Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker told the Boston Herald's Karen Guregian that he regrets poking fun at Jets coach Rex Ryan in his midweek press conference prior to the New England-New York playoff game, saying, "As much you might want to get enticed into that stuff, at the end of the day, its just not worth it."
Welker was benched by coach Bill Belichick for the first series of the game, reportedly because of the comments. (Welker made 10 references to feet or toes in speaking to reporters, oblique mentions of Ryan's foot fetish, in response to the Jets' relentless, sometimes-obscene trash talking of the Pats in the runup to the game.) Neither Belichick nor Welker would discuss the benching after the game.
But Welker, when asked if he regretted it, said, "Yeah, sure I do."
He added: "Im not going to get into any details about it, but I dont think its worth putting Belichick in that situation . . .
"You know what, I think the best way to stick up for your teammate is on the field. I like the fact we dont get caught up in all that stuff. At the end of the day, its about football. Thats what its supposed to be about. Thats all that matters. Its concentrating on your job and what you do, and not concentrating on the riff-raff that goes with all that other stuff. Its about the team and going out there and playing good football. And not getting caught up in all the media hype. Its just not worth it.
"Its not always easy to keep a lid on it, but at the same time, theres a greater goal, and thats winning the game and playing good football. Thats what matters. All that other stuff doesnt matter at the end of the day."
But when asked if he was happy the Jets were beaten by the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game and failed to make the Super Bowl, Welker -- who, according to Guregian, "carefully chose his answer" -- repsonded with a smile: "I think if you're a Patriot fan, a little bit."
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