Berry Tramel

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Super Bowl: Wes Welker will play 'until they tell me I can't anymore'

by Berry Tramel Modified: January 27, 2014 at 1:30 pm •  Published: January 27, 2014
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Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker talks with reporters during a news conference Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker talks with reporters during a news conference Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The Broncos arrived in New Jersey on Sunday night for Super Bowl 48. Which means Wes Welker is back in the spotlight for his third Super Bowl. Welker reached the Super Bowl with the 2007 Patriots and the 2011 Patriots. Now he’s on the big stage with the Broncos. And after 10 years in the NFL, Welker shows no signs of slowing down.

“We’ll see what happens,” Welker said Sunday night at the inaugural Super Bowl press conference. “I’ve definitely been blessed with 10 more years than I ever thought I would play in the NFL. I’ll just keep on playing until they tell me I can’t anymore.”

That’s been Welker’s attitude since he left Heritage Hall High School, bound for Texas Tech because the Red Raiders were the only major program to offer a scholarship. Largely overlooked upon entering every level of football, he’s become incredibly productive very soon at each stop.

Now Welker has 79 career playoff catches, for 762 yards and five touchdowns. In two Super Bowls, Welker has 18 catches for 163 yards.

Here are Welker’s responses to a few other questions:

On his past concussions: “Obviously it’s something that you worry about but at the same time you try not to think about it. You just go out there and try to enjoy the game and have fun with it.”

On playing with quarterback Peyton Manning: “He is a pretty genuine guy. Obviously, he gets a lot of headlines and this and that. People talk about different things of how he is and different stuff like that, but he’s really just a genuine type of guy.”

On if Manning still loves the game: “Absolutely. You can just tell he enjoys it and he loves it. He loves being around the guys. He loves the game planning. He loves Sundays. You can just tell all of the aspects of the game he really enjoys. It’s great to see and it definitely inspires me as well.”

On the Seattle secondary: “They have a very talented group, a lot of guys that can really run, a lot of guys that have a lot of length, physical guys. They definitely do a great job collectively of playing within their system and doing a great job making plays.”

On if playing in a Super Bowl before is an advantage: “I think to an extent, a little bit. To expect how to prepare through the week and all the different obstacles you have to go through with tickets or anything else as far as logistics and all that stuff, and understanding that. Going to the game and getting to the game is a little bit different and spending a whole week here and all that stuff. It is a little bit of an advantage. I wouldn’t say it is that big of one.”

On the distractions that accompany the Super Bowl: “The better you can handle distractions and different things like that the better you will be to be able to play a good game. I’m just trying to limit those distractions and go out there and just play your best game. I think that is the main thing you have to do.”


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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