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My opinion: Welker is now closer to mediocrity than stardom

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by Ice_Ice_Brady, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady Rookie

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    I'm sure I will be accused of sour grapes from plenty of people on here, and let me start by saying that Wes Welker is one of my all-time favorite Patriots, and in addition to that, I'm usually the person who accuses others of being homers, including the preseason gloom-and-doom posts about the Broncos. The Broncos sure have an awesome offense this year, but more of it has to do with the emergence of Julius Thomas and the continued playbook mastery of Peyton Manning.

    I have watched both games this season, and I can tell you that Welker is not the same player he was in New England. He is significantly slower, seems to have shriveled up in his pass radius, and I even noted a few alligator arms plays to avoid hits. I am aware that he had an ankle injury and it still may be nagging, but in New England he was never this slow, despite multiple nagging injuries nor even after his ACL tear (the recovery lasted through the the 2010 season.)

    All in all, my eyes tell me that Welker lacks the burst he once had, and by the typical curve of wide receivers, he'll be a Stokley-esque nobody in two years, and maybe much sooner (by the end of this season.) With all of the criticism heaped on the Patriots for not re-signing him, there was little talk that there was virtually no market for a receiver with tons of mileage, a small body, approaching the breakdown age for all WRs. And they go fast.

    You may point to his three touchdown grabs, ignoring that on all of them, it was more the power of Manning conning the defense with all of his big red zone targets, with Welker slipping out uncovered.

    The stats:

    Welker is averaging 5.6 yards per target. I use this stat quite often in evaluating players, as it typically doesn't lie. A star player, such as Calvin Johnson or Gronk or Moss in 07 typically average 10-11. Great players average 9-10. Brandon Lloyd averaged about 7 last season. 5.6- this isn't just below average- it's below starting WR quality, and in that offense? His longest play of the season has been for 20 yards.

    You might say that this is a small sample size, and you are correct, but I'm certain about what my eyes have told me watching those first two games. At 32, and 780 catches, Wes Welker is on a rapid decline. Yes, he will still have some good games here and there and make the Broncos a bit better (and I sure wouldn't mind having him here), but he is closer to mediocrity than he is to stardom at this point in his career.

    That being said, he still may get his ring with Manning, and the signing sure would have been worth it for both parties. My point is limited solely to his quickly eroding football skills at this point in his career.

    Have at it, then... I'll take my beating....
  2. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Do you think catching passes in the end zone might limit his yards/target? I'll take the points. In fact, WW's 3 TDs overwhelm the Pats 2 for 8 red zone ineffectiveness.
  3. SVN

    SVN Rookie

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    Not sure what to read into it but he is perfect for that team which 2-3 other weapons to go with and tamme is not even playing yet. He doesnt have to be the guy. In NE outside of the TE's he was the go to guy in recent yrs. We never developed another WR which made pats go to him repeatedly in clutch times but without help (no gronk in playoffs for example) he couldnt alone help the team. Same happened in 2007 SB. Giants shutdown moss and welker had a record # of catches I believe.But he needs complimentary receivers and he maybe more effective in this role.
  4. BrickPat

    BrickPat Rookie

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    Not unreasonable observations on your part but 80% of the "old Welker version" would help many teams including the Pats.


    BTW can we next look forward to a stat driven post about DA's durability or lack thereof?


    (sorry couldn't resist)
  5. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady Rookie

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    If you take out the TDs, his average is 6.06- still way below where he was. And everyone's YPT accounts for the short TDs as well.

    I don't think Welker would single handedly improve the Patriots red zone effectiveness. Amendola and Edelman performed every bit as well as Welker (remember they were doubled the whole game because of a lack of other credible threats.) Welker lacks the size to be a red zone threat except in an offense like Denver, where he literally an afterthought to the real RZ targets.
  6. ALP

    ALP Rookie

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    signing Danny was the much better move, especially now that we know he has chemistry w/ brady

    he just needs to be healthy (and admittedly this isnt a good start)
  7. strngplyr

    strngplyr Rookie

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    Manning will almost always be trying to hit Decker or Thomas for the big play first, using Welker as his safety valve, like most QB's would use the RB. Welker is almost a 4th option behind their outside WR's and gem of a TE, despite the number of targets.

