Wes Welker on GHS admits he didn't have fun playing for Patriots at times: 'I just like enjoying the game'

Ryan Hannable
April 01, 2020 - 9:28 am
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Everyone remembers Wes Welker's departure from New England.

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After putting up tremendous numbers and being Tom Brady's most dependable wide receiver, Bill Belichick and Welker could not agree on a contract following the 2012 season and the wide out ultimately signed a two-year, $12 million deal with Denver.

Welker, who now is the 49ers' wide receivers coach, joined The Greg Hill Show Wednesday for Tom Brady Week and was asked about how he felt leaving New England.

At times during his career, Welker showed frustration with the Patriots' culture and Wednesday admitted there were some instances where he was not having fun. Leaving New England gave him at least a small feeling of some weight being lifted off his shoulders.

“Maybe a little bit," he said. "I was still upset about it. I did want to be there, but there was part of me — I just like enjoying the game. I like having fun, all those things. Coaching now, you learn a lot from the tactics and different things like that, but at the same time putting your own twist on it and understanding — I tell my guys all the time: ‘As long as we’re giving great effort and we’re on top of our assignments we’re going to be good. Once it’s not where we need to be, that is when we have problems.’

"Kind of being there and there’s a big mental aspect to the game of being prepared, being this, being that, all those different things, but also enjoying yourself and having fun playing the game. I feel like you’re playing your best ball when you’re having fun and enjoying (yourself).

“I think there were some times where I didn’t really feel that at times for different reasons — the guys that we had in the locker room, the camaraderie that we had was better some years than others. We had all these different things and when you’re one of the highest paid players on the team you’re expected to deliver and like a highly paid player. There’s definitely pressure on that and all these different things is tough and it’s hard. Coach Belichick is hard on guys and tries to get the most out of him that he can.”

Welker played for Belichick and the Patriots from 2017-12.

“The way he goes about it is there are no superstars," he said of Belichick. "Everybody has their role on that team. Everybody is going to get called out. There’s no preferential treatment and a lot of time calls out the star players a lot of time just to set the tone with the whole team. Like, ‘OK, he’s talking to Tom like that, well obviously he can talk to me  like that.’ Tom has such a great way about him of being able to take it even though it makes him mad and everything like that. He takes it and he keeps on going to work and improving and improving on his craft and everything else. Everybody else just has to fall in line.”

Over his six years with the Patriots, Welker had 672 receptions for 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns.

Related: Wes Welker via GHS wasn't surprised at Tom Brady leaving Patriots, knows he will want to prove people wrong