Welker ready if Jets send Revis his way


Welker ready if Jets send Revis his way

By Phil Perry

FOXBORO -- Wes Welker isn't sure what the Jets will do to stop him, but if they choose to try to strand him on Revis Island, he'll be ready for it.

Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has been a shutdown corner once again this season, allowing just three completions on passes thrown his way in the Jets' first four games. He's proven to be a menace to big-play threats, but he's done a good job of stopping slot receivers -- like Welker -- in the past as well.

"He brings a lot of challenges," Welker said Friday. "He's a great cornerback. Been around for a long time. He's very patient and he's physical, a smart player. He's definitely going to present some problems for us."

Welker said that the Patriots have film of about 600 snaps between this season and last season where Revis covered a slot receiver.

"It's not anything different from what they do," Welker said. "We'll see how it plays out and see how the game goes. You gotta be ready for everything, no matter what they bring."

Count Deion Branch among those who would rather see Revis lined up across from someone, anyone, but himself.

"I'd be glad if he's on anybody except me," Branch said with a laugh. "That'd be good. I think overall coach Rex Ryan is gonna do a great job of scheming certain things, when he does, we gotta adjust. There's a lot of different things we will see, I do know that. Every play could be different."

The Jets have a habit of taking away an offense's best weapon, and for the Patriots, that's been Welker. In four games this season he has 40 catches for 615 yards and five touchdowns. Last season, the Jets blanketed Welker with bracket coverage and the Patriots struggled in their 28-21 playoff loss. This year it could be the same plan, or the Jets could sick Revis on him.

"Teams have different ways of trying to take certain players away," Bill Belichick said. "Whether it's double coverage, or jamming him, or zone, whatever it is. I think Wes has had a good year. He's certainly ahead of where he was physically at the beginning of last season (when he was nine months removed from knee surgery)."

And though he's physically fine now, with all the work he's received through the season's first month, he's taken a beating. Welker has withstood it to this point, and he joked that his good health might be partly due to his new sleep schedule.

"I moved down here closer to the stadium, so I actually cut out about an hour out of my day where I've been able to rest a little more," Welker said. "Maybe those hours are kind of adding up to more rest for myself."

Belichick said he thinks his best receiver's production has come as a result of coverages, not necessarily because of any lifestyle changes Welker has made.

"I don't think he's running routes differently or eating more broccoli or anything like that," Belichick said. "Sometimes it just kind of happens."

The Patriots wouldn't mind if it could just kind of happen against the Jets, but if Revis has his say, they may need to find another go-to guy.

Follow Phil on Twitter at @PhilAPerry.

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

PFT: Belichick can still diagram his dad’s Navy plays from 1959

CBS interviewed Patriots coach Bill Belichick and 1960 Heisman winner Joe Bellino from Navy as part of its Army-Navy Game coverage Saturday.

Belichick's father, Steve, was an assistant coach at Navy when Bellino played there, and little Bill, then 7, took it all in. So much so, that 57 years later, Belichick can still diagram the 27 F Trap play that his dad used to drew up in the 1959 season for Bellino.

More from NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk here.


Curran: To gauge Patriots' plans for Jimmy G, look to Brissett

Curran: To gauge Patriots' plans for Jimmy G, look to Brissett

When trying to figure out what the Patriots will ultimately do with Jimmy Garoppolo, forget about the speculation and instead focus on the little things the team does. 

Like how they are tending to Jacoby Brissett. 

After having thumb surgery on Oct. 7, Brissett was put on IR. But the team used its one "Get off of IR free card" on Brissett and he's been practicing with the team for the past couple of weeks while not taking up a roster spot. 

That alone isn't compelling evidence that he's the backup-in-waiting and Garoppolo's about to be packed up and shipped out, argued my compadre, Senator Phil Perry. The team had no other players on IR that they could use the designation on at the time. Why not use it on Brissett?

Prior to that, though, we've seen Brissett accompanying the team to away games including the cross-country junket to San Francisco. A reason? Since the Patriots played three straight at Gillette at the start of the season when Brissett was the direct backup to Garoppolo, he didn't get a good look at the road operation and the tempo of being the visiting team. How things work on flights, in meetings, at opposing stadiums and on the sidelines is worth getting a promising young players' eyes on. Also, getting his offensive teammates used to having him around is probably an even bigger benefit. It's not unprecedented to have IR players travel but its not conventional practice either. 

With so many quarterback-needy teams around the league, Garoppolo is perhaps the most attractive option out there. By the end of this year, he will have apprenticed three seasons behind the best quarterback of all-time in a sophisticated offense for a program that's as demanding as any in the league. In the 1 1/2 games he was able to play as a starter in place of Tom Brady, he was sensational.

He got hurt and that's not great. But any team making a deal for him that has concerns about his durability can take him for a spin for one season. Garoppolo is on the books for $825K in 2017 and then his contract is up. The team that dealt for him can franchise him if they need another season to think on it. 

I don't think the Patriots are itching to move Garoppolo. They know they are sitting comfortably with a stack of the most valuable commodity in the sport -- good quarterbacks (or at least one great one and two promising ones) - piled in front of them. They can let the game come to them. 

If it does, as former Patriots executive and Bill Belichick consigliere Mike Lombardi thinks it will, the Patriots can rest easy dealing Garoppolo knowing that they already did advance work getting Brissett up to speed.