John Elway stepped up to the blue podium with two Broncos helmets facing opposite directions on the side of it.
“I’ll say yesterday went by rather quickly,” Elway said. “Once we got into talks, we were able to get it done relatively quickly and we’re thrilled that Wes (Welker) wanted to come to Denver….We talked about it on the phone that he brings great experience playing in the playoffs. He’s been there so many times with the Patriots that he’s got an extreme amount of experience in the playoffs, and that’s also going to help us.”
Elway talking about bringing in guys with playoff experience tells you that the wound is still fresh. Elway wants to win now. It turns out Wes Welker does too.
“That I want to win,” Welker said of his pitch to Elway. “That above everything. We’d figure out the money part and all that stuff later, but that winning was a big thing for me.”
In all honesty, Welker’s pitch basically came from his body of work. In the last six years with the New England Patriots, Welker had 672 receptions for 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also has 241 punt returns for 2,417 yards and 183 kickoff returns for 4,138 yards in his career.
It looks like Gisele Bundchen has a crystal ball. Now Tom Brady will need to throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.
“That was definitely probably the hardest part, leaving Tom,” Welker said. “He’s a great competitor, great player, great friend across the board. I wish the best for him.”
Welker said that as the free agency process got underway, he texted with Bill Belichick a little. Since inking the deal with the Broncos, he has not heard anything from his former coach.
Welker has been in touch with Peyton Manning.
“[He's] just excited to have me, and I’m looking forward to working with him,” Welker said of their discussion over text.
It wasn’t just Elway and Manning that drew Welker to Denver. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker were big draws as well for the 5’9″, 185-pound receiver out of Texas Tech.
“I think they were another big part of me wanting to come here, just their styles and watching them on film and how good of young receivers they are,” Welker said. “I think it’s a good starting point for all of us. They did a great job last year, and hopefully I can just come in and try and help out.”
The Broncos play the Patriots in New England this season. Expect an extra Belichick scowl or two toward the Broncos’ bench.