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Welker keeps on coming

Posted by Albert Breer  November 22, 2009 11:00 PM

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"It’s tough, they do a great job of getting the ball out quickly when they have to," Leonhard said. "They change the tempo, they’ll mix in a lot of that short passing game with a lot of downfield routes. They’ll start holding the ball a little bit, and if your pass rush isn’t getting there, it’s a tough day for the DBs. But I think we did a good job up front.

"We got some pressure there. It’s just we didn’t do our job on the back end. We gave up a lot of yards."

Welker's quickness and route-running ability is difficult to deal with, to be sure, but Leonhard said his doggedness makes him that much tougher to deal with.

"One thing he does is he never gives up on a route," Leonhard said. "You could have him covered for four seconds but he’s still working, and if our pass rush isn’t getting there, you can’t hurry him out of that. With the type of short-range quickness that he has, it’s tough to cover him for an extended period of time.

"And Brady has that trust where he’ll get him the ball because he knows all he needs is that step. He’ll get that step of separation at some point."

Meanwhile, Scott compared him to the only receiver who caught more balls last year -- T.J. Houshmandzadeh, then a Bengal, now a Seahawk.

"Houshmandzadeh's a route-runner, an option runner, runs away from leverage, able to change direction so if you jump one route, he can go to another route," Scott said. Great slot receiver, and slot receivers can are usually guys that are able to run the route tree. Candle routes, dig routes, sit in holes in zones – Same as you see with Hines Ward, guy who comes off the ball that’s not a fast receiver but is able to find holes in zone because every zone has a hole.

"Tough to defend a guy like that, he’s gonna pass through zones and sit down in one."

Here's how good he's been -- Despite sitting out two games, Welker's now leading the league with 79 catches. Pretty unbelievable.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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