|Wes Welker on Aqib Talib hit: ‘We ran the same play’ in New England||01.28.14 at 1:50 pm ET|
NEWARK — Wes Welker knew the question was coming.
What happened on his hit on Aqib Talib?
It was the play that knocked out the best defensive back in the Patriots secondary and changed the course of the AFC championship.
“It’s a rub play that everybody runs,’ Welker said at Tuesday’s Super Bowl media day at Newark’s Prudential Center. “It’s one of those deals where you try to get a rub on that guy and really, if you can get him to go over the top of you, the more separation the other receiver will have. That’s what I tried to do to get Demaryius a little more open and unfortunately we collided.”
Demaryius would be Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos wide receiver who dropped the pass on the crossing pattern over the middle, making the whole thing moot except for the little detail that Talib didn’t play another down after the play in the first half.
Welker was asked by The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy if if there were anything unusual about the play.
“I don’t think so,” said Welker.
Shaughnessy persisted, asking if he learned the play in New England under Bill Belichick.
“We ran the same play,” Welker replied.
Shaughnessy’s first question of the day was, “Why does Bill hate you?”
Welker dismissed that pretty much out of hand.
“I don’t know if he does,” Welker said. “That’s a question for him.”
|Peter King on M&M: ‘Not a surprise’ that Nick Caserio is interviewing with Dolphins||01.24.14 at 1:54 pm ET|
Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about the general manger opening in Miami and last weekend’s AFC championship. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday morning that New England’s director of player personnel, Nick Caserio, was in Miami interviewing for the Dolphins general manager position.
“It’s not a surprise,” King said of the report. “If you’re a personnel guy for an NFL team, why wouldn’t you want to interview for a general manager’s job in which you’re going to have personnel control?”
According to King, the GM spot is a good position because of Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
“Ryan Tannehill has a chance to be a top-10 quarterback for the next 10 years,” King said. “Is he right now? He’s borderline. He’s not there right now, but he’s got a chance to be in the 8-12 range, and I think if you take over the job you’re going to have the ability to build around a quarterback instead of being in the endless search for a quarterback.
“I was talking to one coach in this division who doesn’t coach the Patriots this past summer on my training camp trip,” King added. “He said, ‘Look, Tom Brady‘s not playing forever. Bill Belichick‘s not coaching forever,’ and so at some point the Patriots are going to come back down to earth.
“I don’t know that that’s going to be in the next two or three years, but the day is coming where the Patriots are going to have to find another quarterback and eventually another coach. I have no idea when it’s going to be, but I would not be scared off by the fact that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are in New England if I’m interviewing for a job in that division.”
|Seahawks CB Walter Thurmond agrees with Bill Belichick about Wes Welker play: ‘It was really uncalled for’||01.23.14 at 1:05 pm ET|
The NFL might have cleared Broncos receiver Wes Welker for his hit on Aqib Talib that knocked the Patriots cornerback out of Sunday’s AFC championship game, but a player Welker will see in the Super Bowl wasn’t impressed.
“It was really uncalled for,” Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond told reporters Wednesday about the play. “The receiver ran right into the guy. I don’t know the extent of the injury Talib had, but I thought we were supposed to protect football players in this league now. I guess not. I guess that only goes one way.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Monday called it “one of the worst plays I’ve seen.” Thurmond didn’t go that far, but he said a flag should have been thrown. He suggested that because Welker is a well-known receiver, he got the benefit of the doubt.
“If you’re intentionally coming at somebody, it’s supposed to be a flag,” Thurmond said. “But they didn’t throw the flag on him. Some players get away with a lot more than other players depending on status, but that’s just the nature of the game.”
Added Thurmond: “Welker had his head down, like he was coming down the whole time. That should be a flag, and he should be getting fined. There’s a whole bunch of things that should happen in that situation, but I don’t run the NFL.”
