Monday, September 17, 2012

Belichick's Beli-esque account of Welker/Edelman


The NFL's leader in receptions from a season ago was healthy Sunday. That doesn't mean he got to start.

Wes Welker (pictured) didn't see the field until the end of the first quarter, watching his likely successor Julian Edelman start in his place. Welker's entrance to the 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals was prompted by tight end Aaron Hernandez getting taken out to injury.

In fact, Edelman was on the field opposite Brandon Lloyd in nearly all of the Patriots' two-receiver sets.

"We have different combinations of personnel groups out there in every game, all the time, pretty much every week," Patriots coach Bill Belichick told the media Monday. "That’s pretty much the way we run our offense and we have for quite awhile.

"The players that we have out there are the ones that we feel are best for that particular play, situation, however you want to look at it. That’s the way we set up the plays, the offense, when they’re called then we put that group out there. Whatever is out there is what we feel is best for our team for that time, for that play, for that situation. "

Welker went on to lead the Patriots in receiving yards with 95, so it's easy to shrug off Edelman's apparent move up the depth chart. But everything the Patriots do is calculated, and something like this could very well be beyond simple "personnel" and "situational" decisions.

Welker is playing on the franchise tag because he and the organization were not able to agree on a new deal.

By starting Edelman over Welker, the Patriots could already be preparing for life without Welker.

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