Skip to content

Nate Burleson calls himself “the black Wes Welker”

N. Burleson Getty Images

Lions receiver Nate Burleson says he wants the passing game in Detroit to model itself after the great New England team of 2007, with Calvin Johnson playing the Randy Moss role, and Burleson himself fitting in as the Wes Welker.

“This year I’m going to try to be the black Wes Welker,” Burleson said today on NFL Network. “I’m going to get as many catches in that slot or on the outside opposite Calvin because he’s going to attract a lot of attention all year.”

In 2007 Moss set an NFL record with 23 receiving touchdowns, while Welker led the league with 112 catches. Through two games this year Johnson is tied for the league lead with four touchdown catches, while Burleson is leading the Lions with 12 catches.

Burleson played with Moss in 2003 and 2004 in Minnesota, and he says he learned then that it’s a lot easier to be a slot receiver if there’s an outside threat like Moss or Johnson on the team.

“One of the biggest factors with me signing with Detroit was Calvin Johnson, hands down,” Burleson said. “Playing with Randy Moss, I know first hand the benefits of playing with a guy who is going to attract a lot of attention. Calvin, by far, in my opinion is the best wide receiver in the league. If you haven’t been paying attention, four touchdowns in two games: The guy is pretty much showing everybody that he is.”

And if Burleson can benefit from Johnson’s presence to the tune of a Welker-like role in the slot, the Lions will gladly take that.

Permalink 88 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New England Patriots, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
88 Responses to “Nate Burleson calls himself “the black Wes Welker””
  1. madtolive5 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:18 PM

    All fun and good till Mr. Glass goes on IR with a shattered shoulder

  2. jaggedmark says: Sep 19, 2011 4:20 PM

    Burleson is actually not too far off, except Welker doesn’t fumble the ball 1 out of every 5 times he runs with it.

  3. dovid1367 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:22 PM

    Let the Wes Welker photoshopping start in 3… 2… 1…

  4. vernhh says: Sep 19, 2011 4:22 PM

    With that headline it sounds like he should go buy a cape.

  5. boiler72 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:23 PM

    Even as a life-long Packer fan, I’m stoked to watch the Lions this year. Happy as hell for their die-hard fans – they deserve to finally see come collective talent for once. Still a long season to go, but you have to be impressed with the job Mayhew and Schwartz are doing and the program they’re building.

  6. ctattles says: Sep 19, 2011 4:24 PM

    Not good enough.

  7. rexismybff says: Sep 19, 2011 4:24 PM

    Belichick calls himself the white OJ Simpson.

  8. lionfan419 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:24 PM

    I like his attitude and he is a threat also. Hope this team stays humble.

  9. y5nthon5a says: Sep 19, 2011 4:24 PM

    Chad Henne is the white Michael Vick. Nate Burleson is the black Wes Welker. And I’m the white JaMarcus Russell.

  10. your6ringsaremeaninglessnow says: Sep 19, 2011 4:25 PM

    If Titus Young keeps playing like he did against the Chiefs, the Lions will have the best WR corp in the NFL.

  11. colinsnooks says: Sep 19, 2011 4:26 PM

    I can’t wait to hear Sanchez call himself “the Mexican Joe Namath”

  12. deangelo23hall says: Sep 19, 2011 4:26 PM

    Yeah, and George Bush is the white Nelson Mandela

  13. wtfpft says: Sep 19, 2011 4:27 PM

    If only the black wes welker could play with the white michael vick.

  14. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Sep 19, 2011 4:27 PM

    hundreds of people will trade for Nate Burleson because of this story.

  15. bigslizzle4twizzle says: Sep 19, 2011 4:27 PM

    Wow! People sound so ridiculous when they talk about race. You would think someone would tell professional athletes not to mention black or white. He is no where near Wes Welker.

  16. quiettexan says: Sep 19, 2011 4:28 PM

    why can’t you just be the black nate burleson.

    do your own thing.

  17. gabbertisthefuture11 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:29 PM

    More like the black julian edelman

  18. wawa33 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:29 PM

    He is more like the “black” Danny Amendola.