“We play a lot of man coverage, so we know they’re going to have a lot of crossing routes like that,” he said. “We’re preparing for that situation to occur. We know that kind of contact is going to happen because we play so much man, and we’ll be ready for it.”
|NFL VP of officiating: Wes Welker hit on Aqib Talib ‘a legal hit’||01.22.14 at 11:04 pm ET|
NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino appeared on the NFL Network on Wednesday night and discussed Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker‘s hit on Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib in the AFC title game (click here for video of the appearance).
On if Welker’s hit on Talib was legal:
“It was a legal hit … Here’s Welker in the slot. The first potential foul would be for offensive pass interference; a receiver can’t block downfield before the ball is touched, so the timing is important. You’ll see Welker run the route and he does appear to angle back towards Talib and come into his path creating that contact. Now we have to look to see when was the ball touched in relation to the contact; you’ll see here the contact occurs, the ball is touched almost simultaneously. We don’t have a foul for pass interference. The other thing, is it unnecessary roughness? Under the current rules it isn’t. It’s not late, Talib wasn’t out of the play. Unfortunately there was an injury so just like in other situations when an injury does occur, the competition committee will take a look at this and determine if there needs to be a change. But under the current rules, this is a legal play.”
On if he has spoken with Patriots coach Bill Belichick regarding the play:
“Yeah, there was communication with Bill. We talked about the situation and the play, and obviously there is a difference of opinion there and something that we’ll continue to look at during the offseason.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
Speaking with WEEI’s Salk & Holley on Wednesday afternoon, the coach said that Talib — who went down after colliding with Denver receiver Wes Welker in the first half — will not have to go under the knife. For audio of the interview, visit the Salk & Holley audio on demand page.
“I don’t think we’re talking about an injury that would be of that kind of significance,” Belichick said.
Meanwhile, NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino told NFL Network Wednesday afternoon that there was no penalty called on Welker because, “under the current rules, this is a legal play.” On Monday, Belichick was highly critical of what happened in the contest, saying Welker’s maneuver was “one of the worst plays I’ve ever seen.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
Speaking on the Salk & Holley Show (via phone from the Senior Bowl in Alabama), Patriots coach Bill Belichick chose not to address anything related to the controversial pick play by Denver receiver Wes Welker on Aqib Talib during the Pats‘ AFC championship game loss Sunday. To hear the interview, visit the Salk & Holley audio on demand page.
“We’re done with that,” he said. “Again, I congratulate Denver. I don’t want to take anything away from them. … I don’t have anything else to say about that.”
Belichick said to the best of his knowledge, Talib wouldn’t need surgery for the injury sustained to his knee on the Welker play.
Belichick did start the interview by once again relaying a frustration regarding his coaching performance in the loss, singling out the decision to go for it on fourth-and-3 instead of attempting a 46-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
“I don’t know if that was the right decision,” he said.
Check back for more from the Belichick interview.
|Donte’ Stallworth on D&C: ‘Bill [Belichick] was wrong to call out [Wes] Welker’||01.21.14 at 9:43 am ET|
Former Patriots wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to discuss the controversies coming out of Sunday’s AFC and NFC championship games. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
“What Talib was trying to do, and I guarantee if you ask him this, this is what he’ll tell you, he’s been coached to — every coach in the NFL has coached their defensive players to do this — he was coached to not let separation between his defender and Wes Welker. So his job is to come underneath Wes. Wes’ job is to make him go over the top, and that is why they collided with each other.
“It’s not a sense of Wes running into him and trying to take him out.”
“Bill, he knows what the offensive job is to do and he knows what the defensive job is to do,” Stallworth said. “He’s coached both sides. He understands that Wes’ job is to make a team go over the top and Aqib’s job is to not allow that to happen.
“So I can’t get into the mind of Bill and say why he said that, but the reason why I tweeted that is because I know that Bill understands the position that Wes was in and the position that Aqib was in and it was one of those unfortunate plays that Aqib did not come back in the game. I guess it was a turning point in the game, but at no point would I say that it was deliberate, and I just thought Bill was wrong for that.”
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