Wes Welker clarifies comments

Updated: October 9, 2012, 11:24 AM ET
By Mike Rodak and Field Yates | Special to ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker clarified a comment he made about coach Bill Belichick after Sunday's win over the Denver Broncos, saying it was not intended to be serious.

"It was a joke," Welker said Monday. "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."

After Sunday's victory, a winking Welker told Comcast SportsNet that it felt "kind of nice to stick it in Bill's face once in a while" when asked about recording 13 receptions against the Broncos compared to the three he snagged in Week 1.

Welker is playing under the Patriots' $9.5 million franchise tag this season after he and the team could not come to terms on a long-term deal.

A major storyline over the first few weeks of the season was Welker's reduced role in the Patriots' offense, a subplot that has faded in recent weeks thanks to injuries to Aaron Hernandez and Julian Edelman. After catching just eight passes over the first two weeks combined, Welker has averaged 10 catches per game since and ranks second in the NFL with 38 receptions this season.

Asked during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio WEEI on Monday whether he had heard Welker's comment and if he thought it was funny, Belichick said, "I think Wes played really well yesterday. I'm happy that things turned out the way they did. Any conversations that I have with Wes will be between me and Wes."

Belichick then was asked if he thinks Welker has a future as a comedian?

"He has a good sense of humor," the coach said.

During his daily press conference earlier in the day, Belichick said, "You should ask him about it. 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."

Mike Rodak and Field Yates cover the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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