Coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will be talking about Wes Welker’s role this week. The star wide receiver is having trouble recording the yards and touchdowns he used to score in the past, but that is not entirely his mistake. As a matter of fact that is because of the new strategy Belichick has introduced to the Patriots.
These days it is tight end Rob Gronkowski who is filling his spot on the scoreboard. With his unorthodox, yet revolutionizing and effective game play, Gronkowski has become a household name for the Patriots. The cult figure has won over the hearts of his fans and instantly become the apple of Belichick’s eye. The youngster has been a top player on the charts since Week 6.
This has forced Welker, who has topped the charts 5 times in to sharing glory. Quarterback Tom Brady has also been affected by this. There was a point in time this season where Welker went up to Brady to tell him that he should pass him the ball every now and then. The fact of the matter is that Brady is coerced by Belichick’s tactics into playing the ball to Gronkowski, not that Brady is complaining about it.
Brady has actually shown desire to spread the ball equally. In a recent news conference Brady told media that he would love to pass the ball around but he had to think of the best plays he had on field. The Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs by 34-3 this Monday and Brady completed 15 of his 27 passes for 234 yard and 2 touchdowns. Gronkowski had another amazing night where he received 4 passes for 96 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. Welker had a quite night as he received only 2 passes for 22 yards.
Welker was clearly the unsung hero of the night. Welker failed to put his name on top of the stat sheet but he played a crucial role in building up plays. Belichick acknowledges that Welker has a very important role on the squad. Belichick also said that players weren’t evaluated for the amount of points they had placed on the board but if they had accomplished their task properly.
Belichick said, “We grade players in the game based on them doing their assignment right and performing their responsibility on the play properly - that's what they're graded on. Whatever a player is supposed to do - run a route, block somebody, whatever it happens to be - if they do what they're doing properly, that's really all they can do.”
Belichick added, “The opportunities that they get, then you can evaluate those. If those opportunities go to somebody else or the running play, the production is going to show up with the running back, not the guys who are blocking. That's the way it is. Wes, he does a good job for us; has done a good job all year in terms of his route running, his assignments, his blocking - pretty much whatever we ask him to do, we can count on him to do it and perform it well. He's done that consistently; he did it last night.”