  19. warwicklionsfan says: Sep 19, 2011 4:29 PM

    Be whomever…just win.
    I’m kind of liking this start to the season.

    It was odd to watch the game yesterday and see the old Lions play in red uniforms…

  20. calihawk says: Sep 19, 2011 4:29 PM

    Why does the color of his skin matter? Any ways I always wondered how Welker would look if he was black.

  21. profootballwalk says: Sep 19, 2011 4:29 PM

    Welker has 15 receptions for 241 yards. Without Moss.

  22. ilovefoolsball says: Sep 19, 2011 4:30 PM

    DAS RACIST!

  23. berniemadoffsides says: Sep 19, 2011 4:31 PM

    He’s no Wes Welker.

  24. thephantomstranger says: Sep 19, 2011 4:31 PM

    But who’s playing the role of Tom Brady?

  25. owen16 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:31 PM

    What he’s really saying is 19-0

  26. anpsteel says: Sep 19, 2011 4:33 PM

    Could he just be the “Wes Welker” of the Detroit Lion’s offense?? I think we can all identify that he is black.

    On a side note: I’m looking at becoming the white Lexington Steele.

    So I’ve got that going for me…

  27. bigdan7885 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:35 PM

    That’d be great for my fantasy squad.

  28. seanmmartin says: Sep 19, 2011 4:39 PM

    As long as he doesn’t try to be himself, because if you want to talk about a bust…

  29. ajknox88 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:41 PM

    Burleson is like Welker in the fact that he doesn’t drop passes, runs great routes, and gets great YAC.

  30. aosplayo says: Sep 19, 2011 4:41 PM

    What a great line! Yet he’ll be persecuted for it by the race police………

  31. roxtar10 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:42 PM

    …with worse hands and less guts across the middle…

  32. kilo0986 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:42 PM

    espn… can we get a visual of what this would look like?

  33. joegibbsisking says: Sep 19, 2011 4:43 PM

    You’re the black Wes Welker (Minus the production, heart and the ability to shut the hell up and play football)

  34. beastson says: Sep 19, 2011 4:44 PM

    I never thought I’d ever hear anyone say “I am the black (insert white speedy WR here)”

  35. savannahrose44 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:47 PM

    Burleson if you were “the black Wes Welker” you would still have a job in Seattle.

  36. Henry says: Sep 19, 2011 4:47 PM

    Yeah but who’s going to play the part of Tom Terrific? Haaaaaaahahahaha!

  37. heyguru1969 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:48 PM

    I was thinking more Manos de Piedra (Hands of Stone), but Roberto Duran already beat you to that one, Nate. To have a nickname, don’t you have to…you know….not suck?

  38. deeeeetroit says: Sep 19, 2011 4:48 PM

    and stafford is the straight tom brady!!

  39. JackLeone says: Sep 19, 2011 4:48 PM

    Why can’t her just be the black Nate Burleson?

  40. motorcitykitties says: Sep 19, 2011 4:49 PM

    Your next Minnesota

  41. mjs2012 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:50 PM

    Why does he have to even say the “black” part? If he had said he was going to be Detroit’s version of Wes Welker, I wouldn’t have even thought about race.

  42. phillycheez says: Sep 19, 2011 4:51 PM

    Not that Welker is a bad player, because he’s actually pretty darn good, but why set a ceiling on how well you will perform? Aim low Burleson, wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone.

  43. luckyarmpit says: Sep 19, 2011 4:52 PM

    The 2007 Patriots couldn’t win the big one…. I wouldn’t want to model myself after that.

  44. upperdecker19 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:52 PM

    Maybe ESPN artists will conjur up a white Nate Burleson photo

  45. tecmobowl34 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:53 PM

    deeeeetroit says:
    Sep 19, 2011 4:48 PM
    and stafford is the straight tom brady!!

    =========================

    +10

  46. bbills88 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:53 PM

    I’m sure there would be racist outcries if Welker called himself the white Nate Burleson.

