New England Patriots Links 9/18/12 - Belichick: Welker 'One of our Smartest, Most Experienced Players'

Julian Edelman says it's no big deal that he's "gotten a little more clock" lately. "It's all part of life in the Patriots offense."

Attention attention pats lost a game they will be fine. Long season. Wow never knew so many people hated pats so much.

Thx pats nation for support. No worries pats will win afc east regardless hahahahaha

Christopher Price explains why Julian Edelman has played so much this season. Here are two of the reasons:

The wide receiver group has less depth now than in years past. Over the last 10 years, the Patriots have usually utilized between five and seven different wide receivers. (They have had seven for most of the last three seasons.) However, the Patriots opened the 2012 season with just four: Edelman, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Matthew Slater. Even with the continued emergence of the tight ends and (to a lesser extent) the running backs in the passing game, there are going to more opportunities for receptions with fewer receivers, particularly considering that Slater is almost exclusively a special teamer. Edelman is the one who has benefited the most from the increased targets and more playing time -- through two games, he had six catches on eight targets.

Wes Welker wasn’t ready to start the season. Welker admitted as much in a revealing Q&A with WEEI on Monday, saying that he missed a week of the preseason because of a death in the family, and adding that when you miss a week, "it’s like missing two weeks back in the day. ... Missing that time and stuff, it hurts, I agree with you. Especially now that you don’t get as many reps." It’s also worth mentioning that before the start of the regular season, he had no problem saying he wished he could have used more preseason reps.

However, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday that it certainly hasn’t appeared that Welker has had to play catch-up because of the time he missed, saying, "Wes has a lot of experience around here. I think he’s one of our smartest and obviously most experienced players. I don’t really see him behind."

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