Posted by Albert Breer December 10, 2009 01:10 PM
At a press conference here this morning, Patriots receiver Wes Welker was honored by USA football as one of 26 fundamentally-sound players for young kids to emulate, both for their work on the field and off as part of the USA Football/NFLPA All-Fundamental Team.
Welker said he'll direct the $1,500 he won, which is earmarked for younger players, to a football league he's already given to back in Oklahoma City. And he seemed grateful to have captured a reward that's a result of the time he's put in.
"After practice, every Wednesday and Thursday, I hit the Jugs machine and get about 25-30 balls, just to make sure I'm staying on top of it and catching those balls with my hands," Welker said. "The more you do, the easier it becomes. I remember when I first got in the league, (former Chargers coach) Marty Schottenheimer told me, 'You don't catch the ball with your hands, you catch the ball with your eyes,' which I though was very interesting.
"And it works. If you keep your eyes on the ball, and really focus on it, it definitely makes it a lot easier to catch."
Update (1:35 p.m.): Checked the NFL's release on this "team" and found that former Patriot Mike Vrabel also made it for "Shedding blocks". Welker's inclusion was for "Proper catching with hands", an honor he shared with Arizona star Larry Fitzgerald.