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Belichick tees off on Welker for hitting Talib

Bill Belichick

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reacts to questions after his team’s 26-16 loss to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship NFL football game in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


In the first half of New England’s loss at Denver, Broncos receiver Wes Welker flattened Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib on an apparent pick play, knocking New England’s best defensive back out of the game.

Welker claimed that he didn’t intend to hit Talib. Patriots coach Bill Belichick feels otherwise. Strongly.

“It is a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib,” Belichick told reporters Monday morning. “No attempt to get open. And I’ll let the league handle the discipline on that play. It’s not for me to decide, but it’s one of the worst plays I’ve seen. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.”

He said plenty. Belichick essentially accused his former star slot wideout of being dirty -- of intentionally and deliberately delivering an illegal hit that caused injury. It was so bad and so blatant in Belichick’s view that he expects discipline will be imposed by the league office.

Some will say it’s sour grapes from a coach who would have loved to have Welker this season. Others will say Belichick was merely calling it like he sees it.

Either way, it’s surely not the last that will be said about the play, or about Belichick’s reaction to it.