Wes Welker was the most productive wide receiver in the NFL during his six seasons with the New England Patriots. He and Tom Brady had as much chemistry as any quarterback-receiver combination in football history, and Welker will be trying to recreate some of that with the Denver Broncos in 2013.
While Denver and New England run different offenses, the Broncos would be silly to ignore the ways in which Welker was utilized with the Patriots since 2007. That’s why Peyton Manning admitted earlier this week that he has been studying tape from Foxboro.
“I’d be lying if I told you we have not studied what worked well for Wes in New England,” Manning told the Broncos official website on Thursday. “There’s certain pass patterns and certain things that he’s done so well for so long, you’d be crazy not to copy some of those and bring those to your offense.”
Brady and Welker were so successful together because their minds seemed to work as one. Welker almost always ran option routes, and Brady knew the route he was going to choose based on the defensive coverage they were lined up against 99% of the time. As Manning put it, Welker is like a quarterback in many ways.
“He really has an ability to read coverages and I think he takes it as seriously as a quarterback does,” he said. “That really has worked well for him, and as a quarterback, you sort of appreciate that. But hopefully we can still keep going. There’s some things that we need to improve on, which repetitions are the best way to improve that.”
Most people are confident Manning and Welker are going to succeed. Wes may not catch 118 balls, but he shouldn’t have to with receivers like Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker lining up next to him. If Welker and Manning can come close to duplicating the chemistry that Welker and Brady had, the Broncos should have the most dangerous offense in the AFC.
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