Off the Snap: Wes Welker ready to ‘move on’ after Patriots snub
Catching you up on the latest must-read news and analysis from around the web….
• Wes Welker’s move from New England to Denver provided one of the biggest surprises of the early NFL offseason. And the price tag on Welker’s new contract — two years and $12 million — caught people even more off-guard, because the Broncos did not so much steal Welker with a massive offer as the Patriots let him walk.
Welker is not holding any grudges, though. He told reporters Wednesday night that he did not feel slighted by the Patriots’ seeming lack of interest in keeping him around.
“No, not at all,” said Welker, according to the Boston Herald. “Unfortunately, it’s the business side of football and as a player you understand it. So, you just move on and look toward the future.”
• Will it be Mark Sanchez or Geno Smith under center for the Jets when Week 1 rolls around? The longer that the Jets hold onto the high-priced Sanchez, the more it appears that the veteran might fend off the rookie, at least for starters. That’s just fine with longtime Jets center Nick Mangold, who told the New York Post that he and most of his teammates would rather see Sanchez claim the job.
“I believe so,” Mangold said. “I haven’t walked around with a pen and paper and taken a poll, but from the feeling I get, the locker room wants to win. Whoever gives us the best chance to do that, we want out there — and at this point, Mark gives us that best chance.”
• Playing zone defense may seem like a simple enough challenge for NFL cornerbacks, but the ins and outs of those coverages can unhinge even the most experienced players at that position. Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson breaks down why some cornerbacks (like Seattle’s Richard Sherman) can get the job done in a zone while others (like Nnamdi Asomugha) falter.
• The Minnesota Vikings selected Sharrif Floyd as part of their furious end to Round 1 of this year’s draft, in hopes that Floyd could add some much-needed youth and quickness to an aging defensive line.
It has not taken Floyd long to make an impact. Per 1500ESPN.com’s report from Vikings minicamp, Floyd already has worked his way onto Minnesota’s first-string nickel defense, alongside nose tackle Letroy Guion. That’s a role with pass-rushing responsibilities, which could play right into Floyd’s strength as a defender with great jump off the snap.
Floyd has his work cut out for him when it comes to earning snaps — veteran Kevin Williams likely has a tackle spot on lockdown. But the Vikings will not keep their top draft pick glued to the sideline, so using him as a rotational rusher might be option No. 1.
• This is a critical season for the Tennessee Titans’ offense, as the franchise weighs its future with Jake Locker calling the shots. One thing’s for sure: The Titans have gone out of their way to surround Locker with talent, especially at wide receiver (including rookie Justin Hunter).
Those receivers — sans Hunter, who’s been sidelined by a hamstring injury — have impressed the Titans’ coaching staff thus far this offseason, The Tennessean reported.
“As far as mental busts, the one thing I was really impressed with was this year, the receiver group has probably had fewer mental mistakes than probably the rest of the group outside the quarterbacks,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said, “and that’s the first time that’s happened here since I’ve been here in eight years.”