Wes Welker’s Post Traumatic Belichick Disorder
Last season it became abundantly clear that there was no love lost between former New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker and his former head coach Bill Belichick.
In October 2012 Welker appeared on CSNNE’s Patriots Postgame Show after a win over the Denver Broncos [ironically] in which he had 13 receptions and he said something that was decidedly un-Patriot like. When asked how his big day compared to Week 1, when he had just three receptions, Welker responded, “Yeah it’s kind of nice to stick it in Bill’s face once in awhile. So this is definitely a good one.”
Now, unless your familiar with “the Patriot way” there was nothing about that statement that needed clarifying. Having begrudgingly signed his franchise tender in May, Welker was obviously upset with his contract [or lack thereof] going into the regular season, which was exacerbated when it looked like he was being intentionally marginalized throughout September.
Seriously, most teams would be thrilled if that was the worst pain a disgruntled wide receiver would dish out over the course of a season. Just one year earlier it seemed to many that Philadelphia Eagles wideout DeSean Jackson was tanking—maybe even intentionally sabotaging—the season for the very same reason.
Jackson was rewarded with a lucrative new contract. Welker was not.
Jackson wasn’t forced to answer for the many times it was glaringly apparent that he was phoning it in. Welker was forced to declare to the world that his comments about Belichick were just a joke. Even though the world was already well aware that they weren’t. Said Welker:
“It was a joke. I don’t know what else to say about it. … Bill and I, whether y’all believe it or not, have a good relationship, and it was a joke and I’ll make sure to keep that in-house going forward. … You’ve just got to be careful with what you say.”
Well, talk about burying the lede.
Perhaps it would’ve been easier to believe him then if the Patriots didn’t have a history of forcing Welker to apologize for things he wasn’t actually sorry for. If you have a funny bone in your body, you probably recall Welker’s epic press conference prior to a divisional playoff game in January 2011.
He not-so-subtly commented on Pats rival New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan’s foot fetish, which was embarrassingly revealed weeks prior. While answering mundane questions from the mundane Boston sports media, Welker managed to squeeze just shy of a dozen foot references into his answers.
But instead of basking in whatever glory the Pats had left after dropping a deuce against the Jets, Welker was forced to apologize for the shame he brought upon the organization. On whether or not he had regrets:
“Yeah, sure I do. I’m not going to get into any details about it, but I don’t think it’s worth putting coach [Belichick] in that situation. … So in a sense, I do regret it. … As much as you might want to get enticed into that stuff, at the end of the day, it’s just not worth it.”
Uh yeah. It’s not worth it when you’re shoved in front of a group of reporters and forced to apologize for something you’re not sorry for because of how it reflects on Bill Belichick. Even though it doesn’t reflect on him at all.
Welker wasn’t sorry for the press conference and that thing about sticking it in Belichick’s face was not a joke. Quite the contrary, in fact. His recent comments to Sports Illustrated are proof positive that he felt stifled under the tyrannical reign of his former head coach. Sayeth Welker:
“It was just kind of hard … 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. … When I’m answering questions from the Denver media, I’m not worried about what the Broncos’ people are going to think, I’m worried about what Belichick will think. Isn’t that crazy?”
Uh yeah. That is crazy.