In talking with New England’s Wes Welker via teleconference call this morning, the talented receiver indicated that he has a healthy amount of respect for the Seattle Seahawks defense he’ll face on the road at CenturyLink Filed on Sunday.
“They really get after it,” Welker said. “I think they’re top five in pretty much every category. They fly around to the ball. They tackle really well. They’ve got a bunch of big guys, fast guys and they move around very well.
“They’re definitely a team where you have to be on top of everything.”
Specifically, Welker talked about matching up against Seattle’s lanky corners in Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman.
Welker said he faces corners with similar body types in the AFC East in the New York Jets’ Antonio Cromartie and Miami’s Sean Smith, but also said that Browner and Sherman are unique in how physical and aggressive they play on the perimeter.
“Obviously they’re bigger guys, taller guys with longer arms,” Welker said. “They do a good job of being patient and staying square at the line, so you’ve got to get them moving. You’ve got to do some different things to them and try and get their body weight going.”
New England head coach Bill Belichick did not disappoint, displaying an impressive knowledge of Seattle’s roster, even naming guys like rookie Greg Scruggs as a pass-rush specialist his team could face on third down.
“They’re good,” Belichick said. “They’re well coached. A lot of good players, good depth at every position. It’s a real good defensive football team, there’s no doubt about it.”
And while Seattle has struggled in the passing game, Belichick indicated the diversity of Seattle’s offense makes the Seahawks a challenge to prepare for.
“You have a lot of things to stop,” Belichick said about Seattle’s offense. “You’ve got the running game, the play-action game, the vertical game, their West Coast-passing game, their spread empty game and a running quarterback. They hit you on a lot of different fronts.”
Belichick also talked about the demands of working with a young quarterback, talking about his experience in dealing with young Tom Brady a decade ago when he first took over as his team’s starter.
While being careful not to compare Brady’s situation with Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, Belichick emphasized the importance of gearing the offense to the quarterback and the team’s strength.
“Everything is unique,” Belichick said. “And I just think as a coach, you try and do what’s best for your football team. And certainly there were – just speaking for the Patriots and our situation – there were times going back where we were a very strong defensive team, and we played to the strength of our defense. Other times we felt like we had a strong offense and we tried to play to the strength of our offense.
“I think that’s what any coach does on any team – you play to the strength of your team. And you count on everybody, but there are certain parts of your team that are strong, and you play to those strengths.
“But I think comparing quarterbacks is dangerous. And then when you compare them and they’re in different systems, with different teams and different opponents with different matchups every week, I mean that’s just really hard to do.”