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Broncos reportedly asked Wes Welker before signing Aqib Talib

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Aqib Talib leaving the New England Patriots this offseason and signing with the Denver Broncos is irony at its finest. Less than two months ago, Talib was knocked out of the AFC Championship game early in the second quarter when Wes Welker took him out on a crossing route over the middle of the field. The two are now teammates.

Talib’s exit from the game tipped the scales completely in Denver’s favor and gave the Patriots virtually no shot at stopping Peyton Manning. Bill Belichick later called the rub play from Welker “deliberate” and one of the worst plays he has ever seen. Before the Broncos invested more guaranteed money on Talib than any cornerback in NFL history has ever received, they were sure to check with their slot receiver.

Reporters asked Talib about the hit from Welker, which FOX Sports NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira said was legal, on Wednesday.

“Wes is a good friend of mine,” he said, via the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe. “I watched the play a thousand times and I can tell you he didn’t do it on purpose.”

Welker said that he used to run the exact same play when he was with New England. Even if Talib was upset with Welker over the play, there are very few feuds $57 million can’t fix.

Wes Welker: Broncos were not prepared for crowd noise

Seahawks-12th-manThe Super Bowl typically attracts more rich yuppies and people who want to be seen than it does rabid football fans. Not many people can afford the thousands of dollars it costs to attend the game, although it certainly felt like the Seattle Seahawks’ 12th Man found a way on Sunday night. Wes Welker said the Denver Broncos were not adequately prepared for that.

Crowd noise almost certainly was the main reason the Broncos allowed a safety on their first offensive play of the game. Peyton Manning admitted that after the game, and Welker echoed his thoughts.

“That’s the way the start of any Super Bowl is: It’s going to be loud,” Welker said, according to Greg A. Bedard of the Monday Morning Quarterback. “The fans are going to be yelling. They don’t really know why they’re yelling — it’s just the start of the Super Bowl. We didn’t prepare very well for that, and it showed.”

In this case, the fans did know why they were yelling. They were Seahawks fans, and they realized that enough noise could rattle Manning in New York the same way it would in Seattle. The game was easily the loudest Super Bowl I have ever watched, and it wasn’t even close.

Since the game was played at a neutral site, Broncos head coach John Fox did not expect crowd noise to be a factor. Last Wednesday during practice, Fox chose to keep the simulated crowd noise at a lower volume than normal.

“Normally, it’s about five times louder than that,” Fox said at the time. “It’s not an away game. The ones I’ve been to haven’t been too loud. So we just kind of practice with what we think we’re going to get.”

They thought wrong. What Denver got was basically an away game, and it clearly had an effect on Manning’s rhythm. It was only fitting that the 12th Man was more prepared than the opposition for one last game of a championship season.

H/T Around the League

Wes Welker’s drops, wife Anna won’t get him in trouble this year

Wes Welker

Wes Welker has some bad memories from his last Super Bowl that he is trying to erase.

The Denver Broncos receiver is considered a goat from the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants in the 2011 season. With Rob Gronkowski barely able to play in the Super Bowl because of his leg injury, Welker was counted on as the Patriots’ most trusted target. However, he had a poor game and dropped a number of passes, including a critical one late in the game that cost the team.

Welker’s drops in the game caused a rift among the Patriots because Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele, was angry after the game and unleashed one of the greatest quotes ever.

“My husband cannot (bleeping) throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times,” Gisele said.

The comment was an angry reaction from Gisele right after the game and a clear shot at Welker. She apologized to him for the remark and he said everything was all good between them.

A year later, it was Welker’s wife who had to do the apologizing.

Wes Welker wife Anna

The Patriots were knocked out of the playoffs last season in the AFC Championship Game by the Baltimore Ravens. One of the big stories from that postseason was Ray Lewis, who was retiring after the season. Many people were pulling for Lewis and hoping he’d win, while others considered his religious front to be phony and still couldn’t shake the murder case he was a part of.

Welker’s wife, Anna Burns Welker, who is a former Hooters model, ripped Lewis on her Facebook page after the Ravens beat the Patriots. She ended up apologizing for her comments.

Welker left the Patriots in the offseason after a long dispute over his contract and signed with the Broncos. He had 73 catches for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns and lived up to his contract. But he still has his reputation as a postseason goat and choker to overcome this time around. How well known are his struggles from the last Super Bowl? When the Broncos attended a Knicks game during the week, a fan sitting behind Welker mocked him for his drops and choking.

Welker won’t let it happen again, and his wife, Anna, will be too smart to cause another controversy.

Wes Welker mocked for Super Bowl drop by Knicks fan on jumbotron (Video)

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Wes Welker had a chance to seal a win for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI two years ago, and he let it slip out of his finger tips. Tom Brady threw a pass on third down late in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants that should have been caught to give New England a crucial first down, but Welker couldn’t haul it in.

He was once again reminded of that play on Tuesday night, courtesy of a New York Knicks fan. Welker attended the Knicks game at Madison Square Garden with teammates Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. When the three receivers were welcomed on the jumbotron, a Knicks fan — who is presumably also a Giants fan — sat behind Welker and mocked him for his dropped pass.

Hey, I guess anything’s better than Brady’s wife telling you you should have caught the ball.

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H/T Jimmy Traina’s The Big Buzz

Wes Welker says Patriots run same play he injured Aqib Talib on

Aqib Talib Wes WelkerNew England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was not shy about the fact that he did not appreciate Wes Welker’s hit on Aqib Talib in the AFC Championship Game. Belichick called the hit “deliberate” and said it was one of the worst plays he has ever seen. The NFL later determined that it was legal, though there has been plenty of debate over whether it was necessary.

[WATCHWes Welker drills Aqib Talib over the middle]

On Tuesday, Welker basically called Belichick a hypocrite. The Denver Broncos receiver told reporters that he ran the same play with the Patriots.

“It’€™s a rub play that everybody runs,” he said, per WEEI.com’s Mike Petriglia. “It’€™s one of those deals where you try to get a rub on that guy and really, if you can get him to go over the top of you, the more separation the other receiver will have. That’€™s what I tried to do to get Demaryius a little more open and unfortunately we collided.

“We ran the same play (in New England).”

While I don’t think Welker intended to injure Talib, the contact did seem a bit excessive to me and a tad early. I believe that the Patriots and plenty of other teams run similar plays, but I’m certainly not buying the whole “unfortunately we collided” thing. Welker intended to hit Talib, even if he wasn’t trying to hurt him.

Wes Welker wears orange outfit to first Super Bowl media session

Wes Welker orange jacket

Looks like Wes Welker wanted to make a statement with his outfit for the first media day of Super Bowl week.

The Denver Broncos flew in Sunday for the big game and their players met with reporters to answer some questions. Nobody turned as many heads as Welker, who was wearing an orange jacket and plaid shirt and tie that also had some orange in it.

The outfit wasn’t quite as ridiculous as it looks from the waste up. His pants, belt and shoes were all normal colors, and I have to say I like his look.

Eric Decker shared a photo on Instagram of the Broncos’ wide receiver crew in the locker room before their flight. They all looked really sharp:

As long as they play as well as they dressed, the Broncos will be in great shape.

Photo: Twitter/NFL Network

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.