BOSTON (CBS) – Denver Broncos receiver and former Patriots fan favorite Wes Welker dropped by the studio on Friday morning to chat with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb.
When the two teams squared off in 2013 the Patriots were able to mount a second half comeback, rallying from down 24-0 and defeating the Broncos in overtime. However it was a different story in the AFC Championship Game. The Broncos controlled possession and Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Welker said beating his old team felt good, but that the team fell short of the real prize.
On the Super Bowl, Wes said that “everything” went wrong against Seattle.
“I think game-planning and the way we played from the first snap up until the last snap it just wasn’t us. It wasn’t our night. Give the Seahawks credit. They got a lot of great players and they showed it that day for sure.”
Welker, now 0-3 in the big game, is still searching for that first Super Bowl title.
Rich asked Wes if he sees any comparisons with the San Antonio Spurs, who after losing to the Heat came back to win it all the following year.
“I do [see the comparisons]. With some of the moves we made this offseason and everything else, we’re all on the same page with what we want to do out there on the field, taking care of business and everything else.”
By all accounts his relationship with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has soured in recent years, reaching a low point after the AFC Championship when Belichick called Welker’s hit on cornerback Aqib Talib, “one of the worst plays I’ve seen.”
Fred asked Wes if their relationship was contentious.
“I don’t think so. Not on my part. I’m fine. I’ve got all the respect in the world for Bill and what he’s done as a coach. I’ve really learned a lot from him in my time in New England. I don’t see it that way.”
After making fairly innocuous comments about “Rex Ryan” and “feet” (referring to the Jets head coach’s foot fetish video) leading up to their big showdown in the 2010 playoffs, Belichick benched Welker for the first series, and is a coach well known for stifling his players with the media.
Wes says the Broncos give him a longer leash to express himself.
“They’re both great places. Great organizations. You obviously have a little more freedom to be you [with the Broncos]. I’ve enjoyed my time in Denver and the change in scenery.”
With the change in scenery comes a change in quarterback. Very few wide receivers can say they’ve caught passes from two of the best quarterbacks of all time and Wes Welker is one of them. Welker said they’re both great, but different.
A noticeable difference to the average fan is the amount of pre-snap calls made by Manning. Fred was curious to know how much of the “Omaha” stuff was real.
“You pay attention to it all just in case,” Welker joked. “A lot of times we’re going so fast it’s kind of nice to get a breather, so keep on doing that crap up there to get us a little more time. A lot of it serves a purpose, but not fully.”
Browns coach Mike Pettine, former Jets defensive coordinator, made headlines recently when he accused the Patriots of having the Jets playbook after Tom Brady allegedly bragged about it at Wes Welker’s wedding.
Welker addressed those allegations with Toucher & Rich.
“Not that I know of. Every little bit helps, but at the same time I don’t know. It might [help]. Not that I know of. My best friend from college was on the staff there with the Jets, Mike Smith, and we would always make stuff up with each other. Tom got to know Mike as well. Mike would say, ‘Oh so-and-so is gonna cover you in the game — actually no we’re just gonna double team you.’ And I would make stuff up too. Every once in awhile you throw something true in there just to throw him off. It was just playing mind games a little bit.”
Welker’s prowess as a slot receiver is well known, but he’s also a very capable gambler. Wes won big at the Kentucky Derby, and photos surfaced online of him handing out $100 bills to random people.
Afterwards, the folks at the Derby (who contacted TMZ first) reached out to Welker asking for some money back because they made a mistake and gave him too much.
“They called me afterwards. I don’t know. I never returned that phone call.”
Listen below for the full interview: