FOXBOROUGH -- On Saturday, former Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown will be formally inducted as the 19th member of the team's Hall of Fame. He played the entirety of his career in New England, and established a franchise record for receptions, totaling 557 during his 15 seasons.
It's likely that Brown's mark will be passed on Sunday by Wes Welker, who hauled in his 557th reception as a Patriot during the team's season opener.
Welker took time Monday afternoon to reflect upon the influence and wisdom Brown shared with him during their time as teammates.
"Obviously, Troy is probably going to go down as the best receiver to ever play with the Patriots," Welker said. "When I first came here, all I did was watch film of Troy, and how he played the Z position here, and all the things that he was able to do, and watching him in mulitple games make big plays and do some great things here. Obviously him going into the Hall of Fame is well-deserved, and [he's] such a great player."
Welker credits Brown for helping to improve his understanding of defenses.
"I think him understanding defenses, and really learning that part of it," he said of areas in which Brown aided him. "Understanding how to run your route against certain coverages, and reading defenses and doing all those things. He did a really good job with that, of seeing the defense, understanding it. Part of that was probably because he was able to play defense, and able to do multiple things out there, and do all those things. I definitely picked up a bunch from him when I first came here."
Welker, like Brown, has been used as both a punt and kick returner during his career. One role that Brown served in that Welker has not, however, was as a defensive back.
For now, Welker doesn't have any plans to switch over to the other side of the football.
"We'll stick to receiver for now," he said with a smile.