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Wes Welker: I wasn’t trying to hit Talib

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One of the biggest moments in the AFC Championship Game was the second quarter collision between Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker and Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib.

Talib was covering Demaryius Thomas on a crossing pattern and ran into Welker as the pass fell incomplete. Talib hurt his knee and didn’t return to the game, leaving Thomas to other members of the Patriots secondary who gave up some big plays to the Broncos’ big receiver en route to a 26-16 loss.

Welker wasn’t penalized for the hit and said after the game that he wasn’t trying to hit the Patriots cornerback.

“It was one of those plays where it’s kind of a rough play, and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided,” Welker said, via “It wasn’t a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that. I hope he’s OK — he’s a great player and a big part of their defense.”

The play appeared to be a variation on the pick plays that most teams use to free up receivers, so Welker wasn’t trying to hit Talib as much as he was trying to impede him from being in close pursuit of Thomas. It happens all the time, although the result for the Patriots wound up being much worse than an open receiver in the middle of the field.

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40 Responses to “Wes Welker: I wasn’t trying to hit Talib”
  1. craniator says: Jan 19, 2014 9:54 PM

    Aqib To leave.

  2. knicksmets says: Jan 19, 2014 9:57 PM

    Isn’t this about the other game, I was confused for a bit checking to see if I went to another story. I agree with you, though it confuses me you bring it up in another story

  3. jpb12 says: Jan 19, 2014 9:57 PM

    He came in like a wrecking ball

  4. truthfactory says: Jan 19, 2014 9:57 PM

    Im sure the tiny player with concussion issues intentionally had a full speed colision with a much bigger and physical DB.

    Sour grapes. Time to move on. Brady wasnt exactly playing against the steel curtain defense tonight. The Pats just didnt show up today. End of story.

  5. doctorrustbelt says: Jan 19, 2014 9:58 PM

    Wes Welker did to the patriots as he did to others as a patriot (for six seasons).

  6. thegronk87 says: Jan 19, 2014 10:07 PM

    yup, broncos played a great game. they will lose to seattle though.

  7. catquick says: Jan 19, 2014 10:07 PM

    He hurt the Pats in the worse way possible. Not by a catch, but a block.

  8. koenig61 says: Jan 19, 2014 10:07 PM

    I agree that if anything welker was looking to avoid contact due to his recent concussions. Broncos defense played great, and Brady hasn’t been Brady all year, missing receivers, over throwing them, under throwing them etc. but as for your comment about the Broncos steel curtain defense, I think that nickname has already been taken by a defense up in Pittsburgh. A defense that did it year after year, perhaps Denver needs to come up with another nickname lol

  9. backdapack4evr says: Jan 19, 2014 10:15 PM

    Glass man

  10. cometkazie says: Jan 19, 2014 10:15 PM

    “. . perhaps Denver needs to come up with another nickname.”

    Orange Crush?


  11. holleywood9 says: Jan 19, 2014 10:20 PM

    Patriots run those plays more than most teams in the league. Part of the game

  12. bobwsc says: Jan 19, 2014 10:27 PM

    he was setting picks all game. stay classy Wes.

  13. braven4evr says: Jan 19, 2014 10:37 PM

    the Pat’s weren’t at home and they really looked it of sync all day, especially Brady!

  14. forsbergler says: Jan 19, 2014 10:41 PM

    Ya sure you didn’t mean to break his ribs Wes. LOL. Just like Edleman the series before didn’t mean to injure DRC do the EXACT SAME THING. Tell Edleman to aim better for the ribs next time. It’s ok Wes your in Denver now you don’t have to be censored by the media or Bill Belichick anymore ok?

  15. forsbergler says: Jan 19, 2014 10:44 PM


    ICE UP SON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. salutethis says: Jan 19, 2014 10:51 PM

    Wes was totally Denver’s assassin… He takes all the bigger guys out… come on now…

  17. 2001asterisk2003asterisk2004asterisk says: Jan 19, 2014 10:53 PM

    Nice play Wes

  18. bassplucker says: Jan 19, 2014 10:54 PM

    That was a nice shot Wes.

