2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Welker goes from one premier passer to another

By ARNIE STAPLETON - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-07-25 02:25

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Spoiled by all those spirals from Tom Brady, there was only one other quarterback Wes Welker was willing to play for: Peyton Manning.

Just four months into his pairing with Denver's QB, Welker didn't hesitate when asked on the eve of the Broncos training camp what, from his unique perspective, was the difference between the top two quarterbacks of his generation.

``They're both spectacular, so I don't think there's too much of a difference between them,'' Welker said. ``It's like comparing Picasso and Michelangelo. It's hard to compare the two.''

Welker isn't sure if he's a Michelangelo guy or a Picasso guy, either.

``I couldn't even tell you,'' Welker confessed, revealing he's less an art aficianado than he is a connoisseur of quarterbacks. ``Somebody threw those names at me one time and I thought it sounded pretty good.''

What sounds good to Manning is having Welker in the slot this season.

He'll team up with fourth-year pros Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker to give the Broncos a top receiving trio.

Thomas and Decker combined for 179 catches and 23 TDs last season, and Welker had 118 receptions and a half-dozen touchdowns in New England.

Of course, with a terrific tight end group and Manning's spread-it-around offense, Welker figures there's no way he's going to catch that many passes this season, and he's fine with that.

He said he doesn't need to be force-fed the ball to get into the flow in this offense. And he's certainly never been one to retreat to the huddle barking at the quarterback about how open he was on the previous play.

``For me, it's just doing my job and doing what I can do to help the team win. I don't think it's anything beyond that and really worrying about targets or catches or anything else,'' Welker said.

``And that's the way I'm looking at it and if that takes catching one pass and blocking all game or if that takes 10 catches, whatever it is, that's what it's going to be: whatever it takes to win.''

For all his gaudy statistics over his career, Welker isn't really a big numbers guy. He doesn't judge his production strictly by statistics, so he's not going to sulk if he has a quiet day so long as somebody else is the beneficiary of him getting shut down.

``I judge it by whether I got a plus or minus on the play,'' Welker said. ``Did I do what I needed to do on that particular play? And do it the right way? And I think that's the way you really judge it.''

So, sometimes, two catches is better than eight, a quiet afternoon is better than a busy one.

``Absolutely. I think that's very accurate. As long as you're doing your job, your assignment, your technique, all those things and take care of your business, then I don't think it matters whether you produce or not,'' Welker said. ``And hopefully if you do all of those things you do produce.''

In the shy Thomas and selfless Decker, the soft-spoken Welker believes he's found a pair of likeminded teammates, too.

``Those are tough guys that work hard and want to do well out there on the field. I'm definitely excited to be playing with them,'' Welker said.

Welker was the crown jewel of Denver's $125 million offseason spending spree. He signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Broncos after spurning the Patriots' offer of $10 million over two years shortly after Brady had restructured his contract to allow New England more salary cap flexibility to try to keep his targets together.

While the Broncos have an embarrassment of riches for Manning to choose from, the Patriots may start the season without their seven leading receivers from last year. Among them is tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was cut after being charged with murder this summer.

That's something Welker didn't want to talk about Wednesday.

``I just pray for everybody involved and just try to move forward with training camp and everything else,'' Welker said.

And he's eager to see what he and Manning can do together after all that success he had with Brady over the last six seasons, but he's preaching patience.

``Even in my fifth, sixth year in New England, I was still feeling like I was getting comfortable,'' Welker said.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ben TateSep 30 01:23p

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate (knee) returned to practice Tuesday, Sept. 30, for the first time since spraining his right knee in the season opener Sept. 7. It means [ More ]

Niles PaulSep 30 01:13p

Washington Redskins TE Niles Paul (concussion) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 30, and remains in the league's concussion protocol. However, head coach Jay Gruden said Paul is 'making very good progress.'

