Posted January 19, 2014

Aqib Talib injured on (pick-play?) collision with Wes Welker

AFC West, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, NFL Playoffs
Aqib Talib (right) is a critical component of the New England secondary. (David E. Klutho/SI)

Aqib Talib (right) is a critical component of the New England secondary. (David E. Klutho/SI)

The New England Patriots lost a critical component of their defense in the second quarter Sunday when Denver wide receiver Wes Welker wiped out cornerback Aqib Talib. Though the play resulted in an incompletion, Welker easily could have drawn an offensive pass interference penalty — earlier, the Patriots were flagged for running a pick play, as TE Michael Hoomanawanui began blocking downfield before Tom Brady completed a pass attempt.

Talib left the game after his collision with Welker, who was again sporting an extra-large helmet in hopes of preventing another concussion; Welker missed multiple games earlier this season on account of a head injury.

The Patriots initially announced that Talib’s ribs were hurting him following the play, though they later changed that call to a knee injury. CBS’ cameras showed Talib limping to the locker room moments after he ran into Welker. Talib briefly returned before exiting again prior to halftime.

A couple of looks at the play in question, first via The Big Lead:

And another angle on it, from LockerDome.com:

80 comments
Scott72
Scott72

This was possibly a dirty play.  And it was possibly a clean play where the hit was too soon and a penalty should have been called.  The video, however, does not make it clear of Welker's intent.  Some people could look at the video and call it a game of chicken where neither player flinched.  Others, like BB, looked at it and called it blatant.  BB is always a step or two ahead of everyone else (mostly legal, sometimes not), so it's entirely possible he is angry at the loss and angling for an advantage down the line (or a disadvantage for Denver in the SB).  

rh2000
rh2000

Where do they get off calling this dirty?  Above the waist and below the shoulder.  Was a good play by the rules.


Now do I like pick plays? No!  I think it is illegal contact while the ball is in the air.  


But where do you drawn the line?  


One game they allow d-backs to paw all over the receivers and the next game they don't???


Another game they let the receivers push off and man handle d-backs and another game they don't???


I think if they could ever call something consistent.  They would find a happy medium where no one is put at more risk then the other during the game.  


It's a brutal game and people will be hurt but consistency in calling the game would help.


J57
J57

If that was "one of the worst plays I've seen", then Belichick hasn't seen a lot of plays in the NFL. Yes, it was a pick play, but Welker hit above the waste and below the helmet. Welker was not intentionally trying to hurt Talib. Hope Talib heals fast. Go Broncos!

DannyLange
DannyLange

According to Mike Lynch, a Boston sportscaster, Welker became a blocker and thereby allowed to hit Talib once the ball was caught by another receiver.  Yet after watching the same clip frame by frame, Welker made the hit several frames before the ball was even touched by the other receiver.  So technically Welker jumped the gun a bit and should've drawn a penalty, but doesn't mean he intentionally tried to hurt Talib with a cheap shot.

shaneomac697
shaneomac697

everyones going to say it was a fair hit since it was the patriots, im not a patriots myself but i have never seen a team so disliked or as you say "hated". well you are not allowed to lower your shoulder on a pick play and that is exactly what he did, it was 100% a dirty play, but its over with and theres always next year

el-cid
el-cid

Welker plants his right foot to move to his left and hit the DB.  He cuts hard enough towards the DB that his outside shoulder makes contact first.  If he'd continued on his original path his left shoulder would have hit first.  Don't know about any intent to injure but it's a bit of a cheap pick and it sure looks like he was trying to take him out.  Watch it a few times.

djtrixen
djtrixen

Nothing dirty about it.  I don't think Welker meant to hurt anyone.  He was trying to make a block and he succeeded.  It's unfortunate that Talib got hurt in the process.

Rockymtn82
Rockymtn82

The League has already made a public statement about this play. They will not fine Welker.  So this is irrelevant to Broncos fans now.  Broncos fans please stop getting suckered in by the poor sport Patriots fans who are going to cry until next season gives them something else to cry about. We have other things to attend to , like a SuperBowl.   I was there at gillette when the Pats beat my Broncos in that epic loss this year. Did we storm the comments section and cry foul? No we just shook our heads and said "see you in the Playoff's".  I'm not taking anything away from the Pats on that win , but my Broncos exacted revenge. Sweet , great revenge.   Rocky mountain Pride born and raised.

