Monday, October 8, 2012
Welker on comments: 'Was a joke'
By Mike Rodak
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker on Monday clarified comments he made about head coach Bill Belichick after Sunday's win over the Denver Broncos, saying they were not intended to be taken seriously.
"It was a joke," Welker said. "I don't know what else to say about it. It was a joke. Bill and I, whether you believe it or not, have a good relationship, and it was a joke. I'll make sure to keep that in-house going forward."
In an interview with Comcast SportsNet New England following the game, Welker said, winking, that "Yeah, it's kind of nice to stick it in Bill's face once in a while," which some took as a jab at Belichick. In the first two games of the season, Welker saw a reduced role before an injury sidelined fellow receiver Julian Edelman in Week 3.
Upon being informed of Welker’s comment at his daily news conference Monday, Belichick said, "You should ask him about it then. What he meant by it, I don't know."
On Monday, Welker was asked if he had spoken to Belichick about the comments.
"Any discussions are between us and the team," Welker said. "But he talks about it with all the players, all the time. He's our coach."
Welker was also asked if it was "tough these days" to make a joke in an interview. Welker was benched for the opening series of the Patriots' January 2011 playoff game against the New York Jets after joking about an internet video involving Jets coach Rex Ryan.
"Yeah, obviously. You just have to be careful with what you say," Welker said. "Bill does a good job of challenging us, and being a great coach, and doing things that he needs to do, and I made a joke about it, and it won't happen again."
With the Patriots traveling to face the Seattle Seahawks this weekend, Welker was asked whether he expects any discipline from the team.
"I don't think so at all," Welker said. "We're just concentrating on Seattle this week, and getting ready for the game."
Monday's gathering with reporters had a lighter moment when a reporter asked Welker if Belichick is a great coach.
"No doubt. No doubt, he is," Welker said, laughing. "And that's not a joke."