New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed the media in a press conference yesterday following his team’s loss in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 19. During his opening statement, Belichick made a remark about former Patriot and current Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, calling Welker’s hit on Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib a dirty play.
“It is a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open. And I’ll let the league handle the discipline on that play. It’s not for me to decide, but it’s one of the worst plays I’ve seen. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.”
In a previous interview with Welker on Jan. 19, Welker spoke to WEEI.com about the hit. Welker voiced his concern for Talib’s well being, and said that the hit was unintentional.
Belichick’s remarks about his former pupil just bothers me. I’m sorry, but the last time I checked, this is the NFL, and this is a physical game where injuries can often occur. Things happen, and in Welker’s case, the thing that happened was that he simply collided with Talib in the middle of a field running a routine rub route. There clearly was no intent to cause harm to Talib, rather it was Talib and Welker being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I see Belichick’s statement on the hit as him blaming his frustrations of his team losing on Welker. When you look past all of the emotion and dig a little deeper into the strategy of football, some plays are designed to block certain players, particularly corners, on routes. Rub routes are pretty well known in football, and I am pretty sure Belichick had his players run that same type of play. And when you look at it, it was actually not Welker’s role in that designed play to be the “blocker.” He was just trying to get open.
Personally, I don’t see Welker as a “dirty” player. It surprises me that Belichick, given his reputation of being one of the greatest coaches to ever stand on an NFL sideline, would even let his emotions get the best of him. The way I see it, Belichick just got a taste of his own curriculum.