Wilson: Patriots my top choice

March, 21, 2013
3/21/13
2:10
PM ET
A few highlights from safety Adrian Wilson's conference call with reporters on Thursday:

On what Bill Belichick said to him that convinced him that the Patriots were the best fit
"Whenever Coach Belichick calls, you answer. That's not a call you send to voicemail. Obviously being able to be competitive every year, and being able to not only play for the playoffs and the division championship, but also have a chance to go to the Super Bowl. Ultimately, at the end of the day, I'm going to come in and compete with everybody else and see what my role is on the team. I have no problem with that. Coach Belichick was very up front with me. I have nothing but total respect for him and what that organization has done throughout the years. New England was definitely my first choice. I don’t know what all the reports were saying that I wanted to stay out West, but that wasn’t true. It wasn’t a hard sell, but at the same time, talking to Coach Belichick and kind of getting an understanding of what he wanted from me, I just felt like it was the right fit."

On if he took any other free agent visits
"I did have a couple other visits set up; we were working toward setting those visits up. For me, it wasn’t teams that I felt like were going to better as far as competing for a Super Bowl. At the end of the day, that's what every player wants."

On comparisons to Rodney Harrison and the idea that late-career vets have had success in New England
"Rodney is a great player. He’s been a great player in this league for a very long time. He came to New England and won a championship. I don’t compare myself to anybody. I really want to stay away from the whole Rodney Harrison comparison. He’s a great player. He’s done a lot in this league; he’s probably going to go into the Hall of Fame. I’m just trying to find out what my role is for the Patriots and just compete with all the rest of the guys and hopefully I’ll have a role on the team."

On the strengths of his game
"I believe my tape doesn’t lie. I think whatever I put on tape, that’s what I am. You can’t change what you put on tape. I came in [the league] in 2001, so there weren’t all these rules where you can’t hit players and all this other stuff. I was brought up in that toughness type of aspect and the aspect of setting the tone for the defense, being that guy that would go out and do whatever he had to do to let the offense know what type of day it was going to be. That’s what I came up in when I first came into the league. I’ve tried to taper my game a little bit toward the rules and what it is now. Football is physical; football is a man’s sport. I just hope that I can convey that same message to the secondary that we have there in New England now. Just go out there and be Adrian and be who I am."

On picking NC State, as an alum, to win the NCAA basketball championship
"Of course. Why not?"

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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