Welker: 'I'm not frustrated whatsoever'

603946.jpg

Welker: 'I'm not frustrated whatsoever'

PEABODY -- Wes Welker spent part of his youth football clinic teaching young receivers how to run comeback routes.

Later, while speaking to the media, he ran one of his own, backtracking on comments he made earlier in the week to the Boston Herald.

Not long after signing his franchise tender, Welker told the Herald that negotiations for a long-term contract with the Patriots have "gotten worse" and that he was offered less than the two-year 16 million deal the team proposed last season.

"That was probably a bad choice of words saying they've 'gotten worse,' " said Welker as he took a break from his clinic at Bishop Fenwick High School.

"They've pretty much stayed the same. I'm franchised for the year. And I'm completely happy with that. I'm completely OK with it and I look forward to contributing to the team in 2012."

On Friday, the Boston Globe reported that the Patriots were not very happy with what Welker told the Herald. According to the Globe, the receiver's words "have only increased the chances that 2012 will be his final season with the team.

One day later, Welker did his best to clean up whatever mess it was his comments had made.

"I'm not frustrated whatsoever," he said. "I know the words that came out maybe seemed that way, but I'm not frustrated at all. I'm making five times more than what I did last year so there's no frustration there."

Now that Welker has signed his franchise tender, he is under contract with the Patriots for one year and guaranteed to make 9.5 million. He said that he plans to report to Foxboro for organized team activities on Monday.

"I'm excited to be back, excited to be a Patriot," Welker said. "I'm excited to be on the field for OTAs and minicamps with my teammates. Looking forward to the 2012 season and us out there, getting better."

Welker also seemed to be looking forward to putting his back-and-forth with the Patriots behind him. The two sides have until July 15 to strike a long-term deal, but Welker did not say if there have been any recent discussions about a new contract.

While he would like the security of a long-term deal, he says he is content with his current status. He understands that he is being paid "handsomely" under the franchise tag. Plus, being under contract also means that is able to be on the field, practice with his teammates, and play the game he loves.

"It is what it is. I just enjoy playing ball," he said. "I enjoy being out there. I enjoy playing the game. That's never gonna change. I think you can get caught up in contract talks, and react silly sometimes. We get to play a game that we love. There's no need to get into everything else about it."

Are Patriots still 'pissed off' at Ravens for Deflategate role?

Are Patriots still 'pissed off' at Ravens for Deflategate role?

The Patriots should always be motivated heading into games against the Ravens. After all, Baltimore might be the team’s primary rival. 

Yet Monday’s matchup might be about more than past meetings. It could be a revenge game for the Ravens’ role in the Deflategate fiasco. 

As Tom E. Curran notes in the above video, the then-recently eliminated Ravens set off the ordeal when they tipped off the Colts entering the 2014 AFC Championship game. From there, the year-and-a-half-long saga played itself out, ultimately resulting in Tom Brady accepting a four-game suspension from the league. 

Curran and Mike Giardi discussed whether Monday could be a revenge game, with them both concluding that they feel the Patriots are still “pissed off” at the Ravens. 

"I’m just reading the tea leaves,” Curran said. “Bill Belichick will usually throw bouquet after bouquet at the Baltimore Ravens any time they play, from Ozzie Newsome, to George Kokinis, to Eric DeCosta, to John Harbaugh, Dean Pees, everyone. Not a lot of that today. Make of that what you will; I don’t think it’s a coincidence because I do know that when the Patriots were going through the process early on, the fact that the Ravens had dropped a dime -- their assistant special teams coach Jerry Rosburg calling the Indianapolis Colts and saying, “Look there was some foolishness going on with the K balls.’

“Additionally, when that email from the Colts to the NFL was sent to Mike Kensil, it said, 'It’s well-known throughout the league that the Patriots screw with the balls after they’ve been checked by the officials.' So if that conversation was going on during the week between those two teams, one certainly has to surmise that they also spoke about the fact of deflating footballs. 

“So as much as John Harbaugh has tried to dissuade anyone from thinking there was involvement, Dean Pees was interviewed by Ted Wells, Jerry Rosburg was interviewed by Ted Wells. Those are the only two principals from other organizations who were involved, so yeah, I think they’re still probably pretty pissed off about it.” 

What if Belichick had coached the Ravens? 'I think we would've been competitive'

What if Belichick had coached the Ravens? 'I think we would've been competitive'

FOXBORO -- Ever wonder what might've been if Bill Belichick had remained the coach of the Browns, and later the Ravens, after they moved from Cleveland? He says he doesn't.

[And maybe it's a good thing that he doesn't, as his last memories with the organization saw fans literally rip the team's stadium apart and throw it onto the field.]

"I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about it, no," Belichick told Baltimore reporters during a conference call on Wednesday. "I try to think ahead and make the best of the situation that I’m in, which is what I tried to do when I was in Cleveland. I took a team that wasn’t very good in 1991, prior to free agency and all of that, had a real good team in 1994. The team moved in 1995."

The decision to move the team helped undo the Browns season in 1995, and Belichick was later fired. There's little denying, though, that he left the pieces of a competitive roster behind. And he helped stock the Ravens' cupboard with valuable assets.

Five years after Belichick's tenure in Cleveland had expired, the franchise won a Super Bowl with linebacker Ray Lewis -- drafted with a pick Belichick had acquired -- as its foundational piece. 

"We made a trade that provided two first-round picks that Ozzie [Newsome] did a great job with," Belichick continued. "Ozzie and Ray Lewis were two of the cornerstones of that eventual championship team.

"I have a lot of confidence in my ability, I had a lot of confidence in the coaching staff and the players that we had at that time – 1995 wasn’t obviously a great year for us. I don’t think we need to talk about that. We all know what happened. But yeah, I think we would have been competitive if I had been the head coach there. I think we would have been competitive. We had a good team, we had a good staff, and we had a lot of good players.

"Ozzie did a good job with that team and made it better, and they won a championship five years later [with] some of the same players that we started with. But you know, it wasn’t my choice, Ted [Marchibroda] came in there and was going to transition that for what they needed at that point in time. But I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it, no."