Tag:Wes Welker
Posted on: December 6, 2010 5:20 pm

Pats vs. Jets: Monday night Podcast Preview

Posted by Will Brinson

You've waited all day for it, and it's finally here. No, not the freaking Monday night matchup between the Pats and the Jets. I mean the podcast previewing the Monday night matchup between the Pats and the Jets. Guh.

Andy and I break down all the X's and O's of the matchup, including (and especially) what the Jets will do with Darrelle Revis now that Randy Moss is gone from New England. Will he cover Wes Welker? Or will it be Deion Branch stuck on Revis Island? Or will he simply sit all over Aaron Hernandez? We also wonder what the Pats will do from an offensive standpoint, in order to counter the Jets first move of Revis placement.

All in all, it's basically the best 11 minutes of your day -- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: December 3, 2010 11:53 pm

What will the Jets do with Revis Monday night?

Posted by Andy Benoit

When the Jets and Patriots met back in Week 2, the decision for what to do with Darrelle Revis was simple: stick him on Randy Moss. Revis on Moss meant no vertical passing game for the then-downfield-attack-oriented Patriots.

Obviously, things are different this time around. Revis is still a shutdown corner (he’s been arguably better this season than last season) but the Patriots no longer have their dangerous big-play slouch outside. An offense that was once built around Moss is now built around a consortium of mid-range weapons: Wes WD. Revis (US Presswire)elker, Brandon Tate, Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez.

So which one of these four will the Jets glue Revis to Monday night? The name that immediately comes to mind is Welker, New England’s leading receiver. However, so many of Welker’s routes are underneath and drags, which are nearly impossible to take away. Sacrificing your shutdown corner to prevent a bunch of five-to-eight-yard receptions that might not be preventable anyway doesn’t seem worthwhile.
Style-wise, Revis on Tate would make the most sense. But Tate has just 18 receptions on the season. If he’s taken away, there’s no guarantee Tom Brady would even notice.

This leaves Hernandez and Branch. Hernandez is a tight end, though a lithe tight end whom Revis could certainly handle from a size and strength standpoint. But what does New York do when Hernandez leaves the slot and lines up directly beside an offensive tackle? (There’s a reason you don’t see shutdown corners shadow tight ends.)

So does this mean the Jets will put Revis on Branch? He doesn’t quite have his old explosiveness, but the recently-reacquired veteran still leads the Patriots with 61.9 yards per game. Those aren’t Calvin or Andre Johnson numbers, though.

Revis and the Jets aren’t saying what they’ll do. Here’s an idea: instead of having Revis shadow one player (and if they do choose a player, the guess here is they’ll choose Branch), why not move him around? That would make Tom Brady’s job more difficult, particularly in the presnap phase. It would also allow New York more chances to disguise coverages and help prevent the Patriots from getting in the type of aerial rhythm they enjoyed during the second half at Detroit.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: November 9, 2010 11:16 am

Hot Routes 11.9.10: Did Freeney quit?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

- Eagles TE Brent Celek said Philadelphia’s offense made Colts DE Dwight Freeney quit during their game Sunday afternoon. Said Celek: When we were chipping and blocking Freeney, it was getting to the point where he was ready to give up on the field. He was so frustrated and mad.

- Next up on Eric Mangini’s hit list after knocking off former boss Bill Belichick last week: the Jets, the team that fired him two years ago.

-`And speaking of New York-Cleveland, Braylon Edwards is already talking smack to Browns fans about returning to Cleveland this weekend with the Jets. 

- Patriots PK Stephen Gostkowski likely will miss the next two games. No worries. They’ve got Wes Welker, after all. Just kidding. They’ll sign another kicker sometime this week.

- And speaking of kickers, Jets PK Nick Folk = Donovan McNabb.

- The no-huddle offense worked wonders for the Vikings on Sunday. Maybe they should consider doing that more often.

- Somebody out there is a pretty big Jacksonville Jaguars fan. And she’s pretty hardcore.

- I had no idea, but apparently, Kurt Warner is still alive on “Dancing With the Stars.”

