DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins starting center Samson Satele has been through plenty of battles with New England Patriots defensive tackle and five-time Pro Bowler Vince Wilfork. Satele has played against Wilfork in the regular season and postseason as a member of the Indianapolis Colts and Dolphins.
Therefore, Satele knows exactly what he's up against Sunday when Wilfork and the Patriots visit Sun Life Stadium.
"He's smart. He's going to pick up the offense, I think, within two series," Satele said. “He's going to know what's going on. He's just smart and he knows how to play that nose position.”
The Dolphins know their battle in the trenches between their offensive line and New England's defensive line will be key in Sunday's Week 1 matchup. Miami's new offense under Bill Lazor is making its regular-season debut, and a balanced running game is the goal. Wilfork will be waiting in the middle to try to make the Dolphins one dimensional.
Wilfork recently uped the ante in this game with a recent tweet saying how important this game was for him.
Counting the days 4miami game this has been 1of the hardest years 4me but it has made the 1st game of this season the most important 1for me
— Vince Wilfork (@wilfork75) August 27, 2014
Wilfork is returning from an Achilles injury and an offseason contract dispute with New England. He is also a South Florida native (Boynton Beach) and former star at the University of Miami. So there are plenty of reasons for Wilfork to be motivated for Sunday's game.
The Dolphins will be starting five new offensive linemen against the Patriots, who boast a veteran group of defensive linemen led by Wilfork in the middle.
“He's a very gifted athlete,” said Dolphins guard Shelley Smith, who played against Wilfork in 2012. “He's very strong, he's very stout and it's hard to move him. He plays with great leverage and he's a smart player. He can read things and see things coming before they happen.”
Miami knows if Wilfork has a big game that could mean big trouble for the Dolphins on offense. Satele, who signed a month ago, said he's now comfortable with the offense. But Satele did not draw an easy assignment to kick off the regular season.
“I know he's coming off an injury, so I know he's going to be motivated to be back on the field plus he's back in Miami, because he's from here,” Satele said of Wilfork. “It's going to be his first game back, but I will be ready. I'm going to do what I know from this offense and work on my technique.”