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