- A StarCaps update for you. The Supreme Court will not be taking a look at the case.

- Ray Rice probably shouldn’t be boasting about the way he gets out of speeding tickets.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: October 27, 2010 12:22 pm

Welker was a 'little bit surprised' by Moss trade

Posted by Will Brinson

The pretty much out-of-nowhere deal that sent Randy Moss from the Patriots to the Vikings caught almost everyone by surprise (you could make a case that Jay Glazer and Bill Simmons saw it coming). That includes his teammates, apparently.

Wes Welker, for instance, said that he was caught off guard by the deal, per Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

"I was a little bit surprised," Welker on Wednesday's conference call with reporters. "Obviously Randy is such a great player and such a great guy and everything like that. It is hard to go out there and play without a guy who had been here for such a long time. But at the same time you trust in coach [Bill] Belichick and the decisions he makes and you roll with them and move on."

Although maybe only having a "little bit" of surprise is more indicative that Welker saw it coming -- there were some quotes following the deal from the Pats top receiver that indicate he might not have been that shocked to see Moss get shipped out.

Right now, though, no one's going to say anything to add any more gas to the likely simmering fire of Moss wanting to show his old team they made a mistake.

“I’m lucky I don’t have to defend him," Tom Brady said, via Mike Reiss. "I’m sure he’ll want to come out & have a great game against us."

That's all but guaranteed -- Moss has a pretty good history of showing up against teams that spurned him (see: his stats against the Dallas Cowboys for passing on him in the draft). Although if he's trying to catch Tavaris Jackson's lame ducks on Sunday, he might be so upset with his move back to Minnesota that he'll forget how New England shipped him out of town.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 6, 2010 11:16 am

How Moss trade will affect New England

With R. Moss gone, look for B. Tate to get more attention from opponents (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Some of you were introduced to Patriots WR Brandon Tate on Monday Night Football when he used his immense speed to burn the Dolphins special teams and return the second-half kickoff for a 103-yard TD. Well, if you liked what you saw, get ready. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Tate now that Randy Moss has been traded to the Vikings.

You might not believe this, but with his nine catches, Moss ranked fourth on his team in receptions. As the season wore on, Patriots QB Tom Brady didn’t target Moss quite as much and elected to throw the ball to Wes Welker, TE Aaron Hernandez and Tate.

On the surface, it seems like Welker will be the most affected by the Moss trade. In the same way Minnesota’s Percy Harvin will benefit in the slot when Moss – and the stretching-the-field ability he brings to each snap – is on the field, Welker loses perhaps the best deep threat in the game. The Patriots obviously hope Tate can grow into that role. This also might provide a good opportunity to see what third-round pick Taylor Price, who's been inactive for all four games this year, can do on the field.

You also have to wonder if Moss had become a distraction (no, not Randy Moss!). He bitched about his contract after the Patriots beat Atlanta in the season-opener, and according to a few reports, Moss was lazy in his blocking (what, Moss lazy in his blocking?!?) during the Miami game in which Brady targeted Moss just once.

Unless we’re talking about addition by subtraction, this move doesn’t do much to help the 2010 version of the Patriots. I’ve already mentioned how Minnesota feels the need to win the Super Bowl this year, and I imagine New England also wouldn’t mind hoisting the trophy at the end of the season. But does trading Moss away get the Patriots any closer to that goal?

I don’t think that it does.

The defense has been unimpressive – it ranks 28th in the NFL - and until the Patriots special teams began to dominate the Dolphins, New England struggled to score points on offense (I realize the Patriots, at this point, are the No. 1 NFL team in points scored, but they also rank 11th in total yards per game).

Plus, the wide receiving corps is simply not as good as it was yesterday.

But think about this. The Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2002, 2004 and 2005. Those years, the top WRs were players like Troy Brown, David Patten, Deion Branch, and David Givens. Solid guys, but nobody extra special. Nobody like Moss.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: October 6, 2010 11:08 am
Edited on: October 6, 2010 1:37 pm

Patriots are suddenly reloading at a rapid rate

Posted by Will Brinson

The knee-jerk reaction to the deal that sent Randy Moss from the Patriots to the Vikings is "TOM BRADY IS DONE!" (Well, from a fantasy football perspective anyway -- there's also the "The Patriots are giving up!" reaction as well.)