    If you have one more of those left for a certain #25 from Seattle I would love to see it on Feb 2.

  19. u4iadman says: Jan 19, 2014 11:08 PM

    Hats off to Broncos, you were the better team all year.
    Pats fan here….while I am sad tonight I am also proud we made it this far in a tough year. We have so much work to do this offseason however. Tom isn’t throwing well, and has declined in the playoffs last 3 years. He cost us last year with the overthrow to Wes. Three more errant passes today again.
    Ryan has shown poise in camp, and it’s time to start preparing him and draft a competent new QB.
    I am also tired of the cheap approach Mr Kraft has under Bills leadership in not acquiring real skilled talent for the team. No WR’s, no star on D, this old song is worn out.
    And Bill, stop with the ridiculous 4th and 7 calls and odd plays….you are a D guru, not an offensive mind.

  20. ltpm3 says: Jan 19, 2014 11:08 PM

    I don’t think that Welker was trying to knock Talib out, however I don’t understand why he wasn’t given a penalty. The Pats got an offensive penalty for almost the identical play earlier in the game, just odd that Welker didn’t get one too.

  21. bronco1991 says: Jan 19, 2014 11:15 PM

    He used his oversize helmet as a weapon

  22. bigdaddy44 says: Jan 19, 2014 11:27 PM

    Rules have been changed over the years, all in favor of the offense. The rules on illegal picks are rarely enforced. The league should put an emphasis on it next season. The Broncos are the number one offenders and the Patriots are probably second. Defensive players should be given a fair opportunity to do their jobs.

  23. sportnik2 says: Jan 19, 2014 11:36 PM

    That play was designed to injure Talib. Marquis “the mole” Cole likely tipped the Broncos off to the extent of Talib’s nagging hip injury and Fox set up a play to use Welker’s space helmet as a leathel weapon on Talib’s hip.

  24. 4Q says: Jan 20, 2014 12:01 AM

    Wes Welker has played over 10 years in the league (over 150 games) and he’s spent his whole career crossing the middle of the field – he knows how to run a pick play and he knows how to avoid contact much better than most slot receivers. Who’s he sh**ing? He blew-up Talib intentionally and it was his biggest contribution to his team today. I don’t believe a word he says.

  25. jdphx says: Jan 20, 2014 12:11 AM

    “. . perhaps Denver needs to come up with another nickname.”

    Orange Kush?

  26. green41563 says: Jan 20, 2014 12:35 AM

    And how many pick routes did the Patriots run when he was there?

    Gimme a break.

  27. patssox says: Jan 20, 2014 12:35 AM

    Welker will make up for the Pats loss by dropping a critical pass from Peyton in the SB.

  28. lanman11 says: Jan 20, 2014 12:59 AM

    Watch the replay. He is running free up field. He turns and actually heads back to his left, towards Talib, across his body, rather than to the right to avoid a collision. He then remembers he has had concussion issues and throws his body sideways at Talib. It appears he is diving for his hip, which is known to be injury prone, but he wants to make it look accidental. Even if he wasn’t taking a shot, it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that he targeted Talib from almost 10 yards away in order to collide with Talib. That simply is not questionable. Also, the ball was in the air, and it should have been a penalty. It is what it is. Let’s not sugar coat it. Welker is a crafty bugger. He had some idea of what he was doing.

    However, this pick play thing was run all game by Denver, and many times the ball was still in the air as Bronco players made blocks. It’s how they moved the ball between the 20’s at will and ran up yards and time of possession. On the other hand, New England got flagged and taken out of scoring range for something similar when the game was still close. Remember, Denver passed for over 400 yards and gained another 100 on the ground, yet only scored 2 TD’s, as did NE. They basically only scored 3 FG more than NE and NE did not play well. Had NE not been flagged on the pick play like Denver wasn’t, maybe they get a FG, which means they kick the extra point instead of going for a 2 pt conversion on their second TD, and this game is within 6 points *(26-20) going down to the wire. That would have been VERY interesting. Then again, maybe NE doesn’t get that close. My point is Welker consciously changed direction to create that collision and it should have been a penalty at a MINIMUM, as should all of the other pick plays. My personal opinion is Welker knew EXACTLY what he was doing and now he is doing damage control.

