut 20-yards downfield. Twenty-yards down the field? That gives us a lot of time to work up front, get to the quarterback. So, we have to take some of the blame, too. And we are."
Wilfork has done more than help shoulder the blame. The 325-pound nose tackle ranks second on the team with two outrageously entertaining interceptions -- doing his part to make up for New England's Swiss-cheese secondary.