New England Patriots Links 12/31/10 - Week 17 Vs. Miami: To Play Or Not To Play Is The Question

Wes Welker responds to a question about critics who are going to say, "Let's not have what happened to Wes last year, happen this year."

I say that I'm here to play football. That's what I get paid to do. I love playing. So, no matter what's at stake or no matter what the deal is, I want to play. I know people probably think differently about that, but I don't worry about other stuff, and whatever Coach Belichick decides for me, that's what I'm going to do, but I'm always ready to play.

I have not [talked to him about how much I might play]. For me, I'm going out there and preparing for Miami and getting ready for them. They're a strong team that hasn't given up on the season, so we're definitely coming out and making sure that we're coming out prepared to play.

Rob Ninkovich talks about the most discouraging part of his career and how rewarding it is this year.

Two years ago would be when I got cut from New Orleans being a snapper. That was probably the most discouraging part of my career. You go from a defensive lineman to a long snapper, and then getting cut before camp even started to even show you can do it.  This year has been another year where I've been able to achieve some of my goals that I had written out a long time ago. It's a good feeling, but I still have some more to go.

[What about this system allows LBs to come in and be able to contribute right away or is it the player?]  I think it's a combination. I think it's opportunity. Some guys are given an opportunity to go out there and whatever it may be, fail. Some guys don't even have a chance to go out there. I think that certain players have been given opportunity and they haven't failed, and they've done well and they've made some plays. It's one of those things where you get a chance, and you've got to make the best of it.

I think that's one of the best things about the Patriots is it's a performance-based evaluation of how good you are and if you can help the team out and do anything for the team, you're going to have a chance to help the team.

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