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Welker had to 'endure' Belichick

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker runs

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker runs out of the tackle of Baltimore Ravens free safety Ed Reed during the first half. (Jan. 20, 2013) Credit: AP

Wes Welker spent most of his six seasons with the Patriots watching every word he said, lest he incur the wrath of disciplinarian coach Bill Belichick. But these days, the Broncos’ new slot receiver has been liberated from those constraints, and he’s talking freely about his time in New England, which he says wasn’t always so hot.

Welker tells Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballard that Belichick often called the receiver out in front of the team.

“It was just kind of hard, one of those deals where you have to endure him, put up with him. . . .But he does it to everybody, it’s the way he is,” Welker said. Belichick is still inside Welker’s head, in fact.

“When I’m answering questions from the Denver media, I’m not worried about what the Broncos’ people are going to think,” he said. “I’m worried about what Belichick will think. Isn’t that crazy?”

Welker also opened up on a number of other topics.

On becoming a free agent in the off-season: “There were only two places I was going to play [Denver and New England], in my mind

On Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who he didn’t like at first: “He was very intense, wanted it done a certain way and was like, You can’t do it a different way.”

On adjusting to the Broncos’ offense: “In New England, if the middle of the field was closed, I’d run a seam route. It’s something I’ve been doing for six years now, so I have to teach my brain to do it the way he’s [Manning] expecting me to do it ... At the end of the day you run it the way he wants it, or he won’t throw it to you."

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