ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – There were two major storylines dominating the conversation a day after the conference championships were decided, and the Denver Broncos weren’t stepping in either of them.
They’ll deal with one, the talkative nature of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, more as their Super Bowl matchup against Seattle draws closer. But the other story, about whether receiver Wes Welker deliberately tried to “take out” Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, as New England coach Bill Belichick said on Monday, affects one of their own players.
Instead of directly responding to Belichick’s claims that it was a dirty play by Welker and making the story even bigger, the Broncos simply said Welker wasn’t trying to hurt anyone.
“I’ve known Wes for a while now, and he’s definitely not that kind of guy,” tight end Julius Thomas said. “I don’t think Wes would intentionally try to hurt anyone.”
“I know Wes Welker is a great player with high integrity,” coach John Fox said. “We weren’t doing anything with intent.”
Regarding the pick play the Broncos seemed to be running on the crossing route that ended with Welker colliding with Talib and Talib injuring his knee, those plays are fairly common. The Patriots were called for an offensive pass interference on one early in Sunday’s game, before Welker’s collision. Linebacker Danny Trevathan said he has seen routes like that from offenses since he started playing.
“That’s the game of football,” Trevathan said. “You can’t control everything.”
Welker wasn’t available to the media on Monday, but said after Sunday’s game he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone.
On Sherman, the Broncos were asked what they thought of him. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took a bit of a dig at the Seahawks cornerback on Monday when Sherman was brought up. But the Broncos weren’t drawing the attention of Sherman, who like many other great athletes seems to feed off of any perceived slight of him.
“I know he’s a terrific player, a great cover guy,” Fox said. “He’s a talented player. I can’t comment on anything other than that.”
“He’s an All-Pro cornerback, first and foremost,” Thomas said. “He likes to have a little fun out there. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”
If the Broncos’ plan is to keep a low profile leading up to the Super Bowl, they carried it out well on Monday.
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