Wall-to-Wall Wes Welker Coverage
Wes Welker is gone, and Boston appears to be in mourning. There’s been no shortage of coverage of the receiver’s departure. The most prominent sports story on the front of Boston.com this morning featured a story about how Welker-related merchandise is on clearance. “At FansEdge.com, ‘Welkah!’ T-shirts were reduced from $35 to $17,” Callum Borchers reports. No wonder why the rest of the country hates Boston fans.
There are multiple recaps of Welker’s press conference, in which, as the Herald’s Karen Guregian points out, the new Denver Bronco rarely let his guard down. I guess playing for Bill Belichick for six years forces you to become a less-expansive public speaker. (Although he did once pull this stunt.) Welker did seem sad about no longer being able to play with Tom Brady.
“That was definitely probably the hardest part, leaving Tom,” Welker told reporters. “He’s a great competitor, great player, great friend across the board. I wish the best for him.”
When news broke that Welker was signing with Denver, Comcast’s Tom E. Curran reported that someone in Brady’s camp was “enraged.” That, through the filter of the Internet, essentially became, “Brady is apoplectic.” Curran later clarified, tweeting that, “the enraged party in my previous tweet was someone close to Brady. Not Brady himself. Got no idea how he feels. But I bet I could guess.”
I imagine that it’s frustrating for the quarterback, who over the past decade has seen the Patriots jettison a handful of his friends (Welker, Lawyer Milloy, Deion Branch). But I actually agree with columnists Christopher L. Gasper and Ron Borges, who both argue that New England’s biggest problem is its defense. “They score all the time,” a “rival offensive coordinator” told Borges. “The reason they aren’t winning Super Bowls anymore is they don’t have a physical defense anymore. There’s not one guy on defense we had to game plan for.” (On Thursday, the team bolstered its special teams, signing kick returner Leon Washington.)
For the final word on Welker, I turned to the Globe’s Greg A. Bedard and Grantland’s Bill Barnwell. Both are on board with the Patriots’ decision to let Welker go. “What this eventually boils down to is the innate fear of change that fans have with regard to their team’s stars,” Barnwell wrote. “Most people are loath to give up on something good until it’s been proven that a once-productive player can no longer perform at the same level. That’s understandable, but it’s a terrible way to run a football team. Belichick knows that, and he’s spent 13 years moving on from players at exactly the right time.”
That’s cold, but it’s true.