  47. bigdan7885 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:54 PM

    Why ya gotta bring race into this

  48. gdeli says: Sep 19, 2011 4:54 PM

    That’s a first a black athlete wants to be like a white athlete. ha Does he want to be like woodhead too? ha

  49. Single Filament says: Sep 19, 2011 5:02 PM

    Hearing a black football player refer to himself as a black version of a white football player is both hilarious and awesome.

  50. rjmarrella says: Sep 19, 2011 5:08 PM

    I am the white Burleson. which means I am another mediocre wideout with no idea of what I am saying.

  51. tiffpats4eva says: Sep 19, 2011 5:13 PM

    @luckyarmpit

    We won the most games that season. What did your team do?

  52. fartography says: Sep 19, 2011 5:14 PM

    Did anyone else immediately think of White Men Can’t Jump?

  53. rajbais says: Sep 19, 2011 5:16 PM

    What???

    He’s faster and lines up in different areas than Welker!!!

    You want the ‘black Wes Welker’, check out Davone Bess!!!

  54. klunge says: Sep 19, 2011 5:19 PM

    luckyarmpit says:
    Sep 19, 2011 4:52 PM
    The 2007 Patriots couldn’t win the big one…. I wouldn’t want to model myself after that.
    ———————————————–

    Well they won 18 games didn’t they? Since that’s all the Lions have managed in the past 5 seasons combined (2006-2010) we will most definitely be satisfied with even sniffing the Superbowl.

  55. mel1sharples says: Sep 19, 2011 5:24 PM

    @luckyarmpit

    We won the most games that season. What did your team do?
    ——————
    Mine won the Super Bowl that year.

  56. infectorman says: Sep 19, 2011 5:26 PM

    this is nothing new.
    I’ve always considered myself the 5′ 11″, white Michael Jordan. You should see me play!!

  57. denverwally says: Sep 19, 2011 5:27 PM

    A great analogy, Burleson is JUST LIKE Wes Welker, excpet for the great hand, amazing quickness in and out of breaks, and toughness taking big hits over the middle “China Doll” Nate is just like Wes Welker…
    This is like Tavaris Jackson saying he is the black Tom Brady… skill matters Nate. Get a clue.

  58. mmmpierogi says: Sep 19, 2011 5:36 PM

    boiler72 says: Sep 19, 2011 4:23 PM

    Even as a life-long Packer fan, I’m stoked to watch the Lions this year. Happy as hell for their die-hard fans – they deserve to finally see come collective talent for once.

    ********************************************

    Just an observation … by “die-hard fans,” are you referring to those fans that are die-hard, or are you referring to the collective fanbase as die-hard?

    Reason I ask is that I moved to Michigan over four years ago and, up until mid-last season, I hardly *EVER* heard anyone talk about the Lions – walking down the streets in the town I’ve been living in, I would see more people wearing gear from teams in other cities than I would Lions stuff. Coming from a city where football is probably the dominant sport, I was actually somewhat surprised by the lack of support (or even acknowledgement) for the team, given that football does draw well in this area (at least college football – University of Michigan, MSU). Now that the Lions are finally doing well, people are coming out of the woodwork?

    It’s really not intended to be a putdown at all, as I really don’t care about the team much one way or the other, but when I see Lions fans on messageboards bragging now that they’ve been competitive for seven or eight regular season games, I can’t help but cringe a little. What few Lions fans I heard from a few years ago were much more humble then.

  59. wikidpissah says: Sep 19, 2011 5:41 PM

    quiettexan says: Sep 19, 2011 4:28 PM

    why can’t you just be the black nate burleson.

    do your own thing.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Or just be Nate Burleson

  60. citiciti says: Sep 19, 2011 5:45 PM

    Yo-Yo-Yo Nate,Forget about it,not in your life,but I guess you can wish.

  61. thephantomstranger says: Sep 19, 2011 5:46 PM

    At least he was the first person in history to compare a black player to a white player or vice versa.

  62. dkeyser says: Sep 19, 2011 5:52 PM

    anpsteel says:Sep 19, 2011 4:33 PM

    Could he just be the “Wes Welker” of the Detroit Lion’s offense?? I think we can all identify that he is black.

