Posted January 20, 2014

Wes Welker’s pick on Aqib Talib ‘one of the worst plays I’ve seen,’ says Bill Belichick

AFC East, AFC West, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, NFL Playoffs
Wes Welker (right) knocked Aqib Talib (not pictured) from the game on an off-field pick Sunday.

Wes Welker (right) knocked Aqib Talib (not pictured) from the game on an off-field pick Sunday. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

It wasn’t the hit heard ’round the world, but Wes Welker’s ‘pick play’ on Aqib Talib proved critical in the Denver Broncos 26-16 win over the New England Patriots. During the first drive of the second quarter, the Broncos ran Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker on crossing routes. Welker put himself between Thomas and Patriots top cornerback Aqib Talib, freeing Thomas up and knocking Talib from the game with a knee injury.

Following the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick understood the gravity of the play (“As it turned out,” he said, “that was a key in the game”), but refused to pass judgment on the legality (“I’ll have to take a look at it on the film”).

On Monday, his opinion of the play couldn’t have been more clear.

“One of the worst plays I’ve seen,” Belichick said (via Mike Reiss) about the hit on Talib at his season-ending press conference. “The way that play turned out, I went back and watched it, which I didn’t have a chance to yesterday.  It was a deliberate play by the receiver [Welker] to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open.

“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.”

MORE COVERAGE: Pick play turns tide in Broncos’ favor | Previewing Super Bowl XLVIII

Welker, of course, spent six seasons in New England, before signing with Denver last offseason.

After the game, Welker said he wasn’t trying to injure or hit Talib.

“It was one of those plays where it’s kind of a rough play and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided,” Welker said. “It wasn’t a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that. I hope he’s OK. He’s a great player and a big part of their defense.”

Greg Bedard, of TheMMQB.com, detailed the controversial “pick” or “rub plays” in advance of Broncos-Patriots, noting that few teams ran those plays more than the AFC title game participants.
242 comments
Timmy-Time
Timmy-Time

Peyton Manning offenses run this kind of crap all of the time. The Seahawks had better be prepared for it.

PurpleCity52
PurpleCity52

Give this man a tissue please. If he can't record your practice he can't win. NE hasn't went to a SB since spygate and it's starting to show...

olvato
olvato

Damn--someone figured it out............great police work FITO

FifthInTheOrder
FifthInTheOrder

These ladies do far better commentary than Simms or Aikman.

olvato
olvato

Who says the 'zebras' didn't penalize the 49ers.  Givin' Seattle the ball... at the one yard line...after a "breakin'-a-leg"-during-an-"in-your-face"-fumble-recovery by Mike Iupati...should satisfy anyone's disdain for the "bad?call??"...  Only to have 'beast-mode' go into 'belch-mode' and cough up his lunch!...................priceless.......

Lookin' forward to 'Ground-hawks' Day'......... Bronc's 44........Seahaw's 23......




Fox
Fox

I just can't get used to watching women talk about football on sports shows.  Something just doesn't fit.

effeweall
effeweall

Bellecheck has an extensive video library of plays.  He def knows.  He could probably make a top 300 compilation at the drop of a hat

maceye
maceye

Apparently senility has set in for ol' Bill; seems he's completely forgotten how his entire team "earned" their first rings in SB XXXVI. What a complete hypocrite!

WilliamHewitt
WilliamHewitt

Hey Belicheck! Welker is in the Super Bowl! Ya! Ya! Ya! Welker will help Manning win the Super Bowl! Ya! Ya! Ya! Welker is getting a Super Bowl ring! Betcha miss Welker now BB

jwats19731
jwats19731

Pats fans and especially Billicheck moaning about "dirty play". Almost comical.

SweetLightCrude
SweetLightCrude

Pats fan here.


Of course it was a dirty hit. 


There are probably dirty hits on most if not all plays.


It must be a truly frustrating experience to approach a football game with the expectation that it will all be clean and that nothing bad will happen to any of your players. What a miserable existence that must be.


How can you feel bad for the Patriots here that one of their players got hurt on a football play or that some guy got away with something? Would penalizing Welker 10 yards have changed anything? Would Belichick be at peace if the flag were thrown?


