Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker said in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated that part of the reason he left the New England Patriots was because of coach Bill Belichick.
Welker signed a free agent contract with the Broncos in the offseason.
Welker said that Belichick “got on him in a way he never had before, admonishing him in front of the team. …
“It was just kind of hard. One of those deals where you have to endure him, put up with him. … But he does it to everybody, it’s the way he is.”
The forthright Welker said Patriots players are required to be evasive with reporters because it is part of Belichick’s media policy.
“When I’m answering questions from the Denver media, I’m not worried about what the Broncos’ people are going to think,” Welker said. “I’m worried about what Belichick will think. Isn’t that crazy?”
Welker said that quarterback Tom Brady is also very demanding.
“He was very intense, wanted it done a certain way and was like, ‘You can’t do it a different way,’ ” Welker said.
Now, he is adjusting to Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
“In New England, if the middle of the field was closed, I’d run a seam route,” Welker said. “It’s something I’ve been doing for six years now, so I have to teach my brain to do it the way (Manning is) expecting me to do it. At the end of the day you run it the way he wants it, or he won’t throw it to you.”
Welker will face Belichick and his old team when the Broncos travel to New England on Nov. 24.
Wide receiver Danny Amendola has had a nice first couple weeks in his first training camp in New England. First, he’s been on the field for every practice rep. Second, he’s made a lot of impressive catches while seemingly beginning to build a rapport with Brady. Third, he’s clearly made a positive impression on his new head coach.
“Danny works hard; he’s got a good skill set,”Belichick said, describing Welker’s replacement. “He’s smart, he can catch the ball, he has a good skill set and he’s become a very dependable player for us, doesn’t make many mental errors. He’s a guy that’s usually in the right spot, has a good understanding of defenses and what he’s supposed to do. You can tell he’s been in the league for four years.”
Belichick was in attendance at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies Aug. 3, supporting his friend and former boss Bill Parcells. Belichick seemed to genuinely enjoy the trip, his first time really participating in the annual weekend honoring the game’s all-time greats.
“I’d never been to that part of it,” Belichick said. “I’ve been through the Hall, although they’ve redone it. It was always great but it’s even better now. They’ve redone it and they have some amazing displays.
“Then we’ve played in the game a couple times or I’ve coached in the game I should say, a couple times but again, you’re there with your team and you’re kind of doing your thing so you’re not really part of that. So this is the first time I’ve ever been through that. It’s an amazing collection of all the icons from professional football — players, coaches and not just the people who are there in the gold jackets but also many of the other people that come for the event. It was a great experience.
“Like I said, I’ve never been part of that before. It was awesome, it was impressive. It was great to see a lot of people that I haven’t seen for awhile going back to Bill’s (Parcells) Giants days but also many other people came to be there for coach Parcells and of course the players that I have coached along that way too. It was a good experience and a great night for Bill.”
Quarterback Tom Brady celebrated his 36th birthday Aug. 3 the same way he’d enjoyed his previous five — on the practice field.
“My 30th birthday I think we had the day off, because I had a barbeque on my roof deck — a surprise birthday party,” Brady recalled. “That was a long time ago. Six years ago — oh my God.”
Even though he’s getting older, Brady says he doesn’t feel like he’s slowing down at all. Even with the rigors of training camp.
“I feel better as camp goes along,” Brady said. “Every day I feel like my legs get more under me. My arm gets better, so I’m enjoying it. I love this sport, I love playing it, I love being out here with my teammates and playing.”