After all of the hubbub made about the relationship between New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his top wide receiver Wes Welker, it's nice to know that Belichick actually does respect all of the things Welker does for his football team.
There have been questions about whether this would be Welker's last season in a Patriots uniform, there were coy remarks from Welker about playing time early this season, and a playoff benching due to Rex Ryan related foot comments.
All of that stuff aside, Belichick obviously can't ignore that if Welker catches five passes Sunday night he becomes the first player in NFL history to perform five 100-catch seasons. Welker's coach spoke to the media Friday and actually gave Welker some praise which is rare for Belichick to do towards one of his players. This quote is from Shalise Manza Young's Boston.com piece:
"I think what it says most about him is his dependability and durability," said Belichick. "That’s a lot of catches for a lot of years. To be able to go there and do it, week after week, against all the different coverages and all the different matchups we see, it’s a real credit to Wes’s ability but also his toughness and durability. He’s taken a lot of hits out there. Our slot receivers historically, Troy Brown, Wes, have always caught a lot of balls but he’s caught a lot for a long time. And he returns kicks for us at times and blocks. He’s a tough kid. He’s in there on a lot of plays. It’s not all catches."
There have been many more glowing things said by other coaches about their star players, but coming from Bill Belichick you're not going to get much better than this. That is, unless you're Bill's one true love Tedy Bruschi.