New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker is clarifying that comments about his coach Bill Belichick were only a joke and that they won't happen again. Welker was benched during a game last year for poking fun at New York Jets coach Rex Ryan.
After catching 13 passes in Sunday's 31-21 victory over the Denver Broncos, Welker told Comcast SportsNet that he enjoyed his high statistical performance because "it's kind of nice to stick it in Bill's face once in a while." Welker then winked and smiled.
Meeting up with reporters on Monday, Welker confirmed that the comments were only a joke.
"It was a joke. I don't know what else to say about it," Welker said. "Bill and I, whether y'all believe it or not, have a good relationship, and it was a joke and I'll make sure to keep that in-house going forward."
Belichick appeared to be unaware of Welker's comments. When a reporter repeated what Welker said, Belichick quipped, "You should ask him about it, then. What he meant by it, I don't know."
Welker would not say whether he and Belichick spoke to each other about the joke, saying, "Any discussions are between us and the team. But he talks to all the players, all the time. He's our coach."
However, the Patriots receiver, who has caught more passes than any player in the NFL over the past five seasons, said he will be more careful what he says from now on.
"Bill does a good job of challenging us, and being a great coach and doing the things necessary that he needs to do. I made a joke about it, and it won't happen again," he said.
Welker was benched for the first series of a 2011 playoff game against the Jets after mocking coach Rex Ryan about the alleged foot fetish scandal. Ryan said that Welker apologized to him at the 2011 Pro Bowl.