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Posts related to ‘Wes Welker’
Bill Belichick thinks Wes Welker is going to be a good coach because ‘Wes is a football guy’ 02.01.17 at 11:06 pm ET
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HOUSTON — Some eyebrows were raised this week when the hometown Texans announced that Wes Welker would be returning to the NFL – as a coach.

Welker was hired as an offensive and special-teams assistant coach. Welker played in the NFL for 12 seasons, including six with the Patriots. Welker played for New England when current Texans coach Bill O’Brien served as an offensive coach and coordinator for the Patriots.

O’Brien left after the 2011 season and Welker departed New England after 2012. Welker, who battled with concussions for much of the second-half of his career, stopped playing after the 2015 season, finishing with 903 catches, 9,924 yards and 50 touchdowns. He had more than 100 catches in five seasons.

Asked about his prospects as an NFL coach, Bill Belichick didn’t hesitate in heaping praise, pointing to a time when Welker was a placekicker for the Dolphins before the Patriots signed him in 2007.

“Nobody worked harder than Wes. Wes loved football. He was the first one in, last one out type of guy,” Belichick said. “Very instinctive player. Wes was a great player for us as a receiver but also as a returner and he was actually our backup kicker. He actually kicked in a game against us with the (Miami) Dolphins when they had an injury in pregame warmups. Wes is a football guy. He is into football.

“Whatever we asked him to do, block, run routes, return kicks, help us out in any way possible. Wes was a good football player, is a great football mind, works extremely hard and is a very instinctive player. He always seemed to do the right thing whether it was the slowdown, speed up, go under a linebacker, go over him, stop, keep going or pull up. He just had a great feel for where a quarterback wanted to throw him the ball and where he should be in the passing game relative to where other people were.”

Welker often talked about how he battled concussions, working through no fewer than six documented cases, including three in nine months and two in four weeks during the 2013 season.

Belichick and Welker did have some tension to overcome. There was the time in Jan. 2011, as the Patriots were preparing to play the Jets in the AFC divisional round, Belichick warned players not to say anything about Jets coach Rex Ryan. Welker then, while addressing reporters, made several foot references, a clear jab at Ryan’s reported foot fetish proclivities with his wife. And during a trip to Western New York, Welker reportedly joked around with Belichick before a team meeting.

All of that is now water on the bridge and Belichick was sincere in his support on Wednesday.

“I am sure Coach O’Brien recognized that as well from coaching him. I am sure he will do a great job in whatever they ask him to do,” Belichick added. “He did a great job for us as a receiver, as a blocker and as a returner.”

Read More: Bill Belichick, houston texans, New England Patriots, Super Bowl LI
Texans hire ex-Patriots WR Wes Welker as assistant coach 01.30.17 at 7:36 pm ET
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Wes Welker joins the Texans coaching staff.  (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Wes Welker joins the Texans coaching staff. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

HOUSTON — The Texans have hired former Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker as an offensive and special teams assistant.

Welker, who played for New England when current Texans coach Bill O’Brien was on the Patriots’ coaching staff, has no previous coaching experience. He was with New England from 2007 through 2012.

With O’Brien, defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, assistant Romeo Crennel, special teams coach Larry Izzo and Welker, the Houston coaching staff already has a distinctly New England feel.

Read More: Wes Welker,
This is not the first time the Steelers have said something foolish before a big game with the Patriots 01.16.17 at 12:37 pm ET
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In 2007, Pittsburgh's Anthony Smith talked about the Patriots and Randy Moss before the game. Things did not turn out well for him. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

In 2007, Pittsburgh’s Anthony Smith talked about the Patriots and Randy Moss before the game. Things did not turn out well for him. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Antonio Brown’s video of Mike Tomlin’s postgame speech on Sunday unknowingly caught the Steelers coach cursing out the Patriots. But it isn’t the first time that a member of the franchise has said something before a big game against New England that could come back to haunt them.

