Wes Welker's hit on Patriots' cornerback Aqib Talib was called "one of the worst plays" coach Bill Belichick has ever seen during his Monday morning news conference at Gillette Stadium. Welker took Talib out of Sunday's AFC Championship game when he collided with him causing a knee injury, on a play Belichick later called "deliberate".
Wes Welker and Bill Belichick weren't on the best of terms to begin with, according to the Worcester Telegram on Jan. 21. But The Patriots coach's comments about his former receiver's second quarter play in Sunday's loss to the Broncos aren't likely to repair their relationship any time soon.
Talib was covering Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas on a crossing pattern, and suffered a game-ending knee injury from a collision with Welker, who was coming from the other direction.
"I went back and watched it, which I didn't have a chance to do (Sunday)," Belichick said Monday morning. "I think it was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib; no attempt to get open. I'll let the league handle the discipline on that play, it's not for me to decide, but it's one of the worst plays I've seen."
Wes Welker was not flagged with a penalty, and he said after the game he was not intentionally trying to hurt Aqib Talib. Welker called it one of those kind of rough plays.
Veteran defensive end Andre Carter appeared to agree with Belichick's review of the play. While admitting Welker was doing his job to a certain degree, he said the play could have been cleaner.
Carter said he's been around a lot of football, and agreed Welker's hit was a "nasty play". He reiterated that it's a wait and see game now as to whether the league takes any action over the incident.
Regardless, Welker is on to his third Super Bowl having played in two during his six years in New England, and the Pats' 2013 season is history.
Safety Devin McCourty said all they can do now is look ahead to next year. Losing their best defensive back Talib for the second straight year in the AFC Championship was a killer for the Patriots.
But quarterback Tom Brady struck a more conciliatory note during his weekly appearance on WEEI Monday, admitting the Patriots were outplayed in all areas throughout the 26-16 loss.
"Denver played a really good game," Brady said. "It's unfortunate for our season to come to an end like this, but I would say Denver earned it."