Wilson building bond with teammates

April, 30, 2013
4/30/13
1:15
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The first thing that stood out when veteran Patriots safety Adrian Wilson arrived for a media interview on Tuesday was his size. At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, the chiseled Wilson looks more like a linebacker than a safety.

[+] EnlargeAdrian Wilson
Mike Reiss/ESPN
That’s why teammates have nicknamed him The Incredible Hulk.

“I think it’s rather funny,” Wilson said Tuesday with a smile. “Things like that happen, I guess, once you get to know the guys.”

That connection with teammates is one of the most important things to him as he makes the transition to New England after 12 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. It’s a big change for him.

“It’s scary,” acknowledged the hard-hitting Wilson, who donned a red throwback Patriots cap and gray Patriots T-shirt. “Obviously you want to come in with the right mindset and you just want to get along with the guys. You want to kind of make sure you hang around them and get to know each and every guy. That’s the biggest concern I have right now, that I know all the guys that I’m going to be playing with. Right now we’re moving in the right direction.”

One direction Wilson didn't want to go was backwards; he said he didn't want to get into any Patriots vs. Cardinals comparisons. But when asked to describe his style of play for those who haven’t seen him much, he veered slightly off path to acknowledge some of his doubters. Wilson was taken off the field in passing situations last year, and because of that, he might be arriving in New England with a chip on his shoulder.

“I felt like I’ve had a pretty good career so far. Last year was last year. Obviously, things didn’t go my way, as far as the way I wanted them to go,” he said. “Obviously players slow down as they get older, but they also have experience and they’ve seen a lot of things as far as football. To say that a person is not good enough, that wouldn’t be the right verbiage to use, as far as that is concerned. I feel like I can help this team win. That’s pretty much what I’m here to do.”

Wilson added that he’s become a smarter football player over the years, no longer taking “ridiculous chances to make a splash play.”

A few more soundbites from Wilson:

Why he chose New England. “Why not? ... I think the way they run things is totally different from anywhere else. The winning mentality, it’s not pressure to them, or to us now. It’s going out there and expecting to win every game.”

Perception of New England around the NFL. “That they win. Other than that, a very disciplined team, a team that you’re going to have to beat them. It’s like the champ; you have to undecidedly beat the champ, you can’t just go out there and box a good 12 rounds. You have to actually knock them out.”

On if his offer of a year’s worth of Pampers to Kyle Arrington for the No. 24 has closed the deal. “I think we’re still working on that.”

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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