Rex Ryan: Glad Welker is gone

PHOENIX -- Wes Welker's defection from New England to Denver is one of the big free-agent stories in the NFL this offseason, and so it was no surprise that it was a topic of dicussion at multiple tables at the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday.

Thanks to ESPN.com NFC East reporter Dan Graziano, who was with Jets coach Rex Ryan, here are Ryan's thoughts:

"I'm glad Wes is not there. I'm not kidding. That guy was a pain in the tail. I hated Wes Welker. Just kidding. Kind of. I admire him. I'm a huge fan of Wes Welker's, but I'm glad he's gone.

"Now, they bring in a guy who's very similar, who went to the same school, a guy I know Wes Welker helped mentor. Will he have the same success as Wes Welker? We'll see. Wes Welker had historical success.

"He's unbelievable. Just a great route-runner. He doesn't run but maybe five routes, but you can't cover him. So talented, so tough, he's like a running back when he catches the football, and Brady and him were on the same page all the time.

"... I think Wes Welker's a better athlete than people give him credit for. I think he does things other people at that position don't do. I think that's a really underrated aspect of Wes Welker."