The NFL sent out a reminder to teams to make sure the hatred build up during the week because of trash talk didn’t result in illegal contact during games. They weren’t curbing the fun so much as they were putting teams (ahem, Pats/Jets) on notice.
The Jets went heavy with their words against the Pats in anticipation of their playoff game, starting with Rex Ryan’s unprompted comments that Peyton Manning prepares better than Tom Brady. Rexy later asserted the matchup between the teams was a personal battle between himself and Bill Belichick, a notion that Belichick predictably dismissed. His comments were nothing compared to Antonio Cromartie, who threw profanity towards Tom Brady.
All the while the Jets were doing their talking, the Pats kept quiet, except for receiver Wes Welker. Welker, in the most sly fashion, mixed about 10 “feet” references into his press conference during the week, using generic cliches. Word spread of Welker’s trick, and it obviously pissed off coach Bill Belichick who didn’t want his players engaging in the head games with New York. As a result, Welker was punished to start the Jets-Patriots playoff game.
Though Welker received the opening punt from the Jets, he was sidelined for New England’s first offensive series, being replaced by Julian Edelman. Welker was out there for the team’s next drive, registering his first catch. Regardless of how subtle his antics were, he learned the hard way not to disobey Belichick’s wishes in the future.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Charles KrupaGoogle+