Both are silly, of course.

The deal just, hypothetically, means less deep balls in their offense -- but even that might not be correct with the lightning-fast Brandon Tate on the roster. And outside of that, they still have plenty of weapons in Wes Welker (he's good, duh), Julian Edelman (he's Wes Welker 2.0), Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.

More importantly though, they now have two draft picks in the each of the first FOUR rounds of the 2011 NFL draft.

Think for a moment about how silly that is -- assuming they don't package these picks for more selections (which is not a safe assumption), they'll be grabbing eight players before most people get four and some people get three.

They have the Oakland Raiders' first-rounder (which is looking like a lottery ticket at the moment), the Carolina Panthers second-rounder (appearing to be in the high end of that round as well), the Minnesota Vikings third-rounder, and the Denver Broncos' fourth-rounder (you may recall they sent Laurence Maroney's corpse for that).

So, yes, eight selections in the first four rounds of the NFL Draft, a freshly signed Tom Brady, a slew of weapons on the offensive end and a young, but talented defense that needs some time to gel.

Are they the Super Bowl favorites this year? Of course not. Did losing Randy Moss probably hurt their short-term chances? Yes.

Can they turn those picks into high quality contributors and/or more picks in the future? That's the most important question, but it's safe to say that, yeah, they probably can do that. And because of that, the 2010 Patriots, once considered a near-dead dynasty, are suddenly straight reloaded.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 4:37 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2010 4:48 pm

Jets' Eric Smith gets fined $7.5K for Welker hit

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL announced Friday that it fined Jets safety Eric Smith $7,500 for his hit on Patriots' receiver Wes Welker. According to multiple reports on Twitter, the NFL fined Smith for unnecessarily striking a defenseless receiver.

Oddly though, Welker said earlier this week that he didn't have any ill will towards Smith and didn't think that he should be fined or suspended.

"Eric came up to me during and after the game and apologized. He was just trying to make a physical football play. That’s what it came down to," Welker about Smith earlier this week. "I don’t have any ill feelings about that play or anything else. There’s nothing I’m too worried about with him."

That's nice and all, but the hit was loud, it sent Welker to the ground clutching his helmet and had three trainers sprinting out onto the field as soon as it happens.

So, yeah, the NFL is far more worried about making sure that defenders aren't taking unnecessary shots at players than anything else, is really the lesson here.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 21, 2010 12:37 pm

Cromartie fires up the Jets

A. Cromartie picks off a T. Brady pass last Sunday (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With Darrelle Revis on the bench with a strained hamstring, the man who’s had a so-so season so far (the Hard Knocks moment where he seemed to struggle to remember his kids’ names, the struggle to cover the Ravens receivers in Revis’ absence in Week 1, the 66-yard interception return against Baltimore’s Joe Flacco) was the one who helped inspire his team to victory against the Patriots.

That’d be Antonio Cromartie, who, according to the NY Daily News, delivered a halftime speech last Sunday in which he said it was time for the Jets to start correcting their mistakes.

From the story:

Cromartie first pointed the finger at himself. He had been as guilty as anyone else, giving up a 6-yard touchdown to Wes Welker by inexplicably playing off coverage near the end zone.

Then, the former Pro Bowler demanded that his teammates in the secondary raise their game. Brady had carved them up for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Cromartie, frankly, was fed up.

"The front seven was doing a hell of a job applying pressure," Cromartie told the Daily News. "Everything bad that happened was happening on the back end. We made a few mistakes and had a little miscommunication. I felt like we weren't holding up our end."

What made the sermon even more effective: Cromartie isn’t known as a fire-and-brimstone kind of guy. And it sounds like the speech he made was calmly delivered.

But obviously, it worked. After Brady had such a good first half, he finished with only 244 yards and two interceptions, and the Patriots were shut out in the second half. Cromartie, who had an interception, played a big role in it.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com