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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
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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.”

Thurmond said the Seahawks will have to be ready for such plays in the Super Bowl.

“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.”

Read More: Aqib Talib, Bill Belichick, Walter Thurmond, Wes Welker
NFL VP of officiating: Wes Welker hit on Aqib Talib ‘a legal hit’ 01.22.14 at 11:04 pm ET
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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.”

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Read More: Aqib Talib, Bill Belichick, Dean Blandino, Wes Welker
Bill Belichick doesn’t think cornerback Aqib Talib will need surgery at 6:04 pm ET
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Bill Belichick said Wednesday that the knee injury suffered by cornerback Aqib Talib in the first half of Sunday’s playoff loss to the Broncos will not necessitate surgery.

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.”

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Read More: Aqib Talib, Bill Belichick, Wes Welker,
Bill Belichick on Salk & Holley regarding Wes Welker incident: ‘We’re done with that’ at 5:31 pm ET
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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.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Wes Welker,
Donte’ Stallworth on D&C: ‘Bill [Belichick] was wrong to call out [Wes] Welker’ 01.21.14 at 9:43 am ET
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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.

Stallworth said the play between Aqib Talib and Wes Welker was a “typical play” that he’€™s seen “a million times.”

“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.”

Stallworth tweeted Monday that Patriots coach Bill Belichick was “absolutely wrong about Wes Welker‘€™s hit on Aqib Talib … and he knows it.”

“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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Read More: Aqib Talib, Bill Belichick, donte stallworth, Julian Edelman
Knee injury will force Aqib Talib to skip Pro Bowl 01.20.14 at 9:43 pm ET
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Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib has bowed out of the Pro Bowl, and will be replaced by New York’s Antonio Cromartie.

Talib suffered a knee injury in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, and as a result, won’t get to make the trip to Hawaii. It was the first Pro Bowl invite for the 27-year-old, who finished the season with four picks.

The play on which the injury occurred has become a flashpoint, as New England coach Bill Belichick argued that Denver wide receiver Wes Welker made one of the “worst plays” he had ever seen when he deliberately crashed into Talib.

“It was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open,” Belichick said. “I’ll let the league handle the discipline on that play, whatever they decide. It’s one of the worst plays I’ve seen. That’s all I’ll say about that.”

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Read More: antonio cromartie, Aqib Talib, Bill Belichick, Wes Welker
Former NFL referee Jim Daopoulos on M&M: ‘It should have been a foul’ at 2:01 pm ET
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Former NFL referee Jim Daopoulos spoke with Mut & Merloni on Monday to discuss the Wes Welker-Aqib Talib collision during Sunday’€™s AFC championship game. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

“€œClearly in my opinion the contact was prior to the ball being touched by Demaryius Thomas,” Daopoulos said. “It should have been a foul.”

“The way I looked at it was when Welker went across the middle he made contact with Talib prior to the ball going to the receiver.”

According to Daopoulos, Welker initiated contact with Talib and restricted him from playing defense.

“He just basically committed an illegal act where he picked Talib off and actually committed a foul by restricting Talib’€™s opportunity to play defense,”€ Daopoulos said.

“You have to have contact. You can pick all you want in the NFL. Picks are not illegal. What makes them illegal is the contact. If you pick the guy, it’€™s OK, but you cannot initiate the contact.”

Daopoulos, who spent 12 years as an NFL supervisor of officials after 11 years on the field. noted that the referees called the Patriots for a pick later in the half.

“Clearly, Welker’€™s contact gave Denver an advantage, and that’€™s what you’ve got to rule,”€ Daopoulos said. “€œThe timing is so tremendous with these athletes, and it’€™s all timing out there.

“€œThe only issue I have, we saw one earlier right at the end of the first half with New England, No. 47, with [Michael Hoomanawanui]. Same exact situation. All I think the people want, whether it’€™s coach [Bill] Belichick or players, coaches, anyone, is they want consistency out there. If you’€™re going to call it one minute against one team, then be consistent and call it against the other team and do it consistently throughout the game. You can’€™t call it against one team and let it go against the other.”

Despite what Belichick expressed on Monday, Daopoulos does not think it was a dirty hit, nor should it warrant a fine from the NFL.

“€œI can almost assure you that it wasn’t a deliberate attempt to injure Talib,” Daopoulos said. “€œI think Welker was just running his pattern, he was doing exactly what he was trying to do, he was trying to get that hesitancy in Talib’s coverage so if he hesitates that just instance that let’€™s his man gets open.”

“I’ve looked at the play many many times and there’€™s nothing that will draw a fine. All it was was an illegal pick and it should have been a foul for offensive pass interference.”€

Daopolous concedes that the game was a hard one to call.

“€œYou can stop-frame this game, this game was so difficult to officiate,”€ Daopoulos said. “As an official, what you’€™re trying to do is you’€™re trying to determine is someone getting an advantage by doing something illegal. There’€™s a lot of illegal activities that go in a football game, but as officials what you’€™re looking for is someone gaining an advantage by committing a foul.”

Read More: AFC Championship, Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots
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