    I posted earlier in the week that the pick play would be run all day, that someone would take a shot at Talib’s hip to get him off Demaryius Thomas, and that the phantom PI call would surface. Well we saw 2 out of 3. The phantom PI call wasn’t needed because Denver never trailed, but you can bet we’d have seen it if they did.

    While it’s hard to play your best when things snowball on you, NE just didn’t play well enough to win, and Denver’s lines played well. I thought it was very strange that NOBODY broke free and got close to Manning all game. I’d like to take a closer look as to whether that was legit, but it won’t change anything. They are moving on.

    It will be interesting to see if Seattle has enough offense to compliment their defense. If they do, we may have to listen to Richard Sherman a little while longer. Ugh….. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. There is too much money and league history riding on Manning now. Seattle is going to have to suck it up like they did in 2005 when the Steeler’s stole the Super Bowl with some baaaad officiating. It’s going to happen again. No way Seattle can win this thing. None.

  29. fishyinalittledishy says: Jan 20, 2014 2:52 AM

    Talib, stop shooting your mouth off before games and concentrate on the task of playing football. Sorry to see you hurt but please button it up in future, we all know why you failed in Tampa.

  30. dayt0n says: Jan 20, 2014 3:49 AM

    The broncos and manning are the same. Dirty lil ponies.

  31. dayt0n says: Jan 20, 2014 3:52 AM

    The whole game plan was take out Talib that was what the needed and that’s what they did.

  32. raiders85 says: Jan 20, 2014 5:57 AM

    Such a cheap shot they get away with illegal picks and false starts every snap

  33. somethinsbruin says: Jan 20, 2014 6:35 AM

    I must not know the rules regarding illegal picks be aids we’d was making contact with d backs on at least 6 plays. Hooman was flagged for a less egregious play of that ill…

  34. bonniebengal says: Jan 20, 2014 6:49 AM

    I bet the Patriots would take him back in a heartbeat.

  35. 1967forever says: Jan 20, 2014 8:51 AM

    Best pass blockers in the league: the Denver wide receivers.

  36. metitometin says: Jan 20, 2014 9:13 AM

    Wes, no one believes the crap you’re shoveling. That was a clear attempt to injure, a clear attempt to take out our best defensive player. Do the Broncos have bounties now too? I guess you’ve found a way to get back at the Pats. Since you can’t catch anymore, you might as well play dirty. You should be fined and suspended by the NFL There’s no place in the NFL for that type of hit.

  37. sid902014 says: Jan 20, 2014 10:50 AM

    Former Welker fan because of his toughness and despite his size makes big plays. However, yesterday’s hit on Talib was flagrant and resulted in a serious injury. The NFL should fine him for the illegal pick and resulting injury.

    More importantly the lack of consistent officiating needs to be addressed. Numerous games were decided by inconsistent officiating calls. The AFC title game being one. On the previous possession the Patriots tight end 47 Hoomanawanui for a near collision perceived as a offensive pick. Officiating should not determine the winners and losers.

  38. raptormac says: Jan 20, 2014 11:12 AM

    May the Shwartz be with you Wes

  39. apkyletexas says: Jan 20, 2014 11:49 AM

    Hines Ward must be proud of Welker, although Hines would have broken Talib’s jaw as well as hurt his knee.

  40. puterio57 says: Jan 20, 2014 6:58 PM

    The way I saw this play was two players going for the same turf. Neither flinched, and a collision occurred. It is rare that in that type of collision in football, that someone would be injured where they could not play. No high hit, no low hit, shoulder to shoulder. Freak accident that his knee was injured. Used to be football was a rough game, now it is becoming a pansy game. You play a game like this, things will happen. Get over it.

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