The Broncos won the football game.  It's over. Move on. 



sarteestmd
sarteestmd

This story would normally have disappeared from the SI sidebar but the bromance with Peter King and Brady, the story still sits atop in the side trying to stir emotions. Belicheck taught Welker the cross route. Between Richard Sherman w/ his smack talk and his upcoming showdown with Demaryius Thomas (Broncos); and between Belicheck's whining about Welker, some in the sports media are trying to get the Broncos to bite. They won't bite.

TheHip1
TheHip1

This was a blatant penalty that wasn't called, a deliberate attempt to knock the DB to the ground. It wasn't a 'rub', it wasn't an accident. Denver runs these plays all the time and never gets called for offensive PI. Either that changes for the Super Bowl or the Legion of Boom is going to get a few licks in themselves. 

5champs
5champs

Edelman did it in the game against Carter…but of course that wasn't illegal.  Sour grapes!


jzty
jzty

Looks like there's another bounty scandal brewing in Denver.  Wonder how much the Broncos got paid for their bounty on Talib.  Hey, Welker can't catch anymore so he might as well play dirty.

SteveCowan
SteveCowan

Gee, Belichek is pissed at Welker for doing what Belichek and staff taught him years ago when he was a Patriot?  Tough!  The Pats run more pick plays than most, so they shouldn't take offense when it is run against them.  Sorry for Talib, but he just got hit the Patriot way, in effect!

Blinker
Blinker

I guess Welker is still sore about giving all he has to the Pats for years and then when it was time to get paid with a pricey contract for services he already rendered the Pats let him go.  I'm not saying the play on Talib was justified but I can understand how it feels to be used during your prime years and then forgotten about.

x72
x72

0 rings since spygate.

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

Why isn't Bill talking about the play when Edelman did the same exact thing to Cromartie?? If Welker is disciplined for that hit, Edelman should be as well. 

UrbanaJohn
UrbanaJohn

Come on! Bill is an ex Bronco coach. He is loyal and threw the game out of respect to the better organization. It will come out Brady had the flu. He was pale, lethargic and out of sync.

Bill withou Brady will go the way of the Mastermind Shanahan. Without Elway he was an average coach. Look at Bill's record with the Browns.

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

Yeah, not having Talib in the lineup is the reason the Patriots couldn't score any points until the game was already out of reach. 

OverEd
OverEd

Bill,  Welker wants to address your silly accusation. However, it may take a while, as  he'll be busy for the next couple of weeks. I'm sure you won't mind.

gusCOYS
gusCOYS

Compare Belichick's post game with Jim Harbaugh's.  One guy displayed how to take defeat with class and not make excuses.  The other, well......  I mean FFS, look at the size of Wes, and as others have said it's not like he isn't under an injury cloud himself.  A WR who is not used to blocking tries to take out a bigger defenseman without injuring himself?  Clumsy, not malicious

Timmy-Time
Timmy-Time

@olvato Seahawks: bigger, stronger, meaner, faster, smarter, louder, better than your team.

riley8
riley8

@Fox Like a guy waiting tables at Hooters.

SweetLightCrude
SweetLightCrude

@jwats19731 The irony here is staggering.


I mean, you're right: Belichick's moaning is stupid.


But apparently you didn't get the memo.

MatthewEugeneHaag
MatthewEugeneHaag

@TheHip1 I agree there was a probably a penalty.  However I don't think Wes Welker was out there trying to deliberatly hurt someone.  If you think that you need to have your brain examined


sarteestmd
sarteestmd

@TheHip1Cry, cry, cry. It is a shame that the Patriots team is so thin that one guy leaving the game (supposedly) changed the complexion of the game. Denver lost its star safety (Moore) earlier in the year,, its top pass rusher (Von Miller) at the end of the season, and its top DB (Carter) one week ago in the Divisional game against the Bolts. You don't hear the Broncos whining. Next man up. Guess the Pats are so thin there isn't a next man up...which begs the questions. Maybe they don't belong in the Big Dance this year. Brady is a great QB and Belicheck is an excellent although irritating coach. But the better team won. Live with it.

