Bill Belichick said Wes Welker's hit on Aqib Talib was "a deliberate play to take out Aqib. I'll let the league handle the discipline."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 20, 2014
Earlier this morning Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick decided to say that during yesterdays AFC Championship game that Broncos receiver Wes Welker "deliberately" went out of his way to injure Patriots corner Aqib Talib.
Here's what Belichick said
One of the worst plays I’ve seen. It was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open.
Belichick is saying that a 5'9 185lb receiver who has a recent history of concussion issues went out of his way to "deliberately" take out another player.
Then Belichick implies that Welker should be fined for this play...
I’ll let the league handle the discipline. It’s not for me to decide.
(Via Big Lead)
Here's the play in question. Yes, Welker does run into Talib. Was it on purpose with the intent to injure Talib? I highly, highly doubt that. Welker has a recent history of concussions and is Denver's smallest receiver. If you're going to take out Talib, you send Orange Julius, not Old Spice.
I do believe it could have been a designed pick/rub play. Denver runs a ton of these every game, but it's important to note that even Mike Pereira (former head of NFL officiating) says it was not an illegal pick. Welker's contact happens almost the same instant as Thomas' catch, had he caught it. That's a legal block.
People asking about thej hit on Talib. That is not a foul. Ball was touched by 88 about the same time as contact, Can't be OPI.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) January 19, 2014
Ironically, New England virtually invented the pick play anyway.
Is there a more bitter man on earth than Hoodie? You lost. Your player (Edelman) did the EXACT same thing on the previous series.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) January 20, 2014
As Vic Lombardi points out, New England did the same exact thing a just a series earlier. Receiver Julian Edelman "picked/rubbed" DRC.
Is that Edelman with an intent to injure? No but you get the point. Left his feet to take the shot pic.twitter.com/G1Ms3I8gw1— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) January 20, 2014
As Prisco shows here, you can clearly see Edelman doing the same to DRC.
It's no secret here that Wes Welker and coach Belichick had a falling out with each other, which led to Welker leaving New England this past season. I believe Belichick is making this personal. He might actually believe Welker did this on purpose, but that just makes his analysis of the tape after the game as valuable as the analysis he did before it: meaningless.
Bill Belichick, sore loser.