Squirrelly24
Squirrelly24

I'm a Pats fan and I like Welker when he was a Patriot and a Bronco but that was a dirty pick play by him. Welker turned his shoulder and body into Taliban and never tried to get open, pure illegal pick play. All the people that say "Wes just come back from a concussion and Talib is bigger than him, he didn't intentionally run into him". Obviously those people haven't seen Wes play the last 6 yrs in NE. He run blocks against bigger guys then he is so you can't say he wouldn't pick someone bigger then him, he's usually the smallest player on the field of a full contact sport. In the last 15 yrs has Belichick ever called a player out like that, no! I watched the replay of the pick play a dozen times and Welker made a b- line towards Talib, he targeted him the whole way, never looking to get open or looked back to Manning for the ball.

RussellTbone
RussellTbone

Bill bellichck is a hypocrite his team runs the same crossing plays. No way did Welker tried to hurt that man.

BigLouie15
BigLouie15

I'm not a fan of either team but the hit by Welker on Talib was in the numbers area and was definitely in the legal hit zone.  Whether it was pass interference on the offense is another call altogether.

ElvisHitler
ElvisHitler

Perfectly legal play, sounds like sour grapes by Bill. Great play Wes!

DC10DRIVER
DC10DRIVER

It appears to be a crossing route with the pick receiver blocking the covering DB and the crossing receiver leaving the last DB (going the opposite direction) standing alone.


The Block on Talib happened before the receiver caught the ball.


Should have been a penality


Nothing DIRTY there. 

JoeNJulie
JoeNJulie

Thats why the league need to starting throwing flags on pic plays , they been letting that go on till someone gets hurt one its a dirty play to begin with

vedge
vedge

a little Revenge for all the Hits Welker took from cornerbacks this year... lol

Welker is every slot recievers HERO.

sjposton@msn.com
sjposton@msn.com

It amazes me that all the Raven, Chiefs and other team's fans care so much and are able to muster the energy to register their anger over the Welker play and defend the Patriots.  If I were guessing this board is filled with Bronco and a bunch of disguised Patriots fans.  Read all this indignation with a grain of salt.  Doesn't make your argument illegitimate, but just be honest.

scott.superiortow
scott.superiortow

It was definitely a pick play...as far as trying to take him out of the game, come on. He should have got the flag for the pick play, but there's no way that lil Wes Welker thought he was going to take the guy out of the game. He was the one that got trucked. Injury's happen in the craziest ways, and yes this is one of those crazy injuries. Welker is at fault for the injury, due to the fact that he lowered his shoulder to pick the guy so his teammate could catch the ball (which he failed to do) and have an open lane. Bill needs to let it go. That one play did not cause the rest of your team to shut down and stop playing. You're coached from a young age that the outcome of the game should never be blamed on officiating, you have to play your  best and produce enough that no matter what call is made you're going to win the game. 

AtchWedd
AtchWedd

I am a Broncos fan, and I think it could have been a penalty for sure.   Move the gif file to a frame viewer and you can CLEARLY see that the ball was 3 or 4 feet from Thomas when contact was made so there certainly could have been a penalty.   You can ALSO see that Talib was 3 or 4 yards behind Thomas when the hit was made, so easier to understand that they may not have been in the same focus as whatever official was watching the play.   You can ALSO see that Welker was running straight across the 25 yard line when the incident happened.    In a game full of bang bang plays some calls will be missed, this was one of them.  Did the missed penalty likely effect the outcome...not likely as the Broncs dominated that game.  Did the injury effect....very likely, but injuries are part of the game.  If you think the Broncs sent their concussed 180 lb. receiver out there to injure Talib, you're a Pats fan.

FinkleFackle
FinkleFackle

ALL you IDIOTS who think it was not on purpose. It is ILLEGAL TO LOWER YOUR SHOULDER on a pick which is EXACTLY what he did. Had he not "known" he was going to run into Talib, he would have never lowered his shoulder into him. Disgusting play and i hope he gets it good next season.

