Wes Welker has been in the NFL for eight seasons, but he’s feeling like a rookie once again.
Welker is in his first week of OTAs (organized training activities) with the Denver Broncos, and apparently learning a new system and playbook is taking him back to his first days in the league, according to Lindsay Jones of USA Today.
“It’s almost like being a rookie again,” Welker said. “Basically just going to flash cards, drawing everything out, writing everything out. Mentally, I do it in my mind, over and over and over, so when we get out there on the field, it’s a lot easier.”
Welker has always been a very hard worker, so it’s no surprise that he is going back to basics to get acclimated to his new quarterback, Peyton Manning, and his new offensive system in Denver. With a great supporting cast of receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, Welker knows he may not haul in 118 passes like he did in 2012. But he’s fine with his numbers dipping as long as the Broncos’ offense is running smooth.
“I hope they [his statistics] do, because that means we’re doing really well as an offense,” Welker said.
Welker also touched on the Broncos trying to speed up their offensive sets next season, similar to what Tom Brady and the Patriots did when averaging 74 offensive snaps per game last season.
“Playing faster, there definitely are advantages to it,” Welker said. “Mentally, you’re thinking about the signals and the plays, and physically you’re running up and down and getting set. And then seeing the defense and everything that happens and reacting. It’s definitely challenging, and it’s challenging for the defense as well. When you get it going fast, it’s tough.”
As for that difficult breakup in New England, Welker says that is all in the past.
“You can’t ever look like that. I don’t think too much about the past,” Welker said. “Everything is forward from here, and just helping the Broncos win.”
It’s a new chapter in the 31-year-old Pro Bowler’s career and he appears to be taking it like a veteran, even if he does feel like a rookie.
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