The New England Patriots may have built a dynasty on the back of Tom Brady and his golden arm, but it’s important to celebrate some of the role players that helped make this team so dominant for so long. Wes Welker absolutely belongs in that hallowed hall of Patriots legends due to his production and consistency.
Welker pioneered the role that Julian Edelman would later fill, all while being more statistically proficient. Welker recorded at least 110 catches in five of his six seasons with New England. That stretch of consistency and durability may never be seen again.
Still, Welker never won a championship with the Patriots, as his crucial drops in Super Bowl XLVI ended his chance to pick up a ring. In Brady’s “Man in the Arena” series on ESPN, the QB absorbed the blame that many fans have directed at Welker, claiming he missed opportunities to make plays.
“That was a huge play in the game,” Brady said. “But at the same time, there was a play to be made on third down too, and I didn’t do that one either.” Brady knows better than to bad mouth Welker after the contributions he made to the Patriots’ dynasty over his six years in New England.
Patriots: Tom Brady didn’t throw Wes Welker under the bus.
Welker was an elite presence in the slot for Brady and the Patriots. A former undrafted free agent who was acquired by the Dolphins, Welker and his ability to get separation on shorter routes was exemplary. No wonder Belichick continually tries to find receivers that fit this mold.
Welker recorded 11 catches for 109 yards in the Super Bowl XLII loss against the Giants, and he put in a solid seven catches for 60 yards in the XLVI defeat. He may not have made the big play many expected, but no one can accuse him of not showing up in those games.
Brady was quoted saying that “nobody who could define what being a great teammate was” more than Welker. The offense revolved around the shifty wideout for years, and one drop can’t overrule that.
Welker’s 34 touchdown catches from Brady put him fourth on the all-time list. Only Edelman has caught more passes from Brady, and Welker only had six years alongside TB12. Any Pats fans that still hold those drops against Welker need to take a step back and realize what he meant to the history of this franchise.