Wes Welker's foundation helps out Jefferson Middle School

Patriots wide receiver spearheads effort to rebuild soccer, football and softball fields at south Oklahoma City school
by Michael Baldwin Published: November 5, 2012

This is a unique season for Welker. Unable to agree on a long-term extension with New England, Welker signed a one-year, franchise-tag deal. His future with the Patriots is uncertain.

Early in the season, Boston media questioned whether the Patriots were phasing out Welker. He wasn't targeted as much in the first two games. He didn't start one game.

“Everybody needs something to write about,” Welker said. “That was kind of the story of the week. But we moved on from it. We're moving ahead and looking forward to the rest of the season.”

The Patriots certainly aren't phasing out Welker. Midway through the season, the Heritage Hall product is tied for the league lead in receptions (60) and is second in receiving yards (736).

“It's a long season,” Welker said. “You have to just keep pushing forward. We're hoping to have a good second half of the season.”

New England (5-3) leads the AFC East, but once again the offense might have to carry a defense that's ranked 26th in the NFL overall. But the Patriots' defense is ranked in the upper half in points allowed (21.3), an improvement over last season.

“There's a lot that remains to be seen,” Welker said. “We have a lot of improving to do. Hopefully we play our best football in the second part of the season.”

As for his future with the Patriots, Welker's outlook hasn't changed since he signed a one-year deal in July.

“I just take it one day at a time,” Welker said. “I'm just focused on 2012 and being the best player I can be.”

by Michael Baldwin
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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