Wes Welker on the bye week: ‘It’s not like it’s Spring Break’
|10.19.11 at 12:37 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Wes Welker is heading back to Oklahoma for a few days during the bye week, but don’t expect him to cut loose when he gets there.
‘It’s not like it’s Spring Break, like we’re in college or anything like that,’ he said with a smile. ‘It’s more of everybody understanding that you still have to work out and do some of those things.
‘You’re not out there running routes and doing all those things you do on a daily basis, but (it’s about) making sure you’re getting a lot of reps and a lot of sleep and making sure you’re not staying out late and a lot of those things,’ he added. ‘(Just) really kind of taking advantage of your time.’
Welker enters the bye week as the NFL’s leading receiver — he has been targeted 75 times and has 51 catches for 785 yards. He’s just off the pace to shatter the league records for most catches, but can still break the record for most receiving yards in a season. (At this rate, Welker will have 136 catches and 2,093 receiving yards. Marvin Harrison holds the single-season reception record with 143 in 2002, and Jerry Rice tops the single-season yardage mark at 1,848 in 1995.)
The receiver, in the final season of a five-year contract, said the bye comes at a good time.
‘I think the answer to that, no matter where you are in the season, would be yes. Just not only from a physical standpoint but a mental standpoint a lot of times. It’s kind if nice to get a few days to kind of relax and get away,’ he said.
‘I think you kind of put it out of your mind for a few days. There’s just so much, every single day, of football, football, football, and so it’s kind of nice to get a few days and kind of relax and spend time with family and friends and get away from it for a few days.’
Welker said he’ll watch some games and ‘relax’ over the weekend, but he won’t go out of his way to check out everything that’s going on.
‘I’ll watch them and kind of just relax and kind of watch the games and things like that. But if I have something I have to do, it’s not like I’m TiVoing it. If it’s on, I’ll watch it. If not, then I don’t,’ he said.
‘It’s nice to be in the position we’re in,’ added Welker when asked about entering the bye week 5-1 and in first place in the AFC East. ‘There’s still a long way to go — by no means have we won the division or even close to it or anything like that. We’re still a long ways off from where we need to be. We’ll take these few days relax and then really get back to work and make a run in the second half of the season.’
The Patriots headed into the bye with a 20-16 win over Cowboys, a win that allowed the combination of coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady to collect their 116th win as a duo, tying the record set by former Miami coach Don Shula and Dan Marino. Welker considers him fortunate to have been in New England to see all of them since he arrived prior to the start of the 2007 season.
‘Coach Belichick, I don’t think there’s one time where I’ve parked my car here and his car hasn’t been in his spot. He’s constantly here trying to help us and make us better,’ Welker said. ‘And then Tom, he’s Tom, and always trying to find a way to do something better, whether it’s eating more flaxseed or whatever it is. He’s always trying to find a way to improve out there on the field.’