In the days leading up to the 2001 AFC championship game in Pittsburgh — a year when there was only one week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl — the Steelers made a sizable show about the fact they needed to take care of any potential Super Bowl travel business as early as possible so they could focus on the AFC title clash with New England. Those statements made their way back to the Patriots, who took great exception to the idea that Pittsburgh was putting the proverbial cart before the horse, at least publicly. After the game — a 24-17 win over the favored Steelers — Lawyer Milloy told reporters exactly what he thought about Pittsburgh’s approach. “You never disrespect anybody,” said Milloy, who bristled before the game when told of the Steelers’ Super Bowl plans. “You just make it hard on yourself. I’m just surprised the veterans on that team didn’t shut the younger guys’ mouths on that team. It was a momentum-builder for us. We rallied around that, and in the end we were the AFC champions.”

Prior to a game against the Patriots in 2007, Steelers defensive back Anthony Smith guaranteed a win over the then-unbeaten Patriots while dismissing the New England receiving corps. “They’ve got [Wes] Welker and [Randy] Moss, but they’re not like Cincinnati,” Smith said. Almost predictably, Smith was targeted on several occasions by Tom Brady and the New England passing game on the way to a 34-13 win over Pittsburgh. In his postgame press conference, Bill Belichick piled on when asked about Smith. “We’ve played a lot better safeties than him, I’ll tell you that,” he said.

Read More: Anthony Smith, Lawyer Milloy, Mike Tomlin, Randy Moss
Updating Tom Brady’s big board of favorite pass catchers: Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman now solidly ensconced among all-time leaders 12.01.16 at 12:58 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski continues to move up the list of all-time receptions via Tom Brady. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski continues to move up the list of all-time receptions via Tom Brady. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

We’ve tracked Tom Brady’s big board of favorite receivers several times over the last few years, but with Rob Gronkowski continuing to move up the list and Julian Edelman landing in the top 5 this year, we figured it would be a good time to revisit the latest totals. As always, we have to point out that these are not career totals, but only catches from Brady during regular-season contests:

Most catches from Brady, regular-season games only, career
1. Wes Welker (563 catches in 78 career regular-season games with Brady)
2. Rob Gronkowski (403 catches in 86 games)
3. Julian Edelman (363 catches in 94 games)
4. Deion Branch (328 catches in 89 games)
5. Troy Brown (323 catches in 84 games)
6. Kevin Faulk (310 catches in 117 games)

7. Randy Moss (192 catches in 36 games)
8. Aaron Hernandez (175 catches in 38 games)
9. David Givens (158 catches in 53 career games with Brady)
10. David Patten (157 catches in 54 games)

Here’s the rest of the top 20:
11. Danny Amendola, 151 catches; 12. Ben Watson, 142; 13. Daniel Graham, 117; 14. Brandon LaFell, 107; 15. Shane Vereen, 106; 16. Danny Woodhead, 92; 17. James White, 65; 18. Christian Fauria, 79; 19. Brandon Lloyd, 74; 20. Antowain Smith, 64.

Read More: Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, targets, Tom Brady
Rob Gronkowski zeroing in on top spot of Tom Brady’s list of all-time favorite targets 10.17.16 at 12:37 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski has caught more passes from Tom Brady than anyone other than Wes Welker. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski has caught more passes from Tom Brady than anyone other than Wes Welker. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

We have tracked Tom Brady’s big board of favorite receivers several times over the last few years, but with Rob Gronkowski continuing to move up the list and Julian Edelman landing in the top 5 this year, we figured it would be a good time to revisit the latest totals. As always, we have to point out that these are not career totals, but only catches from Brady during regular-season contests:

Most catches from Brady, regular-season games only:
1. Wes Welker (563 catches in 78 career regular-season games with Brady)
2. Rob Gronkowski (391 catches in 82 games)
3. Deion Branch (328 catches in 89 games)
4. Julian Edelman (327 catches in 89 games)
5. Troy Brown (323 catches in 84 games)
6. Kevin Faulk (310 catches in 117 games)
7. Randy Moss (192 catches in 36 games)
8. Aaron Hernandez (175 catches in 38 games)
9. David Givens (158 catches in 53 career games with Brady)
10. David Patten (157 catches in 54 games)

Here’s the rest of the top 20:

11. Danny Amendola, 144 catches. 12. Ben Watson, 142. 13. Daniel Graham, 117. 14. Brandon LaFell, 107. 15. Shane Vereen, 106. 16. Danny Woodhead, 92. 17. Christian Fauria, 79. 18. Brandon Lloyd, 74. 19. James White, 65. 20. Antowain Smith, 64.

