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Willie McGinest, the former outside linebacker who was part of the Patriots’ three Super Bowl-winning teams, gave his opinions in regards to Welker’s comments that head coach Bill Belichick treated him differently during his final year with the team, and that the coach would berate Welker in front of his teammates.
“When you talk about Bill Belichick and how he treats players and what he expects, before you walk in that door and sign a contract he lays it all on the line; he tells you what he expects from you, what your role is going to be, what he expects from you on and off the field. When you’re here, we expect you to do everything in your power to win games, be a good teammate and give back,” said McGinest, who played 12 seasons with the Patriots and was part of all three of their Super Bowl Championship teams.
“Wes has a personality; he’s one of those guys who was very productive as a New England Patriot and you can’t deny that. But it wasn’t just Wes, it was the system. Wes was just a guy before he got to New England,” said McGinest. “That offensive system that was in place allowed him to take his game to another level times ten."
“Of course, Bill Belichick, when it comes to certain things he’s a lot different than other coaches. He doesn’t want you talking to the media or giving other teams things to put on the bulletin board. He likes to keep everything in house — take care of everything in the family,” he said. “It wasn’t tough. He has a sense of humor and he’s not a robot like people say he is.”
“Bill says and does things for a reason, he has a purpose. When you break it down and understand why he does things, it becomes less personal. It did for me,” said McGinest.
“As far as calling out guys in the meeting rooms he did it to everybody — he doesn’t care who you are. From Tom Brady down to a practice squad guy it doesn’t matter. From A-Z everyone is held accountable and everyone is treated the same. If there were some extracurricular things that happened then that was between Wes and Bill Belichick that I’m not aware of. That’s between those two guys.”
It is hard to argue with McGinest. When you look at what Tom Brady has been able to do with a thin receiving core, that sentiment certainly has some truth to it. Consider wide receiver Reche Caldwell. He amassed 76 receptions for 950 yards and seven touchdowns his first four years in the league, all with the San Diego Chargers. In his one season with the Patriots, he caught 61 passes for 760 yards and four touchdowns, close to equaling his four-year production in one season with New England.
Maybe McGinest does have a point, maybe he is just grasping for straws. Whatever the case may be, it is becoming apparent that Welker is leaving his mark in New England without even being there.