|Wes Welker: Brandon Tate can be like Randy Moss||11.06.10 at 11:06 am ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots receiver Wes Welker stands to gain the most if Brandon Tate can continue his growth as a deep threat in the Patriots offensive system. Last week, Tate burned Asher Allen of the Vikings and got open for a scrambling Tom Brady on a 65-yard game-changing touchdown in New England’s 28-18 win.
On Friday, Welker said he believes Tate is serving the same purpose as Randy Moss did when he was with the Patriots.
“I think so,” Welker said. “He’s doing a good job out there. I think there are a lot of things that a lot of us can clean up. He’s in his second year, and really it’s almost like his rookie year because he didn’t play much last year.”
What went unnoticed on that play last Sunday is how open Welker was on the opposite side of the field as he had his man beat. Welker raised his hand but Brady circled away from the right side and scrambled as the play broke down. Tate came back to Brady and the rest his history as Brady found him in the nick of time.
“There’s a big learning curve there, but for the most part he’s doing a great job for us,” Welker added. “[He's] making a lot of plays, and that’s what we need him to do.”
The other aspect of running the right routes – like Tate has been doing – is staying away from the turnover bug.
“I think we’ve done pretty well, especially the past few games, making sure Tom is going to get it to the right guy, and making sure that we’re getting open for him and not screwing him up by running a different route or anything like that,” Welker said. “[We need to] make sure we’re on top of everything and everybody is securing the football when we need to.”
Thanks in part to his receivers running the right routes, Brady has been efficient and accurate all season, throwing just four interceptions in seven games, with all four coming in two games (Jets and Ravens).
“As far as offensively, you’ve got to take care of the football,” Welker said
Welker, taking a page of out Bill Belichick’s “What could go wrong if you don’t play well” handbook, then referred everyone to the game in which the Browns beat the Super Bowl champion Saints in New Orleans, intercepting Drew Brees four times. And two of those were returned by David Bowens for TDs.
“Obviously they made some great plays out there and they do a great job of disguising and really hustling around to the football,” Welker said. “They’re a tough, hard-nosed defense. You have to bring it every single play and make sure you’re on top of everything.”
In other words, just because the Browns are 2-5 doesn’t mean they can’t win Sunday.
“It’s a team that, I wouldn’t say that they have nothing to lose, but they really want to try and keep you off balance and keep you off guard,” Welker added. “You’ve got to be ready for all those scenarios – fake punts, fake this, fake that. They’ve got them all. You’ve got to make sure you’re on your toes and ready for all blitzes and everything else they’re bringing at you.”
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