Mason FosterSep 30 01:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Mason Foster (shoulder) is improving, but he is not sure if he will be available to play in the team's Week 5 game. Getting a [ More ]

Bruce CarterSep 30 01:13p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (quadriceps) isn't expected to miss a significant amount of time, but he's not expected to play in Week 5 against the Houston Texans. The [ More ]

Jon GrudenSep 30 12:53p

The Oakland Raiders may look at free-agent head coach Jon Gruden for their head coaching vacancy, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The team is looking for a [ More ]

Tom BradySep 30 12:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady and the offense struggled mightily in a 41-14 thrashing by the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4 Monday, Sept. 29, and head coach [ More ]

Trent WilliamsSep 30 12:33p

Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams (knee) and OG Shawn Lauvao (knee) both were held out of practice Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Jalil BrownSep 30 12:13p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent CB Jalil Brown (Dolphins) to their active roster Tuesday, Sept. 30. WR Chandler X. Jones (Browns) and LB Rob Ruggiero (Colts) were signed to the practice squad.

Robert MathisSep 30 12:13p

Indianapolis Colts LB Robert Mathis was signed to a contract extension through the 2016 season Tuesday, Sept. 30. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Bishop SankeySep 30 10:43a

Tennessee Titans RB Bishop Sankey's footwork was a little better in Week 4, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Carson PalmerSep 30 10:03a

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) said the nerve in his shoulder hasn't progressed as much as he'd hoped, but he thinks he could prove capable of starting.

Nick FolesSep 30 09:53a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles has completed 25.6 percent of his throws over 20 yards this season. He is on pace to make 156 attempts of 20 or more [ More ]

Chris RaineySep 30 08:53a

Free-agent RB Chris Rainey (Cardinals) signed an undisclosed deal with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

Knile DavisSep 30 12:12a

Kansas City Cheifs RB Knile Davis rushed for a team-high 107 yards on 16 carries in Week 5 and added one catch for 12 yards.

Brandon LaFellSep 29 11:53p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell had a team-high six receptions for a game-high 119 yards and a touchdown in the Week 4 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiSep 29 11:53p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski hauled in two receptions for 31 yards and a touchdown in the Week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs Monday, Sept. 29. [ More ]

Travis KelceSep 29 11:43p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce had eight catches on nine targets for a season-high 93 yards and a touchdown Monday, Sept. 29.

Dennis AllenSep 29 11:43p

The Oakland Raiders called head coach Dennis Allen Monday, Sept. 29, to inform him he has been relieved of his head coaching duties.

Donnie AverySep 29 11:13p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) has been ruled out for the remainder of the team's Week 5 game with a groin injury.

Tom BradySep 29 11:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 14 of his 23 pass attempts for 159 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the Week 4 loss against the Kansas [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonSep 29 11:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (knee) missed practice Monday, Sept. 29, and are not expected to play in Week 5.

Vontaze BurfictSep 29 10:52p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion) did not practice Monday, Sept. 29, but is expected to play in the team's Week 5 game, according to head coach Marvin Lewis.

Marvin JonesSep 29 10:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (foot) is expected to return in Week 5, and offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said he 'can't wait' to use Jones in the offense.

Teddy BridgewaterSep 29 09:47p

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (ankle) did not participate in practice Monday, Sept. 29. QB Christian Ponder worked with the first-team offense during practice.

Geno SmithSep 29 09:47p

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan publicly remained supportive of QB Geno Smith Monday, Sept. 29. He said he talked to the quarterback about his incident with yelling [ More ]

Donald BrownSep 29 09:23p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown and RB Branden Oliver combined for 42 yards on 29 carries in Week 4, and although head coach Mike McCoy bashed the running [ More ]

LeSean McCoySep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (toe) is not injured, head coach Chip Kelly said Monday, Sept. 29. 'He's not on the treatment list,' Kelly said. [ More ]

Vernon DavisSep 29 09:23p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (back) had a 'positive mindset' Monday, Sept. 29, but general manager Trent Baalke said the extent of his injury is 'not fully known.'

Stevan RidleySep 29 09:13p

New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley was on the field for just one of his team's seven offensive snaps in the first quarter Monday, Sept. 29, in the Week [ More ]

Roddy WhiteSep 29 09:03p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White said he expects the team to be involved in high-scoring shootouts all year, and head coach Mike Smith agreed to an extent. 'I don't [ More ]

David NelsonSep 29 08:13p

New York Jets WR David Nelson (ankle) suffered an ankle injury in Week 4, and the signing of WR Chris Owusu could be an indication Nelson's injury is significant. [ More ]

Frank AlexanderSep 29 08:03p

The Carolina Panthers reinstated DE Frank Alexander Monday, Sept. 29, after he served his four-game suspension. He won't count toward the 53-man roster limit for one week.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group