Handshake between Bill Belichick, Wes Welker after AFC title game was chillingly awkward (video)
Following the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Denver Broncos wide receiver sought-out some of his former New England Patriots teammates to exchange pleasantries. While Welker apparently was greeted warmly by many of his ex-teammates, the encounter he had with his former longtime coach, Bill Belichick lacked any warmth whatsoever. In fact, it was downright frigid and the handshake exchanged between the two probably could have frozen Welker’s hand off if it wasn’t so brief and impersonal.
Of course, a controversial play that occurred early on in the game involving Welker probably didn’t lend itself to helping Belichick, in all likelihood already pretty grumpy over the devastating loss, look forward to crossing paths with his former wide receiver.
During the first half, Welker was on a crossing route and ran a “pick” or “rub” play where he took out Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib. The play resulted in Talib, New England’s best defensive back, being knocked out, never to return to the game, a development that certainly hindered any chance of the Patriots shutting down a Peyton Manning-led offense.
As evidenced by Belichick’s cold reception of Welker’s extended hand following the game, the Patriots coach already had formulated his opinion regarding how he felt about Welker going low without the luxury of reviewing the film. Once he had a chance to watch it (and re-watch it, and re-watch it again), Belichick laid into Welker during his Monday press conference.
“It was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib,” Belichick said when describing the play on Monday. “No attempt to get open. I’ll let the league handle the discipline on that. It’s not for me to decide. It was one of the worst plays I’ve seen.”
Welker, meanwhile, said afterward there was no intent to injure.
“It was one of those plays where it’s kind of a rough play, and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided,” Welker said after the game, according to WEEI (via Pro Football Talk). “It wasn’t a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that.
“I hope he’s OK — he’s a great player and a big part of their defense.”
Arguments have been made both ways regarding the play, but most experts seem to side with Welker and argue that what he did wasn’t deliberately dirty … it simply was a case of bad luck on Talib’s part.
But don’t tell that to Bill Belichick. Check out how he does the absolute bare minimum required to acknowledge a fellow human being’s existence despite a person standing right in front of them.
Yowsers. That…is…awkward. If looks could kill, right?
You can almost see a look of dread on Welker’s face as he walks away. He’s probably thinking, “God, he’s not even my coach anymore and he scares the ever-living crap out of me. Creepy dude, man.”
[H/T Shutdown Corner, video via NBC Sports (apologies for the auto-play)]