    I'll admit I haven't watched every snap of Denver's offense, but that which I have seen I don't think I've seen them send Welker on anything more than a drag route 5 yards off the LOS or the quick passes into the flats in the End Zone.
  8. SVN

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    Pats problems go beyond the redzone right now. I will agree he can help us but only WW with the same other crew we have will again fail when good defenses take him or any help he has out of the game.He is a great WR but nothing wrong to say he needed help here and when gronk missed two crucial playoff games, he alone couldnt carry this team.
    Even now if our WR becomes great by Nov/Dec , good defenses in playoffs will take out DA and gronk and see if the rookies can win it. The challenge remains the same . Personally I feel,the pats mess is lack of development of ANY WR in last few yrs rather than letting welker go.
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Edelman wasn't doubled and Edelman was not close to as effective as Welker was. He caught ineffective passes, because that was what he had to catch. Welker caught effective passes.
  10. nowayback

    nowayback Rookie

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    Agreed ! WW 3rec on 8 targets. Only watched the 1st half had at least 3 drops of easy passes....1 a little behind. Looked slow, actually alien from what I remember here. BB did the right thing, Pata have always been about trying to look ahead, not just for this season. They took a chance....and what was the chance....AH, Amendola(Edelman) work a rookie into the lineup. Gronk week 3-4, Ballard,Sudfeld. Things dont always go like we want.

    I often wonder why it is we know more then the coaches?..oh yea...hindsight
  11. RobAllan

    RobAllan Rookie

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    Welker is still Welker. Just in a different offense. One that is both new to him (we keep forgetting to include this fact) and one that is also less dependent on him catching the ball every darn significant down.

    Remember, he's been leading the league because after Moss' departure, NE hasn't had an outside threat. We're like checkdown city with him and the TEs.

    So I'm calling sour grapes, albeit well thought out ones.
  12. BrickPat

    BrickPat Rookie

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    +1

    Other than DA shockingly getting hurt in the pre season and shockingly getting re injured in Game 1 it's definitely proved to be the much better move so far.
  13. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If he doesn't drop the game clinching pass in the SB it certainly would be.
    Perhaps we see how the season goes before deciding.
    I know that so far letting Welker walk has cost us zero losses.
  14. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He's been on his new team for 2 weeks. In much the same way that we're not judging Dobson, Thompkins, or Amendola yet, I'd suggest holding off for Welker as well.

    Welker has had issues with drops/ball security so far, but that shouldn't come as a surprise to Pats fans, since we've watching him closely enough to know that that's been an issue for a couple of season now.

    Re: yards per target; Welker's will always be low because his role is to get open as quickly as possible and move the chains. Especially in Denver's offense now. As long as he's moving the chains, I doubt they even care too much about YPT.
  15. borg

    borg Rookie

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    WW has 12 catches....3 for TDs...the remaining 9 catches were all for first downs. Some afterthought. I love your analysis though. It's as if teams just ignore WW and the ball mistaken winds up in his arms in the end zone by accident.
  16. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I must admit, Welker does look to have lost a step but his skills are still exquisite. That said, I hope his loss doesn't come back to bite the Patriots.

    It hasn't taken long for the inevitable Welker - Amendola comparison to look like a poor short term decision for the Patriots. Sports hernia injuries are nothing to be laughed at given their ongoing and referred effects.
  17. Gumby

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    i only watched the donkeys-gints game; but...

    agree on the 4th option and the OP about him seeming slower (more covered / almost invisible until they started wearing the giants down).

    On (your) 2d bolded pt; i did see ww take one slot play up the seam, think it was his one 20-yd catch someone mentioned. he was fast enough there on that play, but not explosive... more cut fast, than speed fast.
  18. SVN

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    Welker alone instead of amendola right now on our team wouldnt make us a SB team. That is my point. We will be happy with wins and him making clutch catches and getting first downs but we cant win with him + same inffective receiving core in the playoffs especially without gronk. We couldve kept the same offense from last and played the playoff again without gronk and still wouldve lost. Pats need an outside WR to complement anyone playing WR's role. I will say the same thing about a healthy DA. He cant carry us if our rookies dont develop. Short term will be fine, better teams will shut us down.
  19. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Since I have already been killed for saying things negative about Welker, I guess I will jump into the discussion.

    The drops by Welker have to be concerning for the Broncos. He led the league in dropped passes last year and on pace for even more this year. If you count the dropped punt and the drop in the first game that the refs credited him with a catch even though he clearly dropped it and Harbaugh should have challenged, he has dropped 5 balls in two games.

    He is a bit slower now. And Manning is going to get him killed (Welker dropped one pass because he alligator armed because if he caught it, he would have gotten creamed because Manning threw a pass that the only way he could catch it was to take a major hit unprotected).

    That said, he is still a very good WR and could be an upgrade to this offense. I just don't think he would have been any better than Amendola week #1 or much better than Edelman week #2. In fact, Amendola catches balls that Welker can't catch anymore.

    Welker helps make the Broncos' offense better, but his impact has been overstated. I think Julius Thomas has had more of an impact than Welker.
  20. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Rookie

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    In regards to actual impact on defensive scheming, he's Stokley-esque at this point.

