Broncos' Wes Welker: 'I gotta do a better job' on botched punt
Wes Welker admitted after the game that, 'I gotta do a better job of getting up there and getting those guys out of the way, and making sure [the ball] doesn't hit them.'
It wasn't exactly the homecoming Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker envisioned. By the time it was over, not only did the former Patriot have just four catches for 31 yards (not to mention a few drops), but he was also responsible for the game-deciding turnover.
With just over three minutes to go in overtime and the game tied at 31, Welker stood on his own 10-yard line awaiting a Ryan Allen punt. But Allen's kick was short, Welker was late telling teammates to steer clear of the landing zone, the ball hit the turf and bounced right into surprised Broncos defensive back Tony Carter. New England recovered and three plays later the game was over.
Reflexively, you want to blame Carter because he has to know the situation. But as NBC color commentator Cris Collinsworth pointed out at the time, the fault lied with Welker, who didn't warn Carter until it was too late. After the game, Welker took responsibility for the miscommunication.
"I just felt like there was a lot of traffic, it was a high ball, [I] basically didn't want to get into a situation where somebody's running into me or anything else, and ended up with a situation that I didn't want to happen in the first place," Welker said, via CSNNewEngland.com.
"I gotta do a better job of getting up there and getting those guys out of the way, and making sure it doesn't hit them. I gotta get to him earlier and tell him, and get those guys out of the way if I'm not going to make the catch. I was a little bit in between and you can't be that way."
Ironically, Welker was returning punts because Trindon Holliday had muffed a punt earlier in the game.
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