Bill Belichick stepped to the podium on Monday morning just hours after the Patriots lost the AFC Championship Game, and he was clearly still fuming over one particular play.
That play came early in the second quarter, when Wes Welker ran a crossing route and collided with Aqib Talib, ending the cornerback’s afternoon. Welker said the contact was incidental and the resulting injury was unintentional, but Belichick clearly thought otherwise.
“It was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib,” Belichick said. “No attempt to get open. … It was one of the worst plays I’ve seen. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Toucher and Rich discussed Belichick’s comments afterward, and while they thought Bill might have gone a little overboard with the “one of the worst plays I’ve ever seen comment,” Fred Toucher said the coach made a good case.
“To Bill Belichick’s point, Welker just blocked [Talib]. Like straight up, a special teams block, like if you’re just running down the field and you just want to take someone off their feet,” Fred said. “It’s a little more egregious than the pick plays you usually see. … It was a heavy hit. He hit Talib.
“[Talib] was the player they could ill afford to lose more than anyone, except for Tom Brady,” Fred continued. “He’s very upset. He’s obviously seen worse plays than this, but it might be the worst pick play he’s ever seen, that’s for sure. … I agree with Bill Belichick. That was a very, very aggressive hit on Aqib Talib.”
Rich Shertenlieb said even though Belichick has a case, complaining about a play the day after doesn’t come across very well.
“He also said the league is going to look at it,” Rich said. “What’s the league going to do? The league’s not going to do anything about that play. You’re not going to hear another word from the league about that play. It’s over. There was no flag.”
Scott Zolak dropped in early to join the discussion, and he said that at full speed in real time, Welker’s hit on Talib was intentional and egregious.
” The reason I lost it [on the radio broadcast of the game] was because there were two plays earlier in the game. [Welker] screened [Dont’a] Hightower and he screened Jamie Collins on two plays where he was on the left, came up and basically shielded them, and allowed Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas to come underneath and they had those big underneath ground gainers on the drag route. This was as egregious an attack as it seemed. It looked like a body block was thrown.
“He didn’t try to avoid Aqib Talib, so the crap he fed you in the postgame is a bunch of BS. That was intent — not intent to injure, but I think the hit was intended.”