MattShay
MattShay

I was rooting for the Broncos in this game, but, Welker's hit on Talib is a Textbook pick. Im a grandchild to a former NFL referee. As we were watching the game, he went off after that hit (he's a major Broncos fan btw). It saddens me seeing the ignorance of some of you broncos fans. Welker hit Talib, who was on coverage of the intended target, about 3 steps before the ball got to him. If you don't think that's illegal, you need to reconsider how much you think you know about football.

lucasrjulian
lucasrjulian

You can clearly see the intended receiver had the ball hit him in the chest which should of been a catch then right after the collision of Welker and Talib. Only way you can call that is that it should of been a catch then a block  afterwards... Pats fans will cry all day like usual thou..


PhilippeMckay
PhilippeMckay

looks like an intended block down field.


oh well, looks like the refs will have something to focus on going forward like the pistons and their baseline picks in the 1980's and 1990's.

CraigHwk
CraigHwk

Julian Edelman did the exact same thing on the previous drive.  Cry more Patriots.  You don't own the sports world. 

drpommels
drpommels

Before all you New England fans get all righteous about this play, take a few minutes and go back to the previous series. Edelman runs the exact same route and lays a shoulder into Rogers-Cromartie. No flag, and more importantly, no whining. Of all people, Belichick should know better...

coldmeatjelly
coldmeatjelly

Come on squirrel, if you watched it a dozen times you better go for the bakers dozen and watch it again.

This is a common crossing route that you can see Wes running along the 25 yard line while Talib is already high of him at the 26 yard line then decides to duck back down where Wes is running. Two guys trying to occupy the same square foot of turf at the same, which ain't gonna work.

Everything Wes Welker says that he was going low because Talib was going high is supported by the video. Bellicheat is whinning just like all these Pats fans on here. It's a VERY unfortunate event that left Talib injured because he modified his running path where Wes was trying to go low on his crossing route since Talib was already high on the 26 yard line. Both going full sprint, both unknowingly headed to the same piece of turf. It's NOT a hit job as BB was whinning about or the Pats fans posting here.

.......
.......

@Squirrelly24 Didnt hit him in the knee hit him up high. Broncos were going to spank them either way

dbkoen
dbkoen

@RussellTbone , I'm not saying Belichick is right, but clearly many teams in the NFL, including the Patriots, run "rub plays" and Belichick has seen a lot of them, both in person and on film, and (as you say) has coached players on how to do it.  I don't think Belichick believes that the general action of a "rub play" is dirty, and I've never heard of him calling one out before.  In a "rub play" the receiver is still trying to get open, but the design of the routes is intended to create traffic over the middle that makes it difficult to cover the receivers.  I think Belichick would consider it a "dirty play" if the receiver was not trying to adjust his route to get open, but to adjust his route to make sure he delivers a hit to the defender, who is naturally going to be looking at the receiver he's covering and looking for the ball.  I don't know if that's true or not, but it does seems possible from the video.  Belichick knows a lot more about football than I do, and presumably knows what would be normal for the receiver to do under those circumstances in order to try to get open.  But whether or not Welker's sole objective on that play was to make sure he hit Talib, I doubt he was trying or expecting to injure him.

coldmeatjelly
coldmeatjelly

I don't know about great play but NFL ref's called it legal and it's not reviewable. Real time looks like Wes got there same time but slo-mo has him just before, again not reviewable. But the whinning from Pats nation is unlike anything I've ever seen before. What a bunch of cry babies that need to get over themselves.

Next season I'll be sure to bring lots and lots of binkies for the cry baby Pats fans so they'll shut up already. If we could only harness the whine from Pats fans as a power supply our nation would have all the energy it needs. WOW, I've never seen and heard so much crying from any fan base in any sport before. Pathetic can't ever describe that bunch.

drpommels
drpommels

waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh... waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh! Take a good look at Edelmans hit on Rogers Cromartie in the previous possession... Hypocrite...

sjposton@msn.com
sjposton@msn.com

@MattShay You keep questioning other people's football knowledge.  Either the refs thought the play was legal or they missed it.  I think they missed it, but ultimately, so what?  They miss a lot of penalties that would be helpful to a lot of teams.  They make a lot of phantom calls that benefit teams like New England.  Why is it only a tragedy when it happens to New England.  Maybe it should have been a penalty, but is that really why the Pats lost the game?

Zeejet
Zeejet

@MattShay   I don't know, it looked like the hit was made simultaneously as the ball hit Thomas in the chest (no catch was made). Illegal or not, I don't think this is as clear cut as you make it out to be. There is also the question of intent, which seems questionable when you consider Welker's size and recent concussion (makes no sense that he would try to hit a much larger and healthier DB head-on). 


