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Thu., Apr. 02, 2015 11:55 AM to 2:00 PM EDT
Thu., Apr. 02, 2015 2:00 PM to 11:59 PM EDT
Fri., Apr. 03, 2015 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM EDT
Wes Welker Press Conference Transcript
WW: They're a great team - they wouldn't be in this spot if they weren't. They do some great things out there. Their defense, they cause a lot of turnovers, they do a lot of great things out there. They run to the football, they tackle well, they cover well, they rush well, they do a lot of things well. Across the board they're just a great football team - that's why they're in the position they're in and why they were the number two seed going in. We definitely have our hands full with these guys.
Q: Have you gotten a chance to look at them yet? Are you behind scouting-wise?
WW: I wouldn't say I'm behind. I'm going to get started as soon as I get done right here and get a head start on these guys and make sure I'm ready and focused and prepared and everything I can be to be ready for this game.
Q: What makes someone like Ed Reed so talented?
WW: His range, the great player that he is and [has] been for so long; the big interception at a critical, critical point in the game that he had this last week. Anytime you have a guy back there like him, you're always weary of throwing the ball deep and letting the ball hang in the air too much or anything else. The guy is a phenomenal player and he'll make you pay for it.
Q: What are your recollections of that 2009 playoff game against the Ravens?
WW: Wasn't too good of thoughts definitely during that game only watching but I'll be able to play and things like that. That was then and this is a total new year, a total new team, total new everything. We just have to go into it prepared and make sure we're ready and play much better this time around.
Q: Has the two tight ends opened up more room for you because of the attention they're getting?
WW: I feel like it's been the same as what it has been. I'm just trying to do my job out there. Those two guys are phenomenal players and at some point the defense is going to realize how good they are and it's definitely going to open up things for me and vice versa and everything else. We all are together in this and all play together and all play our role.
Q: Can you talk about what playoff experience means? You guys have a lot of core guys who have experience but also a lot of new guys. How might that factor in the rest of the playoffs?
WW: I don't know. I don't know how much you can really put into that. I think it just depends on the player. Playoff experience or not, I would say the Steelers were definitely a team that had a lot of playoff experience and Denver was probably a team that didn't and they were able to come away with a win. I don't know if we put too much really into that and understand that I think both teams have playoff experience. I don't know how much we can really put into that. Just understand that we have to go out there and play our best football that we can and whatever happens from there, hopefully it's enough.
Q: Are you surprised it took you this long to get back to the AFC Championship Game and does it give you a greater appreciation?
WW: Yeah, there's no question. Definitely after the '07 year, I thought we'd be going to the Super Bowl every year and that's just not the way it works. It's hard to get to a position like this. You definitely have to take full advantage of it and not take it for granted and I'm definitely not going to do that.
Q: How tough was it for you to watch that game in 2009 when you were hurt? Was it emotional to see your team play without being out there?
WW: I mean, yeah, it's always tough when your team is out there playing and you're not able to, especially in the playoffs. We had such a good year that year and wanting to help my team and things like that. I'm just glad it's behind me. I'm glad it's over and I'm in the position I'm in to be able to play in this game and hopefully make the most of my opportunity.
Q: How would you describe their defensive style of play?
WW: Very attacking type defense. They're very physical, they run to the football really well, they rush well, cover well, tackle well across the board. They have a lot of great players and a lot of playmakers that make a lot of plays out there.
Q: How much different is it to watch the Ravens yesterday on TV as opposed to watching on coaches' film? Can you gain anything from watching yesterday?
WW: Not really, you're just kind of watching the game more than anything and kind of seeing what happens and maybe pick up things here and there but for the most part it's a different shot so you're able to watch all the players from their perspective, from their positions and be able to see everything. It is a little bit different, being able to rewind back and see a guy's footwork or leverage or different things like that.
Q: What's the mindset of the team as you all come back to work today?
WW: That we need to get back to work. We had a good performance this weekend and we're going to have to repeat that and even do more to have a chance this weekend. That's kind of our mindset of understanding that we have to play really well this week in order to win the game.
Q: Were you surprised that Aaron Hernandez was the leading rusher on Saturday? Can you talk to his versatility and Julian Edelman being able to play different spots?
WW: Yeah, we have a lot of good players on this team and Aaron is definitely one of them. The way he can do different things like that, he's so good with the ball in his hands of making guys miss and doing those different things. Julian as well, coming in and playing receiver or DB or whatever. It's a team concept and we understand that whatever we have to do to help the team win is what everybody stands by and what we have to do.
Q: Can you explain your celebration after your touchdown?
WW: It was just like a little something that I kind of did. A fan kind of gave me the idea so I went ahead and went for it.
Q: What's the reaction when you see a new wrinkle added in practice, such as Aaron Hernandez at running back?
WW: You're excited about it. You know it's probably a good mix-up thing for us to do and kind of switch it up on the defense and maybe something they're not ready for. He does a great job of when he gets the ball in his hands; he usually does something with it.
Q: How enjoyable was the up-tempo offense and the quick start you had?
WW: It was good to see. We understand that this is the playoffs and it's a one-game season and we have to get in there early and make sure that we're scoring early and put ourselves in a good position. That's what we have to do. It was good to see this past week and we have to keep that up.
Q: What are some of the things in your experience that go into knowing when to go for the no-huddle as opposed to slowing it down?
WW: I think it just depends on the game and depends on the situation and depends on how we're doing, what we're having success with and what we need to do. I think our coaches do a good job of finding the times that work well for that and the times that don't and just kind of going from there. Being able to run the ball and do different things like that is always a great thing and it's always good to mix that in there.
Q: Do your skill position guys enjoy playing the no-huddle? I know the offensive linemen may not be crazy about that pace.
WW: Whatever we have to do to move the ball. It tires us out too but at the same time, whatever we have to do to move the ball, that's what we're there for and what we're planning on trying to do.