After a 13-catch performance which seemed to further solidify
that he is indeed back to his normal role as a vital piece of this offense,
Welker joked that it was nice to stick the monster outing in Bill Belichick's face.
But now the receiver is making sure to clear the air.
"It was a joke," Welker said in reference to his prior
comments. "I mean, I don't know what
else to say about it. It was a joke."
Welker mentioned that he didn't realize the comment, which
was accompanied by a smile and wink, would generate such a firestorm around New
England. He also made sure to reemphasize the strength of his relationship with
"Bill and I, whether you all believe it or not, have a
good relationship," Welker added. "It was a joke, and I'll make sure
to keep that in-house going forward."
There had been rumors and rumblings over the past few months
that Belichick and Welker were not seeing eye to eye after the failed contract
negotiations during the offseason. That idea was only reinforced with Welker's
uncharacteristically slow start to the season as well as Julian Edelman's place
in the starting lineup against Arizona and Baltimore.
Now with the air nicely cleaned by the Febreeze of truth,
though, Welker says he'll be sure to keep any more comedic comments to himself.
"Yeah, obviously, so you've just got to be careful with
what you say," Welker said. "Bill
does a good job of challenging us, and being a great coach and doing the things
necessary that he needs to do. I made a joke about it, and it won't happen
Welker made sure to reaffirm
his admiration for Belichick on Monday, though. While one reporter
light-heartedly asked if he thought Belichick was the greatest coach of
"No doubt," Welker
said with a dead stare. "And that's no joke."
The questions about Welker's
role in the Patriots' offense now, and moving forward, may not be through just
yet. But you can be sure that he'll let his play do the talking from now on.