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McDaniels discusses Welker's playing time

Posted by Mike Whitmer, Globe Staff  September 18, 2012 01:12 PM

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Tuesday means the weekly teleconference with three Patriots coaches: Bill Belichick, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. Since it's the only time McDaniels or Patricia answer media questions, it was the first time since Sunday's loss, with the decreased playing time of receiver Wes Welker still a hot topic among Patriots fans.

When asked about Welker's role, McDaniels said:

"I think Wes played a big role for us the other day, I think it just goes back to we feel like we’ve got a number of different guys that can contribute and help our offense and have earned the opportunities that they’re getting. I think Wes, whatever it was, we threw the ball his way 12 or 13 times, or somewhere in that neighborhood (he was actually targeted 11 times). He made a number of big plays for us.

"Each game plan ends up different. Sometimes we play guys a majority of the game, other times we feel like using some different rotations may give us some advantages, whether that’s a matchup we end up with in the front, or a personnel grouping that we expect the defense to give us, or even formationally ourselves in terms of what we try to do.

"There’s a number of factors that go into our game plan every week, but certainly he’s going to be a big part of our game plan each week that we go in and play."

Belichick would not confirm the signing of tight end Kellen Winslow: "I'm not going to talk about any players that are not on the current, active roster." He also said a report on injured tight end Aaron Hernandez -- presumably the reason Winslow has been signed -- until after practice tomorrow, when the first injury report of the week is owed to the league.

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

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