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BOSTON (CBS) – When Wes Welker chose joining the Denver Broncos over staying with the Patriots this offseason, it was clear something had gone wrong between the All Pro receiver and the New England franchise.
Welker gave his side of the story in the new Sports Illustrated (which features Welker and his new Broncos teammates on the cover), and said his relationship with Bill Belichick became hard towards the end with the head coach admonishing him in front of teammates — something he hadn’t done to that extreme until last season.
“It was just kind of hard,” said Welker, who spent the previous six years of his NFL career with the Patriots. “One of those deals where you have to endure him, put up with him. … But he does it to everybody. It’s the way he is.”
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Earlier this offseason, the receiver said he felt like he could be more of himself now that he is in Denver without the Patriots’ stiff rules when it comes to dealing with the media. But, Belichick is still in the back of Welker’s mind whenever he talks to reporters.
“When I’m answering questions from the Denver media, I’m not worried about what the Broncos’ people are going to think,” Welker said. “I’m worried about what Belichick will think. Isn’t that crazy?”
Welker, who signed a two-year deal with the Broncos in March, said there were only two places he was going to play — Denver or New England.
“You always think you’re one of those players who will be in one place the whole time, one of those guys they’ll never let leave because you play hurt, do what it takes,” he said. “But it’s a different age. A lot of coaches, they like having younger guys. This game’s so tough on you, it’s all about, ‘How many more hits can you take?’ So they buy low, sell high. It’s a numbers game.”
He added that he will miss playing with quarterback Tom Brady, but is looking forward to catching passes from Peyton Manning.