In this week's build up to the Divisional Round game between the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans, there has been a lot of "Bulletin Board" material flying around. And there's been even more today, for Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.
It has been provided by Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. When asked about some of the key points of the Patriots offense, he said this about Welker:
“Ah, Welker’s not (A.J.) Green,” Phillips said. “(Welker's) a good player, but he’s not that big or a real athletic guy. He’s a quick guy that gets open on option routes. (Brandon) Harris actually played him pretty good. He got a holding penalty that hurt us early in the game. But Harris played pretty well… If we don’t get him on a speed guy, we’re in good shape.”
Welker was held to just 52 yards on 3 catches in the week 14 match up. So I guess he has good reason they'll shut him down again. But what Phillips is saying here is "We had our number 3 cornerback on him, and if we just have someone physical on him, he can't beat us."
Which Welker won't like. But it's been tried before. Against the St. Louis Rams, one of the most physical cornerbacks in the NFL, Courtland Finnegan, tracked Welker all game. They held Welker to 48 yards, 4 less than Houston did.
However, this opened up Bradys other options. Against St. Louis, Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Lloyd combined for 174 yards and 4 TDs. Against Houston, Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez combined for 147 yards and 3 TDs.
Firstly, Wes Welker is one of the toughest and most physical players out there. The man is 5'9''. I'd like to see some 6'4'' guys take the shots that he takes, and bounce straight back up. There's a reason he's such a trustworthy target.
So I guess my message is: Stop comparing guys like Welker and A.J. Green, they're completely different, and maybe work out how you stop a fully stocked Patriots offense...
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