ESPN analyst and former teammate Tedy Bruschi sat down with Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker about his relationship with Bill Belichick, differences between the locker rooms in New England and Denver, similarities between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and more (video above). Here’s a partial Q&A:
Bruschi: Any hard feelings about the way things ended in New England?
Welker: "No, not at all. It's part of it. It’s the way the business model is set up. It's the way things go in pro sports these days. There's no hard feelings."
Bruschi: In an interview shortly after you signed with the Broncos, you mentioned Belichick was still in the back of your mind when you were answering questions. Are you over that?
Welker: "That was early on in the offseason, so you know how you’ve been ingrained being there for so long, ‘say this, say that,’ it’s just a way of thinking, the way you go about things. It was kind of weird. It was an honest quote at the time.”
Bruschi: Was there an immediate difference going from the Patriots' locker room to the Broncos' locker room?
Welker: "Yeah, absolutely. I think it's just different as far as the media in general. You have 15 reporters [in New England] trying to get you to slip up, just even a little bit, while in Denver it's a little bit of a different feel."
Bruschi: What’s the biggest similarity between Brady and Manning?
Welker: "One of the key things they really do is keep their teammates accountable. They do a great job of staying on top of guys and yelling when they need to, and lifting guys when they need to, and having private talks with guys when they need to. It's all those things that make a great quarterback."
Bruschi: Do you still have a good relationship with Belichick?
Welker: "I think so."
Bruschi: When you see Bill on Sunday night and there's a possible interaction, is it the head nod, is it the handshake, is it the hug or is it nothing?
Welker (laughing): "I think whatever the most awkward situation that could possibly happen, that’s probably what it's going to be."