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Wes Welker Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots WR Wes Welker addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, January 20, 2012.

Q: How as the team's preparation been this week?  

WW: It's been a good week of practice and preparation. We're getting ready and understanding that we're playing a very good football team this week. We've got a few walkthroughs and meetings to make sure we're polished up and ready to go.  

Q: What is it like playing against an experienced Baltimore defense?  

WW: You have to do the little things right, taking care of the football. No mental errors or bad mistakes like that. We have to make sure we're on top of everything - knowing our job, knowing our assignments and taking care of business. I think games like this against teams like this, the little things are always huge."  

Q: Can you talk about being the favorite going into the game this week?  

WW: I don't think it really matters. We've been favored at home before in the playoffs the last two years and I don't think it's that big of a deal at all. We understand that no matter what, we have to play well and that's what it comes down to.  

Q: How do tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez create opportunities for you?  

WW: Hopefully it creates a lot of them. Any time you have great players on the field, it helps everybody out. We're all in this together. When they get open like they do, it's going to free-up other guys when they want to try and cover them. I just have to do the best job I can to get open whenever I get an opportunity.  

Q: Can you talk about the physicality of the games against the Ravens?  

WW: They're very physical. They are a physical football team and you have to understand that they are going to come out hitting and you have to come back and hit just as much. You have to understand that it's going to be a physical football game and it always is with this team. You have to make sure you're not backing down from any of that.  

Q: What pressure does the New England no-huddle offense create for other defenses?  

WW: I think it's hard for them to get lined up and it's hard for them to get their calls. [It's hard] for them to make substitutions from first and 10 to second and two and different things like that. It makes it tough on a defense and the faster we can go, the harder we make it on them. It's been successful for us and hopefully we can use it or not use it; whatever our plan is to try and attack them.  

Q: Do you sense confusion from opposing defenses when New England uses the no-huddle offense?  

WW: Sometimes. Whenever we're moving the ball. If we're not and we go three-and-out, it makes it tough. We have to make sure that we're making first downs, moving the ball and doing whatever we have to do to score touchdowns.  

Q: What is Tom Brady's mentality is this week?  

WW: He's always got a great mentality. He's one of the toughest guys I've ever been around. I can't think of too many quarterbacks that don't have a low completion percentage against the Ravens. I think that pretty much goes across the board in the NFL. I wouldn't say he was the first or would be the last either. He's obviously Tom. He's going to fight and keep coming at them. We're going to be right there with him."  

Q: Did you change your training routine when you joined the Patriots?  

WW: I wouldn't say it changed. When you catch over 100 balls in this league, you're going to take your fair share of hits and different things like that. Each year, you have to train harder, faster and longer and do the things necessary to keep your body right. You make sure you come out the next year as dominant as you were the year before. It takes a lot of time and effort and it's the only way to do it. It's the only way I know how and it seems like every year I pick up new things for myself to try and be better. That's what you have to do especially as you get older.  

Q: Are you interested in the science of your training routine?  

WW: I definitely do. I try to understand why I need to do this or need to do that. Activating muscles and how to do it; different things like that to make sure I'm ready to play the game and do those different things. The more knowledge you have about it, the more you can almost do it yourself when someone is not there to guide you or teach you.  

Q: Can you talk about eating gluten free food?  

WW: I've been trying it. I feel better when I do eat gluten free for the most part. I would say I'm 100 percent on that. It's probably one of the hardest things ever to do that. I'd rather go out and work it off if I need to splurge a little bit. I do [still enjoy a piece of pizza]. There is going to be gluten-free pizza these days. I still get to enjoy that."  

Q: How is the team's confidence?  

WW: I think we have a lot of confidence. We're a confident-type team. We have a lot of good players and we feed off each other knowing that somebody is going to make a play. We all have to step up to that challenge to make a play. When you're in it together like that, it makes it tough on defenses. We have players that want to go out there and make that play for us. It's great to see."  

Q: Do you relish the opportunity to play against the Ravens?  

WW: I relish any opportunity to play in the playoffs no matter whom it is or when it is. I relish any opportunity to be in the position we're in and trying to take care of business.  

Q: What is it like going into a game with one of the best head coach and quarterback combinations ever?  

WW: I don't really think about it all that much. You hear it all on a day-to-day basis with the guys talking and doing all of these things. You don't really think about that stuff. I'm sure down the road we can reflect back on all of that. Right now, I'm focused on my job and what we have to do to win.  

Q: What are your thoughts on New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan predicting the Patriots will lose?  

WW: Yeah. That's Rex for you. Hopefully we can prove him wrong.  

Q: How was the crowd last week and what are your expectations this week?  

WW: There was definitely a lot of energy this past time around. I think playoffs definitely get people excited and we're going to need them excited for this game. This is to go to the Super Bowl. It's a big deal. It's the AFC Championship Game and we're going to need them all. Hopefully they're all wearing mustaches when they do it.

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