New England Patriots Links 8/20/10 - Wes Welker Returns In Well-Balanced Win

DJ Bean offers this post-game quote from Bill Belichick on Wes Welker getting his first preseason action.

"The big thing was to get him in there, let him play a little bit. We talked about it this week and it was kind of the next step him for and he felt good about it so we put him in there."

"Nobody works harder than Wes. He’s as competitive and as hard working a player as we’ve had, and we’ve had a lot of them, but I’d put him right up there with all of them."

Ian Rapoport notes Wes Welker's thoughts about the six plays he was involved in last night and what they represented.

"I think they were really significant. This is something I’ve been really working towards, really trying to come back and get back out on the field," Welker said following tonight’s 28-10 win over the Falcons. "To be able to do it here in the second pre-season game is kind of a milestone for me.

"It’s something I’ve really been looking forward to, and something I’ve worked my tail off to get to this whole offseason," he went on. ‘‘So it was pretty significant to get out there, and get those reps out there."

"It’s a step forward. I don’t know if we’re all there yet or anything like that, " Welker said. "But it’s a step forward. We got some plays out there and we got some contact which I haven’t had this whole time, so it was good to have."

Christopher Price offers Ten things we learned Thursday night. One being Hernandez is something special.

The highlight of the evening for the 6-foot-2, 245-pound tight end (who will cause all sorts of matchup problems this year for opposing defenses with his size, speed, soft hands and versatility) came when he caught his first touchdown pass as a Patriot late in the second quarter. On a third-down situation in the Atlanta red zone (New England was on the Falcons’ four), Brady found him in the back of the end zone with a laser. Atlanta linebacker Sean Witherspoon looked foolish trying to keep up with Hernandez, who not only turned him inside out but had the presence of mind to tip-toe along the back of the end zone and hold on to the football. The touchdown gave the Patriots a 14-3 lead, and was the final ball Tom Brady would throw all evening.

For a team that, a) struggled to find the tight end in the passing game all last year, and, b) struggled offensively in the red zone all last year, it was a sight for sore eyes for New England football fans.

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VIEW FROM ATLANTA

  • D. Orlando Ledbetter (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Falcons' offense sputters in rout by Patriots.
  • Jay Adams (Atlanta Falcons.com) Fast Five: Falcons vs. Patriots.
  • Daniel Cox (AtlantaFalcons.com) Key lessons on defense in Patriots loss.
  • Jeff Schultz (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Brady and Patriots show Ryan and Falcons how it's done.
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