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Wes Welker garners New England Patriots 12th Player Award

Welker Earns Patriots 12th Player Award
WR Could Break Franchise Receptions Mark

The New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker earned the team's 12th Player Award for 2007.

Welker has 96 receptions for 1,004 yards, both very easily career highs. He is just 5 receptions from tying Troy Brown for the Patriots single-season record. He could achieve the feat this weekend against his former team.

Tying or breaking Brown's mark would be appropriate as the award is given to the player who "personifies the Patriots team spirit, performs beyond expectations and is recognized for his contributions to the organization, both on the field and in the community." Brown won the award in 2004. If you ask me, when Brown retires, is should be named the Troy Brown 12th Player Award.

Welker's 1,004 yards makes him one of just eight Patriots to break the thousand-yard barrier. That also makes Welker and Randy Moss the first Patriots receiving tandem to top 1,000 yards each since 1979.

Here's a few more notes from the Patriots news release:

His eight touchdown receptions rank second on the team and are also a career high. On Nov. 25 against Philadelphia, Welker caught 13 passes, tying the second highest single-game reception total in team history and tying the highest single-game reception total by a Patriot in a non-overtime game. His 149 receiving yards in that game set a new career high and stand as the second highest receiving yard total by a Patriot this season. Welker is his first season with the Patriots and was acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins on March 5, 2007 in exchange for a second- and seventh-round selections in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Welker is the 12th 12th Man. Winners since 2000 are:
  • 2006: running back Laurence Maroney
  • 2005: linebacker Willie McGinest
  • 2004: wide receiver/defensive back Troy Brown
  • 2003: defensive tackle/fullback Dan Klecko
  • 2002: kicker Adam Vinatieri
  • 2001: quarterback Tom Brady
  • 2000: linebacker Tedy Bruschi

Patriots Earn Player of the Week Honors 9 Times

I have been remiss in reporting Patriots players who have been named Player of the Week during the 2007 seven season. They are:

Offensive Player of the Week
Week 3: Tom Brady
Week 6: Tom Brady
Week 7: Tom Brady
Week 9: Randy Moss
Week 11: Randy Moss
Week 14: Tom Brady

Defensive Player of the Week
Week 8: Mike Vrabel
Week 12: Asante Samuel

Special Teams Player of the Week
Week 1: Ellis Hobbs

For Week 15, Eugene Wilson was a Defensive Player of the Week nominee and Kelley Washington was a Special Teams Player of the Week nominee.