    On a side note: I’m looking at becoming the white Lexington Steele.

    So I’ve got that going for me…
    ———————————————————-
    That is so awesome!!.. You could be John Holmes…Well the John Holmes pre gay porn and aids….or gay porn if thats your thing

  63. tatum064 says: Sep 19, 2011 6:06 PM

    It’s really not intended to be a putdown at all, as I really don’t care about the team much one way or the other, but when I see Lions fans on messageboards bragging now that they’ve been competitive for seven or eight regular season games, I can’t help but cringe a little. What few Lions fans I heard from a few years ago were much more humble then.

    ====================

    Dont worry Ndamukong Suh wont intend to knock your QB the f__ out, either. Humble has turned to rumble. Roar Restored. If you dont care about the team much one WHY MENTION THEM AT ALL?

  64. knew8411 says: Sep 19, 2011 6:16 PM

    The problem with this comparison is….Wes Welker has had more than 1 season, where the team he played for is winning more games than they are losing. Buleson…ummmm not so much.
    Talk to me at the end of next season, we will see if you are on your way to such a BOLD comparison.
    Lions are (thus far) having a GREAT season, but NOBODY likes fans that gloat!!!!!

  65. lioncrazy says: Sep 19, 2011 6:16 PM

    Amen Tatum!
    Like Millen gave us much to cheer about. And if you could say something, what could one say except being humble. If you were here during the Barry days, it was rockin! Now that there is strength in the Team, it’s time for payback.

  66. boogiesauce says: Sep 19, 2011 6:24 PM

    @ mmmpierogi

    I am a huge lions fan…ever since I could remember…and the fans that have been for a while I think are excited but very tentative. I mean we started 6 and 2 in like 2007 and then dropped 6 of the last 7 and ended up with a losing record.

    Even though they don’t look like the same old lions (which finally I think they aren’t!) you can never tell with this bunch.

    Bobby Layne still might be screwing us over.

    Any ways a lot of bandwagon fans that probably are like Bobby Layne who is that are trolling these boards now just because a few experts say our team is hot right now(which for the love of god could we be for real this year)

    go lions!

  67. lionsfanatic84 says: Sep 19, 2011 6:29 PM

    mmmpierogi:
    Because most Lions fans become sellouts to any winning team, if you moved to the right part of Michigan, you would hear me talking about the Lion’s loss a majority of my life.

  68. phinfan says: Sep 19, 2011 6:33 PM

    Davone Bess was given that nickname by experts fyi

  69. trickbunny says: Sep 19, 2011 6:55 PM

    Oh no he dih-unt!

  70. emmonsh says: Sep 19, 2011 7:01 PM

    i get a laugh out of this place. nate by far is the best #2 reciever in the league. i wouldnt trade cj, burleson, titus and pett and sheffler for any receiving group in the league. also wouldnt trade stafford even for brady. brady sucked against the lions in preseason. all you need is a good dline and brady folds. unfourtuantly no1 is close to detroits line. i guess all the bear fans need somewhere to go. no1 is talking about the bears except how they suck

  71. staffordsyear says: Sep 19, 2011 7:14 PM

    Just keep playin at a high level and keep catchin the ball nate…you can be purple for all I care.

  72. t16rich says: Sep 19, 2011 7:18 PM

    That is by far the best quote I have ever heard involving either Nate Burleson or Wes Welker.

  73. jpb12 says: Sep 19, 2011 7:22 PM

    Uh oh. Til now, Welker thought HE was the black Wes Welker

  74. ButkisMyDick says: Sep 19, 2011 7:23 PM

    @emmonsh You wouldn’t trade Stafford for Brady? At least you made it aware you’re delusional.

  75. ButkisMyDick says: Sep 19, 2011 7:30 PM

    Also, I can’t believe there are still Tom Brady haters! Have you seen his first two games. Oh well. Jealousy’s a b*tch.

