Robert Kraft on Wes Welker: ‘I sorely miss him’
|07.26.13 at 4:25 pm ET|
Patriots owner Robert Kraft talked with former Patriots fullback Heath Evans as part of the NFL Network’s “Inside Training Camp Live” on Friday, and he discussed the offseason, the loss of wide receiver Wes Welker and the core beliefs of the franchise.
On the offseason: ‘This is the beginning of our 20th season owning the team and you get a lot of surprises, especially in the offseason. But we’re still privileged to be part of the greatest business in America ‘ [on] the planet, as far as I’m concerned ‘ being part of the NFL.’
On Welker signing with the Denver Broncos: ‘We’re going to let the season speak for itself. Wes, I sorely miss him and I think Denver is lucky to have him. I actually heard him do an interview ‘ I don’t know if it was on NFL Network or where ‘ but he was comparing Peyton [Manning] and [Tom Brady] to Michelangelo and Picasso. I didn’t know he was such an art historian, but he and his lovely wife Anna, they always surprised me with their love of culture and the world. Wes was one of the special guys coming through here’¦All of us medium-height guys could relate to him. Actually I was at my grandson Harry’s 7-on-7 and a young man came up to me from the opposite team and he said, ‘Thanks for having Wes Welker here, that’s giving me my chance to play in college.’ He was about 5’5, 5’6.’
On what the ‘Patriot Way’ is to him: ‘It’s about trying to collect a lot of good people, having everybody in the organization on the same page; doing things in the community. Let’s remember, sometimes some of your colleagues, they don’t like to give autographs, they don’t like to do things but in the end, what’s paying their salary are all of the fans. Look at the fans out here today on a rainy day the first day of training camp. It’s just so special and I really think that we ‘ the NFL ‘ bond each of our communities together. When we win, it lifts the whole community and so they want to [bond] with us. So we have to always try to make sure we’re doing things to make them proud to be bonded with us. Whether it’s doing things in the community or trying to assemble good guys ‘ you [Heath Evans] know what the players were like here, you know what our locker room was like, you know the way we try to do things. I think people in America today, it’s not just about money. They want to be connected to something they feel is special and when they get up every day, they look forward to coming to work. We try to create an environment here that does that. We’re not always successful, but we give it our best shot.’
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