Some players were concerned that a friend was gone but noted that football is a business. Others chatted and joked as if it were a typical day. And Belichick spoke positively about the player who said he didn’t expect to be with the Patriots once his contract expired after this season.
“Randy was really a pleasure to coach. I enjoyed having him on our team,” Belichick said. “It was a difficult decision but one that I feel was in the best interests of the football team. … I wish Randy the absolute best.”
Several factors contributed to Wednesday’s trade, Belichick said, but didn’t specify them.
“I would say there was never any incident or discipline problem with Randy,” he said. “There never has been one with me in four years and it certainly wasn’t about contract and money.”
“I have a lot of confidence in our total team, all of our players,” Belichick said.
Welker is their only proven receiver. Brandon Tate, a third-round draft pick last year, steps into a starting spot. Rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez has the speed and shiftiness of a wide receiver but lacks experience.
“I’m not going to sit here and say ‘no’ or ‘yeah.’ Time will tell,” said Wilfork, a nose tackle. “I’m happy with this team, with everybody that’s around here, young and old. … We’re getting ready for Baltimore. We’ll see what happens without Randy.
“We never had problems with Randy.”
The Patriots are 3-1 and tied for the AFC East lead. They have a bye week and play their next game Oct. 17 at home against the Baltimore Ravens (2-2).
That’s when Welker should see how defenses guard him without a deep threat like Moss drawing plenty of attention. They joined the Patriots together in 2007 and, in the first three years, Welker led the NFL with 346 receptions.View Entire Story
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