Wes Welker believes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be getting an extra-motivated Tom Brady this season.
Welker, the New England Patriots’ all-time receptions leader, discussed Brady’s big move Wednesday during an appearance on WEEI’s “Greg Hill Show.”
“I think he’s just excited to play football,” Welker said. “Tom wants to play ball. I think for him he’s excited — he has some weapons down there in Tampa. I think he’s excited to get out there and play ball. It’s another challenge for him in his mind, I’m sure, of proving people wrong — that he doesn’t have to be in New England to be great.
“He will take on that challenge, and I guaranteed you he will be full steam ahead with it.”
Welker spent six seasons with the Patriots before closing out his playing career with short stints in Denver (2013 to 2014) and St. Louis (2015). He wasn’t surprised by Brady’s choice to continue his own career outside of New England.
“Not necessarily,” Welker said. “You hate to see it just because he’s been there for so long and it is going to be strange to see him in a different uniform and all those different things, but I wouldn’t say I was surprised.”
Before signing with the Buccaneers, Brady reportedly showed interest in joining his hometown team, the San Francisco 49ers, who happen to be Welker’s current employer. San Francisco opted to stick with Jimmy Garoppolo, however, after reaching the Super Bowl with him at the helm last season.
“Jimmy has done a great job for us,” Welker, the Niners’ wide receivers coach, said on WEEI. “He’s been a great leader. Obviously, he got us to the Super Bowl, all those different things. He’s done a great job for us. He works his tail off. Guys respect him. He’s a great dude who is done a lot of great things on the field. I don’t think it was a very tough decision. You’d have to ask Kyle (Shanahan) and John (Lynch) about what their thoughts were or whatever. … I feel very strongly about Jimmy about what he brings to our team and last year was the first year he played a whole season. He’s only going to get better.”