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Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Tom Brady: Wes Welker's role is 'huge'

By James Walker

One of the most talk-about topics in New England this week is the perceived reduced role of Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker.

Not only did Welker catch just three passes for 14 yards in a win against the Tennessee Titans. But he only played in 64 percent of the snaps and shared playing time with backup receiver Julian Edelman. This is curious since Welker, 31, is on the final year of his contract and did not get an offeseason extension.

But Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says observers are reading too much into this. It was only one game.

"We have a lot of football to play and we're going to need everybody," Brady said. "There are going to be games where Wes has not as many opportunities, and there are going to be games where he has a ton of opportunities. It all depends on how the game may play out or the situation of the game. But he’s a huge part of this offense, and what we do on a weekly basis. I’m sure there won’t be too many games where he doesn’t get a lot of opportunity."

Now that Welker's lack of opportunities have caught everyone's attention, I'm curious to see what the Patriots do with Welker against the Arizona Cardinals. Sure, some games Welker must play the decoy. But that doesn't explain taking their best receiver off the field in favor of Edelman or an extra tight end.