Posted January 28, 2014

Wes Welker defends pick on Aqib Talib in AFC title game, says it’s a play ‘everyone’ runs

AFC West, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Super Bowl XLVIII
Wes Welker (top) knocked Aqib Talib from the AFC title game on an early 'rub' route.

Wes Welker (top) knocked Aqib Talib from the AFC title game on an early ‘pick’ route. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

NEWARK, N.J. — More than a week after his team’s AFC Championship Game win, Denver receiver Wes Welker still finds himself answering for his collision with New England cornerback Aqib Talib — a hit that knocked Talib from the game.

On the play in question, Welker ran into Talib over the middle of the field on what the Patriots argued was an illegal pick. Bill Belichick later referred to it as “one of the worst plays I’ve seen. … It was a deliberate attempt by [Welker] to take out Aqib.”

Welker, though, maintained during Tuesday’s Media Day that the route was one “everyone” runs and the play one that the Patriots also have in their repertoire.

“You try to get a rub on that guy and if you can get him to go over the top of you, the more separation the other receiver will have.” Welker said. “That’s what I tried to do and unfortunately we collided.”

Talib suffered a knee injury when he ran into Welker, who was wearing the oversized helmet he’s sported of late to prevent against further concussions. Welker emerged no worse for the wear and went on to make four receptions in the Broncos’ 28-16 victory.

Talib’s teammate, defensive back Devin McCourty, said earlier Tuesday on SportsCenter that he did not believe Welker had tried to injure Talib purposely, according to the Providence Journal.

Welker did not deny that the AFC title game had an extra edge to it, to the point of becoming unnecessarily chippy at points.

“In a big game like that, of course [that happens],” Welker said.

The other big revelations from Welker’s Media Day time on the podium: He denied considering retirement despite a rash of head injuries; and he admitted that he would try to stay on the field during the Super Bowl even if he suffered another concussion.

“You know. You want to be out there. It’s the Super Bowl. Like, this is what you dream about. You’re gonna be there. I don’t care what it takes.”

GALLERY: SI’s best shots from the AFC Championship game

69 comments
Max10
Max10

Oh, I'm sure Earl Thomas is really scared that Welker might hurt him.

The NE coach is the worst losing sportsman of all time. Like Welker hurt Talib deliberately. He hit his shoulder...

Whatever.

Bellchick and the Boston/NE fans are by far, the worst fans in the world (2nd to the SFO 49ers liberals - seems the liberals are overall, just terrible losers). I know some, and they won't even watch this SuperBowl. For some reason they think the rest of us actually LIKE the Patriots and Brady/Belichick.


BTW, how many SuperBowls has NE won since 'SPyGate'? Just curious?

DanTavern
DanTavern

I hear Welker has signed a contract with the WWE. The organization has floated some nicknames: "The Crippler" and "Ice Pick".

JonathanGregg
JonathanGregg

So many of you just make things up and hope people believe you. A pick play is illegal in football. They call it a rub because they are supposed to run passed each other rubbing shoulder pads.. Incidental contact is legal which I'm guessing is what they were calling it. Don't insult our intelligence though and say that it wasn't a pick cause it was. It wasn't a dirty play but it have a hard time believing it was legal.. But the league isn't gonna expose itself and say yeah the refs blew it.. Some of you need to be fair about it though and also realize that you armchair qbs are bad ones at that. Stop making up rules, scenarios, and things that just didn't happen.

x72
x72

Basically Aqib is just a weakling.

BillBeattie
BillBeattie

Pats fan here--this is a non-issue to me. Even if  Welker did hit Talib on purpose, I doubt his intent was to take him out. Out of the play, yes. Out of the game, no. Game over. Let's move on. Next year if Brady gets some receivers and we don't have mega-injuries to guys like Wilfork and the Gronk, Pats will be in the thick of things again...as usual. Whining is a waste of time and energy.

FOOLKILLER
FOOLKILLER

I hope Wes Welker puts the wood to Sherman and cripples the thug.

Oldtimeduffer
Oldtimeduffer

I hope Richard Sherman puts a hit on Welker that shuts his mouth. 

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

Welker needs to learn from Belichick.  If people ask, say "It was legal.  It was clean. The NFL ruled. Does anyone have a question on another topic?"  If no one has a question on another topic, say "Thank you" and close the presser.  

friendly--neighborhood--scrawler
friendly--neighborhood--scrawler

Welker can defend it all he wants, act brave in front of the media, but i am positive if Welker ever ran into Talib on the streets he would back peddle faster than anyone has ever done it before... i would not be surprised if i heard Welker threw his wife in front of Talib to give him enough time to escape...

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

again it seems no talks about drc missed some downs for the broncos because of the same play run by eddeleman and you saw jackie mac say well eddelman was flagged, no the penalty was on brendan whathisface

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

Little Mr Big helmet better not try that in the Superbowl or he will hurt himself.

vaj.nyiaj
vaj.nyiaj

Belicheat just can't get over the fact that the Pats were too cheap and Welker wasn't going to be working for Pats' minimum wage.  With teams on the rise, Pats way of trying to plug and play without playing stars is starting to show that it'll only take you so far.  GO LOB!

TheHip1
TheHip1

Have fun 'rubbing' on Sunday you little punk...the Legion goes BOOM!

Wisconsin Death Trip
Wisconsin Death Trip

"Yep, I deliberately went after him to break as many bones as I could. I was trying to crush and maim him so he couldn't play......" (lol)


Why would he say anything else?

6marK6
6marK6

What goes around, comes around, Wesley. 

espnrefugee0218
espnrefugee0218

The 2013 -  2014 Patriot Way:  Harboring a serial killer,  giving one of the best QBs ever less money than Tony Romo and released his bff...to go play for the best QB ever. Replacing Welker with a body made of glass for 25million.  Sending their best linebacker to IR because he was late to practice 1 week before playoffs.  Capped of by a butthurt coach blaming it ALL on a guy who is barely 5'8 for playing too rough on offense.