Either way, every team has been playing without at least a few starters out for injuries, so I wouldn't speculate too much about the potential outcome of the game with Talib.

MattShay
MattShay

What game were you watching? Welker hit him 3 steps before the ball got there.

kpm1118
kpm1118

@lucasrjulian Really? C'mon. Be honest with yourself. It happened during the route. Not even close. Man......no different then Hoomanawanui's play the series before. Now, what will play out is Sherman and the Seahawks will be the bad guys (and maybe they are) but Manning will be portrayed as the white knight and the Broncos and the major sports networks will run stories on the Seahawks holding and pass interference calls. The Broncos will get the majority of the calls during the game. The Broncos will win and Manning's legacy will be cemented as a QB who won 2 rings with two different teams. Lets not forget the NBA was ruined by Michael Jordan. The NFL might follow suit here with Manning. A true shame. It's becoming the WWE.

kpm1118
kpm1118

@CraigHwk That was after the catch dolt! Look at the play. He is blocking. Welker's hit isn't illegal if it's after the play but it was in the middle of the route. You ignorant football fan.

kpm1118
kpm1118

@drpommels Your comments show a lack of football knowledge and your bandwagon attitude. The play involving Edleman was made after the catch. You can clearly see it. Welker's play occurred before the catch in the middle of the route. The Colts were infamous for running this play under Manning and Dungy and every team in the league complained about it but the league let it go to market Manning (memo sent to teams). Looking at the Welker play in real time, it was illegal. It is a pick play and offensive interference. The Patriots were called the series before it on Hoohomanwanuwi. Yes, it was illegal and should have been called. Yet, you are going to tell me the Welker play wasn't the same? Looking at it in slow motion and over and over, it does appear Welker went after him. I don't think he wanted to hit him as hard as he did but he did intend to go after him. No doubt. Nothing will happen. The league will NOT punish him because it's the Manning superstars. 


Just now, watching ESPN. They are talking about the play and Belichik's comments this morning. After they report on the comments, Mark Schwartz then feels the need to say (paraphrased) " Welker is small, if they wanted to go after Talib they would have used Thomas." Really? Just report what he said and move on. No need for editorial opinion. I'm not saying the Broncos were trying to hurt Talib and neither was Belichik. The injury resulted from an illegal play. Plain and simple!


Whether or not you want to say Welker did it on purpose is arguable. Doesn't matter. Whether or not it it was a penalty is not arguable. It was an illegal play and should have been called. 

dbkoen
dbkoen

@coldmeatjelly , if you look at the angles from both videos in the article, Talib cuts back upfield because Thomas cuts upfield, not to try to occupy the same space as Welker.  For Welker to say he expected Talib to "go high" when Welker knows that the route Thomas is running would take Talib upfield in coverage seems strange to me.

DanFeeney
DanFeeney

@MattShay it wasn't even close to 3 steps.  It was maybe a half step, if not at the exact same time. Talib was behind him by 2 steps so it was obvious that Welker was just trying to hit him as hard as possible, but no way, no how can you say it was 3 steps before the ball got there.  No idea what tape you're watching.  And I'm a Pats fan through and through.

coldmeatjelly
coldmeatjelly

kpm1118 gets two binkies in case his crying gets him to swallow his first.

tkvaldez@hotmail.com
tkvaldez@hotmail.com

@kpm1118@drpommelsAnd that is why the pats lost the game? The pats would have won if they had called it? Really? Let it go guys, it's over. Brady was off, the defense couldn't answer the Broncos offense. Done deal. 


jydtyjt
jydtyjt

@kpm1118@drpommelsBelichik uses the same plays. You don't believe me go back to earlier in the year and in fact some of the Super Bowls. In fact see how many flags the Pats get to give them longer drives.

MattShay
MattShay

I feel like the Broncos fan base, ever since they got Manning became the most ignorant and self centered fans in football. You don't understand the game at all. All the comments I've been reading are mostly ridiculous. It's like this year is the first year you started paying attention, being extremely uneducated about the game of football.

jydtyjt
jydtyjt

@kpm1118@drpommels I am an Eagles fan BTW. I think Belichik uses those crossing routes just as much as Manning.