New England’s Stunning Loss, Lack of Starting Role Put A Damper On Wes Welker’s Record-Setting Day

September 18, 2012 – 7:45 am by Steven Cuce

The major shocker in Week 2 of the NFL season was the New England Patriots failing to show up and then take back a game handed to them late in the fourth quarter at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Despite the fact that the Cardinals ruined many survivor pools nationwide, there was another glaring issue in Foxborough: Wes Welker’s playing time.

It appears that a shift is taking place with Bill Belichick starting Julian Edelman over Welker. This jaw-dropping move doesn’t make a lot of sense as to why No.83 would be phased out of the Patriots offense. Given the amount of time off an injured Aaron Hernandez may face, the Pats will now be starting Welker again most likely. Welker also gained sole possession at the top of the Patriots’ all-time receptions list in the Cardinals game, but he’s still not sure why he wasn’t starting to begin with.

Wes Welker joined WEEI in Boston with Mut, Lou, and Troy Brown to discuss becoming the New England Patriots’ all-time receptions leader, not being positive regarding whether he would start last week against the Cardinals, not starting the game against the Cardinals given his track record, seeing any clues in practice that would indicate that Julian Edelman would be starting, his health not playing a factor in why he wasn’t starting and the Patriots offense readjusting once Aaron Hernandez went out of the game.

Does it put a damper on the team reception record when you don’t win the game?

“Anytime you don’t win a game everything is definitely kind of put on the back burner. It was supposed to be a great day and it was nullified by the loss. That’s just kind of the way it goes.”

Were you surprised you weren’t in the starting lineup last week?

“I really wasn’t positive even leading up to the first series. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I just go out there whenever my number is called and I go out and play.”

Isn’t it a given to you that you would start with your track record? Wouldn’t it surprise people when you don’t start?

“Yeah, I guess. I don’t know. It is what it is. Coaches coach and players play. That’s all I can do.”

Were there any clues where you had an idea that Julian Edelman would be starting and you wouldn’t before Aaron Hernandez got hurt?

“Yeah, I mean, a little bit. Yeah. We just continue to grind away and get ready for the weekend and prepare as if we are going to be going and I did end up playing quite a bit in the game.”

Is your health playing a factor in why you weren’t starting?

“No. No. No. I feel great. I’m ready to go.”

How difficult was it to adjust once Aaron Hernandez was knocked out of the game?

“I think he’s a key player. He’s a matchup nightmare for a lot of defenses as far as how defenses play it. Do they want to put big people in there and let him run routes or do they want to put smaller people in there and let us run the ball in our bigger sets. It’s a dilemma for the defense to figure out how they want to play that. It changes for us as far as going into the week and what we are going to do and how we are going to play a guy like that and get him all ready. It changes things whenever he goes down.”

Listen to Wes Welker on WEEI in Boston here

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