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Friday, January 14, 2011
Wes Welker & foot references

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Maybe it was a coincidence. Or maybe it was a series of 11 jabs at Jets coach Rex Ryan.

Either way, Wes Welker's Thursday news conference created quite a buzz in the hours after it was held at Gillette Stadium, with first noting that Welker referenced "feet," "toes" or "foot" 11 times. For most reporters in the room, including this one, the references to feet and toes didn't register as anything out of the ordinary because they came within the context of his answers and were delivered flat-line style.

Welker, a known jokester/prankster, could have been zinging Ryan for an embarrassing story last month that the coach has called a personal matter.

Welker's first answer touched on every player "putting their best foot forward" and his second was on young players preparing for their first playoff action and how "you can’t just stick your toe in the water, you’ve got to jump right in."

When speaking of his experience in last year's playoffs, when he was injured, Welker said: "I had my foot up in the air trying to get the swelling to go down and things like that." Now that he's back, he's excited because "this is what you spend all year getting ready for and you want to go out there and put your best foot forward."

Welker talked about how Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has "great feet," as does Patriots receiver Deion Branch, and added that the team was trying to be "good little foot soldiers" in practice.

If Welker was zinging Ryan, this isn't the first time, although the others have come on the field.

"Of all the guys, he'll talk back and forth with me, with our assistant coaches, and I appreciate that," Ryan said in September. "We go back and forth but [there is] definitely a respect thing there."

Welker's college roommate is a volunteer assistant on Ryan's staff.