5champs
5champs

Guess it was Rodgers-Cromartie rather than Carter…

Rocksteady1986
Rocksteady1986

@jzty Suddenly the 5'9 concussed Welker is collecting bounties?  Get a life.

SweetLightCrude
SweetLightCrude

@Blinker For the record: I'm a Patriot fan. For the record, I think complaining about Welker's hit is stupid. Whatever it was, it was a football play. Something like it happens on virtually every down.


That said: Your comments are moronic. Welker was nobody when he came to NE. The system made him. Just like the system made Julian Edelman. Those guys have talent, no doubt. Maybe Welker becomes the next, oh, Devon Bess playing in Miami and catching passes from Cleo Lemon and Chad Henne.  


Playing for Belichick and beside Brady is what got Wes Welker rich.


He should wake up every morning giggling over his good fortune. That he has any resentment toward Belichick is probably the most unlikable thing about Welker.

Terry
Terry

@Blinker 

A lot of us understand.

We call it marriage.

SweetLightCrude
SweetLightCrude

@x72 

No question about it. Before Spygate, Vinitieri was kicking those game-winning field goals and the Pats were SuperBowl champs. After Spygate, guys were catching balls on their helmets or making once-in-a-career grabs. Obviously the Pats had lost their edge.



I'm a Pats fan. The complaining about Welker on this play is stupid; the comments about spy gate are truly idiotic. 


DevlinPcp
DevlinPcp

@x72 Yeah but we've made it to the postseason every year since, I guess that doesn't count for anything.

Mel
Mel

@UrbanaJohn Yeah cause Elway won so many super bowls prior to Shanahan showing up...

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@UrbanaJohn I'm not a Pats fan but I think if the Browns wouldn't of folded back then that they might of done some good things in clev...........Wait, what am I saying? It's the Browns!! Sorry..........sports mind had me going on that one. 

Terry
Terry

@Voiceover310 

Actually not his point but when you can't get the opponent's offense off the field and turn it back over to your offense, it does become difficult to score.

DevlinPcp
DevlinPcp

@OverEd Busy doing what? He's not making plays considering he has almost the least amount of yards on the Broncos offense, he went from a star to a sub par slot receiver, he's mad he's a loser now :P

KevinDoucette
KevinDoucette

@gusCOYSBB is an idiot but please don't compare him to Harbaugh. He's another idiot. He went on for months last year about the last play on the SB. Yes, take defeat with class just don't ever say either one of them have that.

gusCOYS
gusCOYS

Oh and he has spent large parts of the season out of the lineup suffering concussion, smh

SweetLightCrude
SweetLightCrude

@RobertLewis @SweetLightCrude Agree whining is silly. That is part of my point. 


I would say whether it was called or not is really pretty much beside the point. Refs miss stuff all the time—for all teams. 


It was a dirty play, but as others have rightly noted, the Pats have had their share and gotten away with them, too.


If you watch this sport and you expect it to be clean . . . you're delusional and probably very angry.  Stuff happens on every play. You win some, you lose some.


The Pats lost this game, and there is no excuse. They lost. The Broncos won. 


Raider fans bitter over the tuck rule? Halfwits crying over spygate? Word. This is the game, for better or worse.


islandgirlee7
islandgirlee7

@DevlinPcp@x72It means that extra edge he had on other teams is gone. Now you have to have one or two more exceptional players, one in Defence for sure.

UrbanaJohn
UrbanaJohn

My point exactly. Shannahan wouldn't have won without the Elway/Davis combo.

Anyone who followed the Broncos knows Reeves tried to mold Elway into a pocket QB?? Along with his up the middle up the middle pass punt conservative play call is why Elway lost 3

OverEd
OverEd

@DevlinPcp@OverEd  Mad he's a loser? Sure Dev - I'm sure Welker is simply furious that he's got to go to ANOTHER Super Bowl.

Visionz311
Visionz311

@DevlinPcp@OverEdSomeone may be mad, but its certainly not Welker.  On the Patriots, Welker was a necessity as their only good receiver.  In Denver, he's just one of a group of talented receivers.  You honestly think he suddenly lost everything in 1 season?  Better luck next year, Pats fan!