Scott Cordischi On Sports: Welker Getting The Shaft?
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Something ain’t right in Foxboro!
Not that Bill Belichick will explain it. He’d make a great prisoner of war. Name, rank and serial number. That’s about all you’ll get out of Belichick at his daily press briefing. That is, if you’re lucky! You’d have a better chance of Republicans controlling the state house in Rhode Island than you would having Bill Belichick be open and honest with the media that covers the team.
So what’s the problem in Foxboro?
You have a wide receiver who has more catches than anyone in the entire National Football League over the last five years playing less than a quarterback-turned-receiver and it makes absolutely no sense!
From 2007-2011, Wes Welker caught 554 passes wearing a Patriots uniform. That’s an AVERAGE of 111 receptions per season. During that five year stretch he led the league in receptions three times (2007, 2009, 2011), was an All-Pro four times (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) and played in four Pro Bowls (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011).
Sunday, Welker became the Patriots all-time leading receiver surpassing Patriots Hall of Famer Troy Brown with 562 receptions with New England.
For his career, Welker has 658 receptions for 7,335 yards and 32 touchdowns. Yet he rides pine behind a receiver with 54 career receptions for 536 yards and a whopping 1 touchdown.
Make sense? Didn’t think so!
Only Bill Belichick knows why Julian Edelman starts and plays more snaps than Welker. And he’s not telling anyone.
Is it the fact that Welker didn’t agree to a new contract extension on the Patriots terms? Or did he poke fun publicly at the toe-sucking Rex Ryan which earned him a spot on the bench to start the team’s Divisional Playoff game against the Jets two years ago?
Whatever Belichick’s reason for limiting Welker’s snaps, it isn’t good enough.
The Patriots NEED Wes Welker on the field. Belichick hates to admit that his team NEEDS any player and will usually go out of his way to disprove it. It appears that he’s doing it with Welker.
It was suggested by some talking heads on the Boston sports radio scene that Edelman’s increased time on the field has everything to do with the fact that he is a better blocker which fits well with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel’s emphasis on the Stevan Ridley and the running game.
Suggesting that the Patriots are a better team with Edelman on the field more than Welker is like saying that the Red Sox are better with Bobby Valentine at the helm as opposed to Terry Francona.
So what gives?
McDaniels said Tuesday that Edelman “has earned the right to get out there and play.” He also said of Edleman, “he’s a guy that gives you everything he’s got on every play.”
That’s nice praise for Edelman, but was McDaniels taking a subtle shot at Welker in the process? Maybe the coaching staff doesn’t believe that Welker is giving it his all in practice or in the games? Maybe they feel that Welker showed up to camp disgruntled about receiving the franchise tag ($9.5 million) and hasn’t been giving it his all?
Still, Belichick choosing Edelman over Welker is like any red-blooded heterosexual male picking Roseanne Barr over Kim Kardashian.
Now that tight end Aaron Hernandez is out for at least a few weeks with a high ankle sprain, utilizing Welker in the offense will be even more important. Hopefully, Tom Brady makes that clear to McDaniels and Belichick.
Belichick can remain coy about his reasons for not featuring Welker as much this year as he has over the past five seasons. But, if he knows what’s good for him and his team, he’ll put the pettiness aside and do what he claims dictates his every move and that’s what’s best for his team. And what’s best for his team is playing Wes Welker…..a lot!
-Now, the big question is: is Deion Branch back to help fill the void left by the injury to Aaron Hernandez or to take even more snaps away from Wes Welker?
-You hate to use the c-word in sports, but seeing how badly Stephen Gostkowski missed that 42-yard field goal at the end of the game makes you wonder if the Patriots kicker didn’t cough up a bit of a fur ball?
-The 2012 Tampa Bay Rays are collapsing in similar fashion to the 2011 Boston Red Sox.
-The Patriots biggest problem now is the right side of their offensive line where Sebastian Vollmer and Dan Connolly are injured and Brian Waters continues to hold out. Hey Dante! You may not be concerned but Tom Brady and the rest of us are!
-It’s probably a case of too little, too late, but the Philadelphia Phillies are hot right now!
-Raise your hand if you thought it was possible for the Patriots to have a losing record at any point this season. It’s a distinct possibility as the (1-1) Pats visit the Baltimore Ravens Sunday night in a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game.
-The NFL’s replacement refs haven’t been perfect, but they haven’t done a bad job either. Let’s not forget that we scrutinize the real refs on a weekly basis just like we do now with the replacement refs.
-So which is the real Peyton Manning? The one who we saw look like the old Peyton Manning in Denver’s season-opening win over Pittsburgh or the one who looked washed up in his performance against Atlanta Monday night?
-If Bobby Valentine wanted to pinch-hit for Jose Iglesias, he should have done it BEFORE he went to the plate the other night not after he had two balls and two strikes on him. That’s showing up your player and embarrassing him publicly.
-By the way, that’s the same Jose Iglesias that Valentine wanted to be his starting shortstop during spring training over Mike Aviles.
-It’s still early in the season, but San Francisco, Atlanta and Houston all look like legitimate playoff contenders in the NFL.
-Just when the NHL had fans coming back to their sport, they have another work stoppage. As Forrest Gump would say “stupid is as stupid does?”
-The Boston Red Sox just figured out that Diasuke Matsuzaka is Japanese for “overpaid bum!”
-I may be a Syracuse homer, but Chandler Jones sure looks like the real deal to me.
-The Boston Herald’s Ron Borges gave Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick a “C-“ for a grade in his report card for Sunday’s loss to Arizona. I say that any coach who plays Julian Edelman more than Wes Welker deserves an “F” for that game.
-If Kellen Winslow Jr. were half the player his old man was, the Patriots would have themselves a find.
-Just when you thought that Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys were ready to have a breakthrough season, they get smoked by the Seattle Seahawks.
-That must have made Pete Carroll “pumped and jacked!”
-Alabama is #1 and LSU is #2. Is there any doubt that the SEC has been and continues to be college football’s best conference?
-Speaking of college football, do yourself a favor and get to Brown Stadium Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm for a great Ivy League match-up between the Brown Bears and the Harvard Crimson.
-Did you see where the Houston Astros were going to interview Red Sox’ bench coach Tim Bogar for their vacant managerial post? Didn’t they just try that with Brad Mills?
-Congratulations to the 2012 International League Champion Pawtucket Red Sox.
-Rest in peace NFL Films czar Steve Sabol, a pioneer in sports videography.