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10/08/2012 - 4:08pm
Welker on Belichick jab: 'It was a joke'
By: DJ Bean

FOXBORO -- Speaking Monday at Gillette Stadium, Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker elaborated on his comment following Sunday's win that it was "nice to stick it in Bill [Belichick]'s face" with his 13-catch performance against the Broncos. 

"I mean, it was a joke," Welker said. "I don't know what else to say about it. It was a joke. Bill and I, whether y'all believe it or not, have a good relationship and it was a joke. I'll make sure to keep that in-house going forward."

Welker, who is playing this season under the franchise tag, said that given his situation it's hard for him to say anything without it receiving extra attention. 

"Yeah, obviously, so you've just got to be careful with what you say," Welker said. "Bill does a good job of challenging us and being a great coach and doing things necessary that he needs to do. I made a joke about it, and it won't happen again."

...

10/08/2012 - 1:57pm
Belichick on Welker: 'You should ask him'
By: DJ Bean

FOXBORO -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about receiver Wes Welker's comment about "sticking it" in the coach's face with his 13-catch performance Sunday, a comment Belichick said he hadn't heard.

Appearing on Comcast SportsNet's postgame show, Welker was asked about catching his increased targets and numbers compared to earlier in the season. 

"Yeah, it's kind of nice to stick it in Bill's face once in a while," Welker replied with a wink. "So this is definitely a good one."

When Belichick was asked whether he took exception with Welker's comment, he responded, "No, I didn't really see the comment though."

When the reporter tried to explain what Welker had said, Belichick responded, "You should ask him what he meant by it."

For more on the Patriots, visit weei.com/patriots

 

10/08/2012 - 1:20pm
Veteran Kevin Faulk to retire Tuesday

Patriots running back Kevin Faulk will announce his retirement in a ceremony at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. The 36-year-old, who played 13 seasons with New England, will retire as the franchise’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards (12,349) return yards (5,041) and kick return yards (4,098).

“Of course, it was a difficult decision, but it wasn’t something that was difficult because I knew this day was coming,” Faulk told WEEI.com on Monday afternoon. “The tough part is knowing that I’m done playing football forever now.”

Faulk, who was selected in the second round of the 1999 draft by the Patriots, set numerous rushing and all-purpose yardage records at LSU. Over the next 13 seasons, Faulk helped the Patriots claim nine division titles, five conference crowns and three Super Bowl championships.

A versatile presence out of the backfield, over the...

10/08/2012 - 10:48am
Branch on M&M: 'Wes is a clown'

Patriots receiver Deion Branch joined Mut & Merloni on Monday to talk about Sunday's 31-21 victory over the Broncos and the latest chapter in the alleged falling-out between fellow receiver Wes Welker and coach Bill Belichick.

Welker turned some heads Sunday night when he made a wisecrack about his relationship with Belichick. Welker, whose playing time was limited in the opening game of the season, caught 13 passes Sunday. Asked about it on CSNNE's postgame show, Welker said with a smirk and a wink: "Yeah, it's kind of nice to stick it in Bill's face once in a while. So this is definitely a good one."

Branch laughed when the clip was played for him and said he didn't think Belichick would take it seriously.

"That's Wes, though," Branch said. "I don't think coach will think too much of it. That's Wes. Wes is a clown, man. That's Wes. … That's Wes, man. And coach Belichick knows that."

Looking...

10/08/2012 - 10:34am
Francona: 'Didn't come here to go to pasture'

At his introduction as the new manager of the Indians, Terry Francona dismissed the idea that he was motivated to take the job in Cleveland in part by the idea that it wasn't the same critical environment as his previous managerial stops in Boston (from 2004-11) and Philadelphia (1997-2000). 

"I didn't come here to go to pasture. I was either going to work here or go back and work at ESPN. I came here because I'm not afraid of a challenge," Francona said. "I thought I was treated very well by the media in Boston. ... I had no complaints about that. Maybe one." 

The former Red Sox manager suggested that 2012, during which he worked as an ESPN analyst, was "an important year" that gave him an opportunity to replenish his energy for managing. 

"Quite frankly, I think I lost maybe a little bit of perspective. Taking a year back, it's not easy to accept the fact that you need to,...

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