Vereen: Fans Should Welcome Back Wes Welker ‘With Open Arms’
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BOSTON (CBS) – Toucher and Rich were joined by versatile Patriots running back Shane Vereen Friday morning to talk about Monday night’s heartbreaker against Carolina, their game this Sunday night against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, and how well Wes Welker will be received by the Gillette Stadium crowd.
Addressing the Panthers game to start the interview, Rich referenced a report by Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston stating that coach Bill Belichick showed the team a play from a 2009 Browns-Lions game that’s eerily similar to what transpired in Carolina on Monday night. A pass was intercepted in the end zone on a last-second play, pass interference was called (the flag was NOT picked up) and the offense was given another shot to win it - which they did.
Basically, you know, the exact opposite result of Monday night’s controversial ending.
Rich asked Vereen for his opinion on his coach’s film choice, and whether or not it’s motivating them to do well on Sunday night.
“He [Belichick] shows all kinds of film throughout the week, most of it in preparation for Sunday,” said Vereen. “There’s no film that he can show that can put any more of a fire under us that isn’t already there. We’re ready to go for this Sunday, we feel good.”
Vereen understands the magnitude of this game, not only in terms of how it’ll affect their standing in the AFC landscape, but also the historical significance of two great quarterbacks battling it out. It’s even more apparent to him of just how big a game it is by the increase in media members in the locker room.
Felger & Mazz: Welker/Amendola Swap A ‘Total Failure’ So Far
Wes Welker ranks first all time in Patriots history for receptions, second in receiving yards and eighth in receiving touchdowns.
However fans, and Welker himself, are upset by the way his Patriots tenure ended. A deal couldn’t be reached between Wes and the Pats, which resulted in him signing with the AFC rival Broncos.
New England fans haven’t always welcomed back former players favorably (e.g. Johnny Damon, Adam Vinatieri and most recently Tyler Seguin), so the guys were curious to get Shane Vereen’s opinion on the return of Wes Welker.
“I think they should accept him [Welker] with open arms. He had a great a career here, but you know, on Sunday I hope they also support the home team.”
After their discussion on the importance of protecting the football and what not, Rich played audio from the Scott Zolak Q&A with tight end Rob Gronkowski, where the loveable lunk said if he could have one superpower it would be a time machine so he can go back and forth to Florida whenever he wants.
Shane, what’s your reaction to that?
“If he does get that time machine that takes him to Florida then I want in too,” joked Vereen. Adding, “If he takes me to Florida in this cold weather I’m in.”
Listen to the full interview below:
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