Wes Welker ‘expects to be back’ in 2012
|01.29.12 at 7:33 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — Speaking during Sunday’s media availability at University Place on the campus of IUPUI, Patriots receiver Wes Welker didn’t wish to discuss his future with the Patriots, only to say he expects to return to New England after the current season.
“I expect to be back,” said Welker, who is making $2.15 million in this, the final year of his current contract. “I’m not too worried about that right now. I’m fully concentrated on this game and what we have to do. This is all stuff we can address at another point and it can be a story when the season’s over, but right now we’re just concentrating on this game and what we have to do to win this game. We win this game and all the other stuff takes care of itself.”
Since joining the Patriots prior to the 2007 season, Welker has more catches (554) than any player in the NFL, totaling 80 more than the next closest receiver, Brandon Marshall. The Pats’ wideout led the NFL in receptions in ’11, hauling in 122 during the regular season.
During his meeting with the media Sunday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke glowingly of Welker, referencing how the wide receiver came to be a member of New England.
“The whole Wes Welker thing started when he was in Miami and he was a very frustrating player to coach against because he really couldn’t handle him,” Belichick said. “He caught passes, he returned kicks, and when [Kicker Olindo] Mare got hurt he even when in and kicked extra points, field goals and kicked off against us, and that was annoying too. We doubled him and we played him in a lot of different combinations. He was always the guy we were trying to game-plan for and still couldn’t stop. When we had an opportunity to trade for him we did that and we felt like he would be a good addition to our team, and he has been. We have just as much trouble covering him in practice, and Tom has just as much confidence throwing to him as the quarterbacks in Miami did when we were trying to defend him. We don’t defend him any better in practice than we did trying to defend him when he was with the Dolphins and Coach [Nick] Saban had him down there. That’s really the Wes Welker story.”