Concerns about Wes Welker's early-season playing time for the Patriots quickly became irrelevant after Aaron Hernandez went down with an injury. The Patriots turned back to their old reliable receiver, and on Sunday alone he caught 13 passes for 104 yards in New England's win over the Broncos.
It was Welker's third-straight game having more than 100 yards receiving. Asked about his big day after the game on CSN New England, though, Welker took a joking shot at Pats coach Bill Belichick.
"Yeah it's kind of nice to stick it in Bill's face once in a while," a smiling Welker said when asked to compare his performance to his games earlier in the year. "So this is definitely a good one."
Uh, OK then. Welker was clearly being funny and we've seen him do this stuff before (notably at the Super Bowl, when he said Belichick's been nicer due to a "lady in his life"). When Welker caught only three balls in the first week, the world melted down at the notion that he could be finished as a Patriot.
There was concern about Welker's role with the Pats after we saw him catch just three balls for 14 yards and play on only 43 offensive snaps in Week 1. And there was chatter about Welker getting phased out of the Pats offense.
It wouldn't be remotely surprising if Welker was still a little stung from the lack of playing time in Week 1. But at the same time, when he's asked about his game, he's got people cackling in his earpiece about his three-catch game versus his work in Week 5. He laughs, he makes the joke and he clearly winks at the camera.
Welker's line was a subtle, funny jab at everyone who freaked out when he started slow and a little bit of a shot at Belichick, too. But it's more about jabbing the media than his coach; it's not like Belichick is actually, you know, mad that Welker caught 13 passes and helped the Pats win the game.