CBS Sports broadcaster Phil Simms, who appeared on WEEI's "Dale & Holley Show" on Tuesday morning, said he and the others in the broadcast booth Sunday learned of Wes Welker’s benching just a minute or two before they went on the air.
He said they learned the news when someone overheard talk on the field that Welker would be benched for the game’s first offensive possession.
“It was kind of by accident how we found out,” said Simms. “Somebody heard somebody talking on the field and we then looked into it, and it was verified, so that’s why we said it, that they were going to hold him out."
Simms, who acknowledged that he’s known coach Bill Belichick since 1979 when they both joined the New York Giants, added that he wasn’t surprised by the move.
“I thought when Wes Welker did his tongue-in-cheek thing about Rex Ryan this past week, I thought, well, OK, he must have gotten the OK to go out and kind of attack the Jets a little bit, but apparently he did not have that OK so he paid the price.”
When asked if he thought Belichick could have handled the discipline in another way, Simms said, “Well, you know, it’s whatever program he has built up there, so if that’s how he deals with it and if he thinks it’s appropriate, then I have no problem with it.
“It didn’t surprise me," he added. "Once I heard , I went, whoa, OK, he did not like the interview and this is how he’s going to discipline Wes Welker. You know, it sends a message.”