    He could have a decent-to-good season this year, primarily because all of the attention is going to be focused on the Thomases and Decker. In terms of defensive gameplanning, Welker is an afterthought.
  21. scout

    scout Rookie

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    If Welker continues to play like the first two games, he might lead the league in drops. That doesn't even take into account his fumble on that punt inside the 10. He might have good stats for TD catches, yards, etc., but he is dropping a lot of passes. And yes, that was without a case of alligator arms in the last game, just sayin.
  22. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Welker gets open way, way faster than Stokley ever could. If defenses treat him as an afterthought, then they'll end up giving up 4-5 more first downs per game than they would otherwise.
  23. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    On a team with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, et al, Wes Welker has been drawing double coverage, bracket coverage and the opponent's best cover defender, in an effort to stop him. While that SHOULD tell people here all they need to know, it'll be ignored or belittled, just like the 3 TDs and all the first downs, because he had an off game for a new team in terms of a couple of drops.

    The "per target" sleight of hand was a nice touch, though.

    BTW, in 2007, WWW had three catches or fewer in 3 games. He had one in '08, one in '09, three in '10, one in '11 and two in '12. In other words, this has happened before, and it happens every season, despite his consistently catching 100+ passes a season since moving on from Miami.

    It's pathetic that this fan base is so petty about former players.
  24. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'd have to agree with this analysis. DEN improved their slot/quick timing routes with the addition of Welker, and he certainly demands attention from both coaches and players during the week.

    In the bigger picture, I can totally agree with the OP's premise that Welker may be deteriorating and that he may not be able to produce as much in the long term, but he is still extremely durable and was definitely worth keeping around for 2 more years.

    I'm happy that we got our #2 choice (or possibly Belichick's #1 choice), but Welker would still be a great player here throughout the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

    It is what it is, and it's time to move on.
  25. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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    What is your agenda with respect to Welker? I ask because the above is just illiterate nonsense. Edelman's 9 yard catch on third and 5 with 3 minutes left against the Jets was not "effective"? His two TD's against the Bills were not "effective"? Do you read what you write?

    Just watch the games. Wes is the 4th option on his team. He's still a nice player, I'd like to have him, but not at $5m/year. As compared with Edelman, Edelman gives you the same short area quickness but the higher likelihood of the big play. Wes probably runs a 4.8 40 right about now. He is great at catching 5 yard passes directly into his body against Nickel CBs and linebackers and maybe getting 3 or 4 yards after the catch. Not much else at this point.
  26. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    :rofl:



    ......... No.
  27. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Rookie

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    In terms of how teams will diversify their coverage assignments, Welker is the least likely of their pass catchers to receive any extra attention in terms of bracket coverage. From a gameplanning perspective, it's not that much different than Stokley last year.

    His impact will be minimized because he's not a big-play offensive threat, and no team will treat him as such. The way teams will defend the Broncos will make Welker seem like very much of an afterthought in terms of scheming. Stopping D. Thomas, J. Thomas, Decker are bigger priorities.

    If it's between stopping Welker or those other guys, which do you think an NFL defensive coordinator is more concerned with? Most likely, teams will go with the lesser of two evils.
  28. Gronkandez

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    Exactly what I was going to say. He was about to get Jacked up. Also, his arm are actually the size of an alligators arms so, not sure you can criticize him for that.
    Additionally, even if he isn't what he was, for what he's making he is still a bargain. I actually think they made the right move on paper, but its a gamble with da's health. I was critical of WW last year but kept it to myself bc if you criticize a current player on this board you get killed for it. On the other hand once a guy leaves everyone piles on.
  29. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Whilst I agree that some factions of the fan base are petty when it comes to former players you're allowing your disposition toward Welker to cloud your judgement. From my observations, Welker was rarely double teamed against Baltimore where Denver had 2 100 yard receivers both scoring multiple touchdowns. It was so very obvious that Julius Thomas commanded double coverage after half time against the Ravens. Further to that, you're putting forward that Welker was being double teamed against the Giants where that is a marginal comment at best. The coverage was being rolled toward Demaryius Thomas because Thomas is a home run threat every single offensive snap.

    Now, all that said Welker looks to have lost a step but that doesn't matter because he's still a damn fine player and chain mover. The Broncos look good but we already expected that. At this point in the season, the Patriots are 2-0 and the Broncos are 2-0.
  30. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No, I'm not. I've defended other former players, as well. We've seen this same crap happen regarding Asante, for example, and I've defended him, even though I was one getting bashed for not calling him a top 5 (top 10?) CB when he was on the Patriots.

    From my observations, as well as the observations of both radio and tv broadcast crews, what I stated I've seen is what I've seen.

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