Bill Belichick praises Wes Welker

Updated: March 20, 2013, 9:17 AM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

PHOENIX -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick often says it's the same process every year. Players come, players go. Each team must establish its own identity.

Still, few expected the Patriots to be doing so in 2013 without receiver Wes Welker, whose departure was addressed by Belichick for the first time Tuesday at the NFL's annual meeting.

"I think Wes was everything we hoped he'd be when we traded for him [in 2007]. He was tough, competitive and very productive," ...

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