New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker warms up before...

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker warms up before an NFL football game in the AFC playoffs against the New York Jets. (Jan. 16, 2011) Credit: AP

Wes Welker admitted that he shouldn't have put his foot in his mouth during his news conference preceding the Jets' 28-21 victory over the Patriots in the AFC divisional playoffs.

Welker got creative, finding ways to slip in 10 references to either "feet," "foot" or "toes." It was the Patriots wide receiver's way of taking a few shots at Rex Ryan and attempting to needle the Jets coach after his alleged role in a foot fetish video.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick sat Welker, New England's leading receiver, for their entire first offensive series against the Jets in an apparent disciplinary act for Welker not toeing the line. Welker said he now regrets the stunt.

"Yeah, sure I do," he told the Boston Herald Monday as he waited in San Francisco for his flight that would take him to Hawaii for Sunday's Pro Bowl.

"I'm not going to get into any details about it, but I don't think it's worth putting Coach [Belichick] in that situation. So in a sense, I do regret it . . . As much as you might want to get enticed into that stuff, at the end of the day, it's just not worth it."

Welker's comments on Jan. 13 led to harsh criticism from Bart Scott a day later, when the Jets linebacker told Newsday: "I'll tell you what. Be very careful what you say about our coach. [Welker's] days in a uniform will be numbered. Put it like that."

Welker, who had seven receptions for 57 yards in the Jets' stunning win, appears to have learned a lesson about getting into a trash-talking competition with Ryan, Scott and the Jets.

"You know what, I think the best way to stick up for your teammate is on the field," he said. "I like the fact we don't get caught up in all that stuff. At the end of the day, it's about football. That's what it's supposed to be about. That's all that matters. It's concentrating on your job and what you do, and not concentrating on the riffraff that goes with all that other stuff. It's about the team and going out there and playing good football. And not getting caught up in all the media hype.

"It's just not worth it."

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