Welker: Young WRs have lot to offer

May, 21, 2011
5/21/11
2:00
PM ET
PEABODY, Mass. -- The Old Spice Wes Welker Football Camp was off to a strong start this morning at Bishop Fenwick High School. After a week of mostly rain, Welker's camp was held under sunny skies, and Welker was bringing the same type of energy he plays with to those in attendance.

At one point during the camp, Welker spoke with reporters, and one thing he said stood out from this perspective. Welker was asked about young receivers Brandon Tate and Taylor Price, and if it might be viewed as a positive sign on their behalf that the team didn't draft any receivers this year.

“Oh yeah. Those guys have a lot of ability. They’re still young," Welker said. "That’s Tate’s first year of fully playing [after a knee injury knocked him out most of 2009]. It takes time for a receiver, especially in this offense. I think it’s always hard, especially in our system, for young drafted receivers to come in and really do something. They really have to do their homework and it’s hard for young guys to understand that. They’ve been great and hopefully we just keep working these guys along and bring them along, and hopefully be a threat for us next year.”

Both were third-round picks -- Tate in 2009 and Price in 2010 -- and Welker said having a year in the system should help both of them. Along those lines, Welker was asked what rookies are missing without being a part of minicamps and the offseason program.

"I think that’s huge. It’s going to be so far behind. It’s going to be tough for a lot of those [rookies] to come in and really impact," he answered. "They’re kind of behind the 8-ball right now. Hopefully we can get something figured out so these guys can really get up to speed on everything and really be able to play and learn a lot of things, not only from the coaches, but from the older players and things like that. It’s definitely a tough time.

"Hopefully those guys are working out and understand that they probably need to pay for some workouts, spend a little money. That’s a tough part right now. Guys are going into their own wallets to be able to train. That’s how much we care about football and we want to make sure we’re putting a good product out on the field and not having any sort of slacking or anything like that, and [are] able to play well out there.”

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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