Five thoughts on the list:

1. Other than Gronkowski, the top 6 consists of only smallish, “make-you-miss” guys who had the sort of field awareness to understand what the quarterback needed and when, particularly when it came to reaching the sticks. Says something about the comfort level Brady has with some of those guys, especially Welker. Of course, in the rush to praise Gronkowski, it’s easy to dismiss Welker and his tremendous run, but it’s even more amazing to consider that Welker lost almost a full season with Brady (2008) because of the QB’s knee injury. Welker is already head-and-shoulders above the rest of the pack. If the two were able to stick on another 80-catch season, it’s unfathomable what they might have been able to accomplish.

2. That being said, can Gronkowski pass Welker? Going into Week Six, he’s 172 catches off Welker’s mark. If he can finish this season with somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 catches (an eminently reachable goal, considering his slow start), that would give him 453 at the end of the 2016 season — 110 shy of Welker’s mark. If he and Brady stay healthy, he could pass Welker somewhere toward the middle of the 2018 season.

3. In such a short span (36 games, the fewest in the top 10), Moss’ numbers are ridiculous. If he had all of 2008 with Brady, and found a way to work before his 2010 trade, he could have certainly landed in the top 5.

4. Amendola has gotten off to a slow start, but he should almost certainly break into the top 10, and could climb as high as No. 9 before the end of the season. White is the latest name to land in the top 20, thanks in large part to his nice day Sunday against the Bengals. He’s one of four “third-down backs” who have reached the top 20.

5. The guys who are on the active roster now who are closest to the top 20? Running back Dion Lewis has 49 catches, while tight end Martellus Bennett is already up to 11 in two games with Brady. One guy who just missed out was Aaron Dobson — the wide receiver who was cut loose this season had 53 catches from Brady in his three seasons with New England.

Read More: Julian Edelman, Randy Moss, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady
Tom Brady confirms he worked out with Wes Welker Sunday morning 09.19.16 at 8:50 pm ET
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Tom Brady called the mask Wes Welker wore the "creepiest thing" he's ever seen. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady called the mask Wes Welker wore the “creepiest thing” he’s ever seen. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Wes Welker was at Gillette Stadium on Sunday taking in the game, while also impersonating Tom Brady with a life-size mask of the quarterback in the parking lot beforehand.

Brady actually saw the mask earlier as the two were together Sunday morning.

“I saw some of those masks and I saw Wes’ — actually, I spent a little time with him Sunday morning. He showed it to me. It was probably the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen,” Brady told Jim Gray on Westwood One’s pregame show Monday night.

The quarterback confirmed the two worked out together, but didn’t say exactly what they did.

“It was good to spend some time with him,” Brady said. “He’s been one of my best friends and we played together for a long time. It was good to be with him. He’s still got a lot of ability, so it was fun to kind of be out on the field with him.”

Brady can return from his four-game suspension on Oct. 3 as the team prepares for their Week 5 matchup in Cleveland.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Tom Brady, Wes Welker,
Wes Welker surprises Patriots fans at Gillette Stadium tailgate with Tom Brady mask 09.18.16 at 12:56 pm ET
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Not only is Wes Welker in town to apparently throw passes to Tom Brady, he apparently he impersonated him too.

Welker surprised Patriots fans at Gillette Stadium Sunday with a Brady mask Bleacher Report first debuted last week in Arizona.

See for yourself.

Read More: Tom Brady, Wes Welker,
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