Bill Belichick rips Wes Welker over hit on Aqib Talib

Aqib Talib Wes WelkerOne of the most important plays of the AFC Championship Game on Sunday came in the first quarter when Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker collided with New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib. Welker cracked Talib on a pass over the middle that was intended for Demaryius Thomas. Talib left the game and did not return.

[WATCH: Wes Welker drills Aqib Talib over the middle]

Many questioned the hit and wondered if it was an illegal pick by Welker, but replays showed that Welker actually hit Talib right at the moment the ball hit Thomas’ hands. Bill Belichick did not see it that way, and he uncharacteristically blasted Welker for the play on Monday morning.

“That was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib,” Belichick said, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “(Welker made) no attempt to get open. One of the worst plays I’ve seen. I’ll let the league handle discipline on that play. … That’s one of the worst plays I’ve seen.”

As Howe noted, Belichick’s comments came during his opening statements and not in response to a question from a reporter. It’s extremely rare for the Pats coach to talk like that about a specific play or player, so you know he had to have been steaming about it.

Talib held Thomas to just four catches and 41 yards in New England’s 34-31 comeback win over the Broncos in Week 12. After he left Sunday’s game, Thomas abused Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard and ended up with seven catches for 134 yards and a touchdown. The loss of Talib was obviously huge for New England’s defense.

As for Welker and Belichick, it is no secret that their relationship deteriorated quickly over the course of the 2012 season. Belichick tried to phase Welker out by starting Julian Edelman over him at the beginning of the season, but injuries resulted in Welker having another monster year. Had the play with Talib involved a different former Patriot, Belichick probably would not have had such a strong reaction.

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  • Ryan Phillips

    I have a feeling the NFL is going to make a rule change this year to prevent hits like this. Talib was basically blindsided because he was following his receiver in man coverage and Welker’s goal the entire time was clearly to lay him out. Timing shouldn’t matter if he begins to target the guy when the ball is still in the air. It’s a spirit of the law/letter of the law thing. May be technically legal right now, but it really shouldn’t be. Welker had one goal and that was to lay Talib out. And this is coming from someone who most certainly isn’t a Patriots fan.

  • Dumbluck

    To say Welker’s intention was to “take out Talib” is ridiculous. He didn’t make an effort to get open because it is a designed play where he is not supposed to catch the football. It is called a pick play for a reason, and timing has EVERYTHING to do with it. This play has been run for years and years. Welker is just making a LEGAL block, he didn’t go low or launch himself at him. Talib wasn’t blindsided, Welker was right in front of him, and last time I checked, you don’t need to be looking at someone to be legally blocked by them. Watch the replay again, Welker is the one who actually gets knocked backwards. It just so happened Talib was injured. If he had been able to continue playing, no one would have said anything about the hit. He wasn’t carted off, his career wasn’t ended, he later came back to the sideline, IN UNIFORM, not street clothes. He got banged up in a contact sport, big deal. By the way, I am not a fan of either team, so I’m not playing favorites here.

  • heykyleinsf

    It’s amazing that you and Belly can see the hate and anger in Welker’s eyes from that video clip.


  • Are you serious?

    Your absolutely correct, he didn’t go high and he didn’t go low, if anything Welker was the one that took the brunt of the hit. This is probably the softest hit that I’ve ever heard anyone in the NFL complain about.

  • realitytime

    Watch the play again and you’ll see Welker did not intentionally try to take Talib out of the game. Hell, even the refs didn’t see it as a questionable call. My guess is you’re a Bronco hater

  • realitytime

    Belichick is a pathetic whining loser.

  • hockeyhug

    Just another example of Boston whining

  • Ryan Phillips

    Nope, not a Bronco hater at all. Just think pick plays are illegal for a reason.