“It was just kind of hard. One of those deals where you have to endure him, put up with him. But he does it to everybody, it’s the way he is.”
– Wes Welker, wide receiver, Denver Broncos, on coach Bill Belichick
While the contest between the Denver Broncos and the New England was billed as the ultimate battle between two quarterbacks, with much fanfare, for one man, there was another wager in play on this matchup. Revenge. Some online football wagering fans thought the handshake at the end of the game between the two star quarterbacks seemed awfully tame. The same may not apply to a private meeting between Wes Welker and his former boss, Bill Belichick. Publicly, both men put on a good show. Prior to the game, the Patriots presented a tribute to Welker on the stadium’s big screen.
But according to a YouWager news source, Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker might have had more personal issues at stake in the Broncos/Patriots game than the record book rivalry between the dueling quarterbacks. Welker’s split from the Patriots was not entirely amicable, apparently. Welker says he still has a special place in his heart for the fans in Boston, and some of his former teammates. But Welker admits that his relationship with New England’s head coach, Bill Belichick, fell apart. Rather than re-sign with the Patriots, for two more years, and 10 million, Welker went to Denver for 12. He says it wasn’t just the money.
Under Belichick, from 2007 to 2012 Welker had the most receptions in the history of the franchise with 672 catches. It’s the most productive run, for 6 NFL football wagering seasons, in the history of the league. But Welker told YouWager’s source that Belichick “got on him.” He said that Belichick even reprimanded him in front of the other players, and after tying the record for the most receptions in Super Bowl history, Welker said he did not appreciate that. Welker described Belichick to YouWager’s source as inflexible. “He was very intense, wanted it done a certain way and was like, ‘You can’t do it a different way,’ ” Welker said.
Belichick still scares Welker.
Welker admitted that although he is now technically free to speak his mind about the New England Patriots, and no longer under orders from Belichick, it does occur to him that his remarks may get back to his former head coach. He told YouWager’s source, “When I’m answering questions from the Denver media, I’m not worried about what the Broncos’ people are going to think. I’m worried about what Belichick will think. Isn’t that crazy?”
Welker did say he misses working with Tom Brady, a close friend. Being on a new team, after several seasons with another one, is an adjustment, he says. Online oddsmakers have studied Welker’s work for the Broncos, and charted his progress. Welker admits that navigating Denver’s offense has been challenging. “In New England,” he said, “if the middle of the field was closed, I’d run a seam route. It’s something I’ve been doing for six years now, so I have to teach my brain to do it the way Manning is expecting me to do it. At the end of the day you run it the way he wants it, or he won’t throw it to you.”
Many Internet sportsbook bettors would prefer to define ‘closure’ as the process of winning a wager on a game. For Welker, closure is an emotional concept. His version involves winning football games, too. After the game, Belichick was pleasant with his ex receiver, out on the field. Welker told YouWager’s source, “He came over and he was like, you know, ‘Good job, we’ll see you all again, I’m sure. They’re a good football team. And we think we’re pretty good, too. We’ve just got to play better.”
Welker wished the experience had been a sweeter one. A payoff. “Probably would have been a lot better closure if we would have won,” he said