Welker: Hardest part leaving Brady

March, 14, 2013
3/14/13
5:53
PM ET


In his introductory news conference with the Broncos on Thursday afternoon, receiver Wes Welker was asked how difficult it was to split with quarterback Tom Brady.

"Yeah, that was definitely probably the hardest part, leaving Tom," Welker responded. "He's a great competitor, a great player, a great friend across the board. I wish the best to him."

A few other soundbites from Welker:

Opening statement. "I'm definitely excited about the opportunity. I'd definitely like to thank New England for the six years there and all the trust and everything they put in me, and the opportunities I got. I'm looking forward to being a Denver Bronco and really trying to help this team win, and getting to play with Peyton [Manning] and a good group of receivers, and a good offense."

On the Broncos. "I felt Denver would be a great fit for me with their offense and how they run things and everything else. ... They have a great quarterback, a great team, they went 14-2 last year. They're a great team and I want to win. I felt like it was a good opportunity to me."

On free agency. "I think for me, it was really probably two teams that I was very interested in playing for. This is definitely one of them. I was just excited about the opportunity and really looking forward to it."

On if he thought there was a good chance he'd stay in New England after Brady restructured his contract. "You never know with those deals. You don't try to think about it too much. You just try to focus on you, and for me, it was just working out and getting ready for the next year and not really trying to worry about all that."

On his conversations with Bill Belichick & any friction between them. "We talked and stuff through the process. We wished each other the best, and everything else. Everything was on good terms ... I feel like everything was good. I think any time you're a competitor, you're going to clash at times, and everything else, but overall we've always had a great relationship and everything is on good terms. I have no ill feelings or anything else. I thank the fans there, and everything else, and I look forward to bringing my same style of play here to Denver and trying to help this team win."

On a 2013 game at Gillette Stadium vs. the Patriots. "It will be exciting. I'm definitely looking forward to it. We got a lot of work ahead of us, and a lot of games before that, but I'm definitely looking forward to that one."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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