In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t present for all of Wes Welker’s press conference today. I asked him one question and then had to head to the locker room to work on something else for tomorrow’s paper after he answered.
But then during our chat today, a reader asked about Welker’s numerous mentions of “foot” or “feet” and wondered if it had been done on purpose given Jets coach Rex Ryan’s fondness for feet.
During his chat with reporters, Welker used the word toe, foot or feet 10 times. He also said “step-up.” The receiver is known as a prankster, so it is not at all out of the realm of possibility that he either did this on a dare or it was just his way of taking a jab at the Mouth of the Meadowlands.
Here’s the transcript of the questions where he made a foot reference so you can judge:
How valuable is it to have a guy like Tom Brady standing in the huddle, especially in the intense situations of the playoff atmosphere?
WW: Having Tom in there – it goes without saying, the guy is who he is and he does a great job of making sure everyone is on the same page and putting their best foot forward going out there and playing well and doing what they can out there.
How do you approach the young guys about what to expect in the post season?
WW: You just talk to them. It’s a playoff atmosphere and you can’t just stick your toe in the water, you’ve got to jump right in and make sure you’re ready to go and make things happen. In a playoff atmosphere that’s what you have to do.
I know you are excited to play football every game no matter what the situation is but considering last year when you were forced to sit and watch the playoff game, is there a little bit more excitement for you because you are getting back in the playoffs?
WW: It is definitely a little bit different especially [last year] I had my foot up in the air trying to get the swelling to go down and things like that. I’m definitely excited about getting the opportunity to go out there and have some fun and get in the playoff atmosphere. This is what it’s all about. This is where you want to get to. This being my seventh year in the league now, and understanding what this means and how rare of an opportunity it is – got to make sure we take full advantage of it.
How frustrating was it to not be on the field last year? You haven’t played a playoff game since Glendale in 2007. How did it feel not being out there last year?
WW: It was tough. It was definitely hard to watch, especially the way the game went. I am definitely excited to be out there and these are the types of games you play for. This is what you spend all year getting ready for and you want to go out there and put your best foot forward.
Can you put a number on how much Darrelle Revis was covering you on the Dec. 6th game? It seemed significantly more than the first game.
WW: It was definitely a little more. I don’t really know a number. It was quite a bit, especially any time they did any sort of man coverages and things like that. It seemed to be a lot more, so you’ve got to be ready for everything and study film on everybody, and make sure you are definitely ready for him and you’ve got to bring it every play because he is a great player. He’s got great feet, he moves around well and [he] does some good things out there.
What makes Revis as good as he is?
WW: I think he is very patient. He has good feet. He moves around really well. He understands the game. He gets his hands on you pretty well, understands what you’re trying to do to him, so he definitely is a tough guy to really set up and get open against. You’ve got to be on top of your game and make sure that you’re doing everything possible to get open.
What has Deion Branch brought to the offense?
WW: Deion is such a great player and such a great teammate. The guy is tough to cover. He does a lot of great things out there – he runs some really good routes. Tom [Brady] trusts him and they are kind of on the same page. He is another guy with great feet and he can really move around and do some great things out there.
You guys were on such an impressive role heading into the last 5 – 6 weeks of the season, how do you guys feel you will handle the bye week, are you afraid that you have lost any momentum at all?
WW: To be honest with you, I feel like our practices have almost simulated a game as well as we could have. We really got after it during the bye week and even this week of really concentrating and practicing hard and making sure that every play, even in practice… you never know when you will get the chance to run it again before the game, so you want to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward out there and making it happen.
How does the playoff atmosphere translate to practices this week of preparation, do you sense it?
WW: Yeah, absolutely. [We’re] really moving forward and we’re going out there being good little foot soldiers. We are making sure we are going out there doing everything coach [Belichick] asks us to do: making plays and doing everything necessary to get ready for the game.