BOSTON (CBS) — Wes Welker has already seemingly burned a bridge with one NFL head coach, but might he have done the same with his current boss?
MMQB’s Greg Bedard wrote a story the day after the Super Bowl that’s gaining some traction on Tuesday. In particular, Bedard uses a quote from Welker about the Broncos’ flub on the opening play of the Super Bowl, when center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball to nobody. The ball rolled into the end zone, resulting in a safety which gave Seattle a 2-0 lead and turned the ball over.
Welker made no bones about it, saying the Broncos weren’t prepared for the crowd noise.
“That’s the way the start of any Super Bowl is: It’s going to be loud,” Welker, now a veteran of three Super Bowls (all losses), said. “The fans are going to be yelling. They don’t really know why they’re yelling — it’s just the start of the Super Bowl. We didn’t prepare very well for that, and it showed.”
NFL.com added to the story, noting that Denver head coach John Fox actually turned down the volume of the crowd noise at practice on Wednesday.
“[The Super Bowl is] not an away game. The ones I’ve been to haven’t been too loud,” Fox explained after that practice. “So we just kind of practice with what we think we’re going to get.”
Fox was the Giants’ defensive coordinator for Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa, and he was the Panthers’ head coach in Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston. His teams lost both of those games.
Welker made it clear at the podium after the game that the mistake on the first snap was a big one.
“It’s never the way you want to start a game, that’s for sure,” Welker said. “It’s tough. You’ve gotta bounce back from it. We just never really rebounded.”
Welker turned in another solid Super Bowl performance, catching eight passes from Peyton Manning for 84 yards. Despite his drop that may have cost the Patriots a championship in Super Bowl XLVI, Welker’s fared pretty well in his three Super Bowl appearances, averaging nine receptions and 82 yards per appearance.
Welker didn’t mention Fox specifically by name, but when you add two and two together, there’s only one person responsible for preparing his players for the biggest game of their lives. If Fox does take offense to the comments, he can always make a phone call to Bill Belichick if he wants advice on how to best deal with the receiver.