New England Patriots Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker told the Boston Herald on Monday that he regretted taking verbal shots at New York Jets coach Rex Ryan during the week leading into the teams' playoff meeting.
Welker made at least 10 foot references during a press conference two weeks ago in an attempt to rile up Ryan about his reported foot fetish. The Jets defeated the Patriots, 28-21, to advance to the AFC Championship Game.
"I'm not going to get into any details about it, but I don't think it's worth putting coach (Bill Belichick) in that situation," he said. "So in a sense, I do regret it. ... As much as you might want to get enticed into that stuff, at the end of the day, it's just not worth it."
Welker's salvos were in response to Jets players' pointed and, at times, profane name-calling directed toward Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
According to the Patriots' unwritten code of conduct, Welker's comments were a no-no, and Belichick sat his star receiver for the Patriots' first offensive series against the Jets.
"You know what, I think the best way to stick up for your teammate is on the field," Welker said. "I like the fact we don't get caught up in all that stuff. At the end of the day, it's about football. That's what it's supposed to be about. That's all that matters. It's concentrating on your job and what you do, and not concentrating on the riff-raff that goes with all that other stuff. It's about the team and going out there and playing good football. And not getting caught up in all the media hype. It's just not worth it.
"It's not always easy to keep a lid on it, but at the same time, there's a greater goal, and that's winning the game and playing good football. That's what matters. All that other stuff doesn't matter at the end of the day."