  76. houseofspears90 says: Sep 19, 2011 8:00 PM

    madtolive5 says:Sep 19, 2011 4:18 PM

    All fun and good till Mr. Glass goes on IR with a shattered shoulder
    **********************************************

    You must not be watching the Lion’s games then. Stafford has already taken like 5 or 6 hard shots, a couple of them right on the repaired shoulder. He is doing just fine. Top 10 in yards(8th),TD’s(tied for 1st), and passer rating(4th).

    Yep he’s doing just fine.

  77. liontomyself says: Sep 19, 2011 8:00 PM

    ButkisMy Dick,

    1) Fargin GREAT screen name!!!
    2) I’m from Michigan….Thought Brady was a good QB for UofM……but love to hate him now….everyone likes to see the one on top fall…..just how it is.

    As of now, you can only compare Stafford to Phil Simms……while I agree he could be a great QB….he is not yet even in the same conversation as someone like Brady…….and I love the kid….but the truth is the truth.

  78. purpleguy says: Sep 19, 2011 8:03 PM

    Spare me, he’s the black TJ Houshmansada (or however you spell it) with fumblitis.

  79. hillbillyjim says: Sep 19, 2011 8:18 PM

    Tavaris Jackson is the black Alex Smith.

  80. TheWizard says: Sep 19, 2011 8:23 PM

    The 2007 Patriots couldn’t win the big one…. I wouldn’t want to model myself after that.

    Yeah, with all those 16-0 regular seasons being racked up, nothing special about it.

  81. stephen02120 says: Sep 19, 2011 10:04 PM

    Everything Burleson said was out of the respect that he has for what Welker’s accomplished in the Patriots offense. The fact is Burleson is proving to be a solid complementary receiver to Calvin Johnson. He can make difficult catches, has an ability to pick up significant chunks of yardage after the catch (or after the occasional handoff), and has provided a positive presence in the locker room. And no matter how you spin it, 7 lost fumbles in 9 years does not constitute a fumbling problem.

  82. ryanw411 says: Sep 19, 2011 10:50 PM

    @emmonsh You wouldn’t trade Stafford for Brady? At least you made it aware you’re delusional.
    **************
    If we were talking a short term (2-4 years) team is ready to win now situation you would have to take Brady no question, the guy is an all-time great and is currently playing some of the best football this game has ever seen. Personally I think he has at least a good 5 years of elite QB play left in him and can continue to be a well above average after that if he plays into his 40’s as he has talked about doing.

    From a long range perspective though Stafford is over a decade younger and who I would choose to build a team around. He has shown many of the qualities that make Brady a great QB and has a better arm, Stafford’s strength and touch on passes is pretty rare even among elite QBs. The kid has a bright future and will be among the elite QBs in this league, possibly the best when he is done developing.

    That is coming from a life long Lions fan as well a really big Tom Brady fan.

  83. ryanw411 says: Sep 19, 2011 10:58 PM

    Spare me, he’s the black TJ Houshmansada (or however you spell it) with fumblitis.
    ***********

    Where do people get this stuff from? He has 12 fumbles (7 lost) over the course of 8 years played. Nobody is saying the guy is a top 10 or even 20 WR but he is a great compliment to any offense and developed into a very polished player, great locker room guy and team leader as well.

    I assume you are a Vikings fan given your name and bitter he left the team, no need to hate the guy. Especially considering he fumbled only twice in the 3 years he was in MN.

  84. patsfiend says: Sep 20, 2011 1:15 AM

    You’ve got to work on your foot analogies, then, Nate. Welker has got you, there.

  85. CKL says: Sep 20, 2011 4:41 AM

    Do some people not read and comprehend the whole article or does context escape some people?
    Burleson is comparing his ROLE no more, and he’s complimenting his teammates. He’s always been a nice seeming likable dude IMO. He said nothing wrong. I’m a Pats fan and I bet WW himself would laugh at this and take it as the lighthearted comment it is.

  86. jjefferson13 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:13 AM

    Based on the photos I bet Brett Favre wishes he were the black Brett Favre.

  87. routerunner says: Sep 20, 2011 1:22 PM

    Who’s the black Neil Rackers?

  88. bcgreg says: Sep 21, 2011 8:08 AM

    @ routerunner

    Donald Igwebuike, of course.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!