Patriots receiver Wes Welker was a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday, joining the "Movin' the Chains" program hosted by Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan. Welker was at the American Century Celebrity Golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.
Thoughts on the Patriots in 2011. "We're real excited about the team we have. We have a lot of young guys that can run really well. Smart guys. They care. That's the main thing. I have a lot of trust in a lot of the guys we have and I'm just excited to get back to work and get out there with them, and get this season going."
Thoughts on the lockout. "It's funny, everyone asks me 'Are we going to get this deal done?' I'm like, 'Man, whatever you read, you probably know more than I do.' So my main goal, basically, is just staying in shape and making sure I'm ready for Day 1 of training camp. If it doesn't happen, I'm still going to stay ready for whenever it does. I'm not really getting caught up in what is going to happen. I keep an eye on it, but at the end of the day, I just need to stay in shape and make sure that I'm putting a good product on the field once we get going."
Surprised at drafting two running backs. "I think our picks always surprise people. You always think one thing and we go after something completely different. But for the most part, I trust in Coach Belichick and the staff that they're going to get the best player possible to help our football team. I know they try to create advantages for us out there on the football field and attack weaknesses of the defense. We try to stay strong at every position where we can [exploit] weaknesses."
Tight end Rob Gronkowski. "He's a great player. He's going to be a really good player. You know, we just have to stay on him and make sure he's getting all the assignments right and all those things, and keep him more consistent as far as that goes. He's a heck of a blocker. He can catch the ball. He can stretch the field. He can break himself down and come out of a break, give head fakes and things like that. He really doesn't have a weakness to his game. It's just polishing up all those things to make him great."
Wide receiver Brandon Tate. "Brandon is a great player, man. He has great speed. We have to work on his consistency and really get him going, making sure that game in and game out, play in and play out, practice in and practice out, it's a consistent thing. Once he gets that, he's going to be fine and he's going to make a lot of plays for us, like he has this past year."
Thoughts on NFL rules on defenseless receivers. "It's kind of in-between on that one. I totally respect guys that go out there and give it their all, and fly around, and try to make plays. I think there are certain situations where you need to back down and stuff, but for the most, it's football and you know that stuff is going to happen. You know you're going to get hit. It's part of the game. I'm always going to be ready for that, no matter whether there are fines for that or not, and just try to stay physical myself, and take my shots when I get a chance."