By Chuck Schilken
11:12 AM PST, January 21, 2014
Bill Belichick has a right to his opinion.
And the New England Patriots coach certainly has never cared what anyone else thinks of him.
So he just came right out and said it Monday concerning the hit by Denver receiver Wes Welker that knocked New England cornerback Aqib Talib out of Sunday's AFC championship game, calling it “a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib, no attempt to get open.”
“I'll let the league handle the discipline on that play," Belichick said. "It's not for me to decide, but it's one of the worst plays I've seen. That's all I'm going to say about that.”
Broncos Coach John Fox on Monday called Welker "a great player, high integrity." Concerning the controversial play, he added: "I can say that we were not doing anything with intent.”
When asked why a 5-foot-9 star receiver who has recently sustained two concussions would try to "take out" a 6-foot-2 defensive back, Fox said, “That's a good question. I don't have an answer to it.”
Here's what Welker, who left the Patriots in free agency last off-season, himself had to say following Sunday's game:
“It was one of those plays where it's kind of a rub play and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided. ... It wasn't a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that.”
Most people who saw the play during Denver's 23-13 victory seem to agree that Welker's hit was early and probably should have been penalized (no flag was thrown at the time).
It's tougher to make assumptions about Welker's intent, but the video is above in case you want to give it a shot.
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