Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Welker on bye: It's not Spring Break
By Chris Forsberg
Chris Forsberg/ESPN BostonPatriots wide receiver Wes Welker addresses the media Wednesday at Gillette Stadium.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker is looking forward to five consecutive days off during the bye week -- joking that stretch of inactivity is almost unheard of in these parts -- but stressed that it's not quite as glamorous as one might imagine.
"It’s not like Spring Break in college or anything like that," said Welker. "Everybody's still gotta go work out, do some of those things. But you're not out there running routes and doing all those things that you do on a daily basis. You're just making sure you’re getting a lot of rest, a lot of sleep."
Welker said he's headed home to Oklahoma City to see some family and friends for a few days before returning back to Foxborough to get ready for the second half of the season.
"I think you kinda put [football] out of you mind for a few days," he said. "There's so much every single day -- football, football, football -- so it’s kinda nice to get a few days to just kinda relax, spend time with family and friends. Just get away from it for a few days."
Welker enters the break with 51 receptions for 785 yards, both tops in the NFL. Coming off the offense's worst performance of the season -- and a game he was limited to a season-low 45 yards receiving on six catches -- Welker stressed there's plenty of work to be done, even with a 5-1 record.
"It’s nice to be in the position we are in, but there's still a long way to go," said Welker. "By no means have we won the division, or even close to it. We’re still a long ways out from where we need to be."
Welker said he'll keep an eye on the action around the NFL this weekend, but quipped: "If I have something to do, it's not like I'm Tivo-ing it of anything like that." He noted it was nice to get a veteran like running back Kevin Faulk back on the field Tuesday as three players previously on the physically-unable-to-perform list (defensive linemen Brandon Deaderick and Ron Brace the others) returned to practice ("[Faulk has] been so clutch throughout his career, adding him back, his knowledge of the game -- he's been so big for us, so it's always great to have Kevin out there," said Welker).
When it was noted that quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick moved into a tie as the winningest coach/QB combo during the Super Bowl era with Sunday's win over Dallas (matching the 116 career victories by Miami's Dan Marino and Don Shula), Welker offered his take on the reasons behind their combined success.
"Just the commitment that both of them have," said Welker. "Coach Belichick, I don’t think there’s been one time when I've parked my car here and his car hasn’t been in his spot. He's constantly in here trying to help us and make us better. Tom, well, he’s Tom -- he's always trying to find a way to do something better, as far as eating more flax seed, or whatever it is. He’s always trying to find a way to improve out there on the field."