Terry
Terry

@x72 

Basically you are just an idiot racist.

Max10
Max10

@FOOLKILLER  Interesting. I hope the 5'7" Welker jumps up high enough so Sherman can squat down, look him in the eye and scare him to death. Get real.

daxaunderdown
daxaunderdown

Sherman is a cover guy...not a hitter. Earl Thomas on the other hand...

nutz4golf
nutz4golf

@Oldtimeduffer Just in case you just came out of an extended coma, I would like to pint out that Welker is pretty well respected on and off the field. He, as a rule doesn't get involved with a whole lot of trash talk.

MrArlington
MrArlington

@OldtimedufferLOL. Little Richard puts the hit on no one. He is good at tipping balls and getting in the way but horrible tackler.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

@CobyPreimesberger The penalty was for pass interference, not dirty play.  It is only pass interference if it comes BEFORE the ball is touched.  Edelman hit DRC BEFORE the ball was touched.  Welker hit Aqib simultaneous to the touching.  NEITHER was dirty.

MikeKing
MikeKing

@CobyPreimesberger They are both illegal and the NFL needs to do something about it.  It is ridiculous they are putting forth all these rules to protect receivers and still let them run these pick plays.  

RobertLewis
RobertLewis

@vaj.nyiaj Exactly.  How many Superbowls has Bellicheat won since he got caught cheating?   ZERO.

MikeKing
MikeKing

@vaj.nyiaj News flash, your Seachickens are about to start to understand what cap problems look like.  Just wait till your QB goes from league minimum to 17 mill a year on your cap.   Then you will be able to relate to what the teams who have been good for 10 years are dealing with.  

newipo
newipo

@vaj.nyiaj Money had nothing to do with it, or at the least, very little. Welker did not like BB's no nonsense approach, there was no way he was going to re-sign in NE...his second year with Denver is not guaranteed, so we'll see what happens when he drops a crucial pass on Sunday...

magic mushroom
magic mushroom

@vaj.nyiaj yeah as far as 3 trips to afc championship and one superbowl appearance in the last 3 years. laughable logic

anon76
anon76

@TheHip1 


Welker's played the LOB before when he was in NE.  He caught 10 passes on 14 targets for 138 yards and a touchdown.  I think he'll be fine on Sunday.

J57
J57

@TheHip1So the Broncos ARE going to play the Whiners in the SB...

jmooney1025
jmooney1025

@espnrefugee0218 There are so many things wrong with your statements its kind of funny you took the time to write it because you cant honestly believe anyone would read this and think "wow this guy is really in tune with whats going on"

magic mushroom
magic mushroom

@espnrefugee0218 and still wins a lot of games. although they have not won the big game or not made it to superbowl and have been losing to better teams in the playoffs, they have been in the AFC title game 3 years in a row. 

Fleeb
Fleeb

@MrArlington @Oldtimeduffer You seem to forget that as the best cover corner in the league, he rarely gets an opportunity to tackle anyone. On a typical play, Sherman is taking his man entirely out of the action while the ball goes somewhere else. They only threw at him 58 times all year. This is true of all the best cornerbacks. If you see a corner with a lot of tackles, it means his man is catching a lot of balls. 

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

@MikeKing @CobyPreimesberger You can say "they are illegal" all you want, but the NFL -- you know, the folks who make the rules and determine legal/illegal and clean/dirty -- say the Welker hit was NOT illegal and NOT dirty.  Keep repeating your own lie about it, but you expose your own lack of knowledge of the rules.

simul8guy
simul8guy

@RobertLewis - ancient history, get over it.  I'll bet the team you're a fanboy of didn't make it to the Conference Championship game 3 years in a row along with one trip to the big game.  Come to think of it no team in the NFL can match that record....

TheHip1
TheHip1

@J57 @TheHip1 Who is whining? Just stating facts...come over the middle and you will be ROCKED

espnrefugee0218
espnrefugee0218

@jmooney1025 @espnrefugee0218 well aaron hernandez had red flags all over him...i think they were actually blood tattoos.  Tom Brady does make less money than Romo.  The organization snubbed Wes Welker, overpaid for danny amendola, sent spikes to the IR 1 week before the playoffs ( even if it was his knee...they reported it was for being late) and BB was butthurt about losing the AFC title game......all that actually happened 

Fleeb
Fleeb

@anon76 @Fleeb @MrArlington @Oldtimeduffer   All I'm saying is that none of the top corners have many tackles, Peterson had 43, Revis had 50, Grimes had 60. Future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey has about 60 tackles a season for his career so far, and Sherman has about 55 a year over 3 seasons.  


I have watched almost every snap Sherman has played and I have never noticed him having a problem with tackling. IMO, his only weakness is letting guys get behind him for the deep ball, which is another subject entirely.

anon76
anon76

@Fleeb @MrArlington @Oldtimeduffer 


Corners still have plenty of tackling responsibilities on running plays, especially when the ball carrier gets to the edge around the DE.


Thus Deion Sanders was the best cover corner in the league and still had a reputation as a poor tackler, while Champ Bailey was also the best cover corner in the league and had an excellent reputation as a tackler.


I haven't watched enough tape of Sherman to know whether or not he's a good tackler, but you certainly can't bypass the criticism by saying cover corners don't have to tackle.

nygiants56
nygiants56

@simul8guy@RobertLewis  This is the perfect example of the defense insecure Patriots fans offer when they talk about their team - - getting close to super bowls, and playing in them but not winning, is enough. It's been NINE years.  Only thing Patriots have proven over that time is that they are one of the better teams in the league to not win it all.