Monique Walker and Adam Kilgore report Wes Welker is okay after surgery yesterday.
Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker is "perfectly OK’’ after undergoing surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital yesterday to repair torn ligaments in his knee, said a person with knowledge of the surgery.
Welker tore both the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligament in his left knee in the regular-season finale against Houston Jan. 3. In the month since the injury, Welker has waited to have the surgery to allow his MCL to heal to protect against an infection.
Recovery time for the Patriots star slot receiver could be anywhere from 6-12 months. It does not appear likely that Welker will be ready to play in the 2010 season opener, although that has not been ruled out.
Bill Cowher believes even if the Indianapolis Colts win the Super Bowl on Sunday, the New England Patriots should be considered the best team of the past decade and scoffed at the idea the Spygate scandal had any impact.
"I think the decade still has to go to New England," Cowher said Tuesday at a CBS Sports news conference to preview the Super Bowl. "But the Pittsburgh Steelers went to a lot of championship games, won two Super Bowls. The Colts I'm not so sure within the last five years they haven't been the most consistent football team.
"But you go back to the body of work and the consistency, and I think New England CLEARLY is above everybody else. They never had that one down year. They've been on the brink from when they first won in 2001 until this past year they were in the playoffs. They've been the most consistent team."
"The humility that they won with, that's what set them apart," Cowher said. "I learned a lot from their ability to respect an opponent every week, to not get caught up with it.
"I remember taking a lot from the way the New England Patriots handled success. To me, they epitomize that. How you handle success and not get caught up in it makes them role models."
Cowher seems to absolve the Patriots for any wrongdoing [for spygate]:
"Listen, there's people stealing signals all the time before that," Cowher said. "You have ways to hide those things. We had wristbands for our defense. I remember trying to get offensive plays and see what the formations were. Everybody knows.
"You're trying to gain a competitive edge. Did that go beyond it? To a degree. Do I think that helped them win football games? No. You still have to go out and play the game. I still have a hard time believing that was a difference in a game."
Ian Rapoport reports Heath Evans and Randall Gay both credit their experience with the Patriots as valuable wisdom they both hope to share with their new team.
I think that’s why I was brought here," Evans, who tore his ACL in late October, said yesterday. "(Coach) Sean (Payton) wants better leaders, better character guys. It’s highly known Bill (Belichick) only brings in good guys in New England. What I learned from him was priceless. I’m constantly trying to dive into that memory bank that really benefited us in my four years there."
Evans harps on preparation, using his experience against the Colts and preaching, "If you don’t (prepare), they won’t just beat you, they’ll embarrass you."
He’s not alone. Saints cornerback Randall Gay was part of one Super Bowl winner, and his message has been simple.
"We’re not here to party," Gay said. "Maybe at the beginning of the week you party, but from now on, we have a job to do. Our goal isn’t to come to Miami to play in the Super Bowl. We want to win the Super Bowl. That was always the mindset of the Patriots."
- Dan Roche was told Wes Welker's knee surgery at Mass General Tuesday went "very well or at least as well as you could expect a major surgery to go."
- Ian Rapoport gives his impressions of Super Bowl media day for the Saints and the Colts.
- Mark Farinella says media day isn't much to write home about.
- Ian Rapoport notes Adam Vinatieri, backup kicker in this year's Super Bowl, got caught in a Patriots Q&A session. Good guy that he is, he politely didn't say much of anything.
- Adam Kilgore notes FB Kyle Eckel is one of a scant number of Saints who have played in the Super Bowl before, and is in a position to offer his teammates some advice.
- Albert Breer hears Saints owner Tom Benson talk about how he feels strongly that adversity played a role in his team's development.
- Adam Kilgore catches up with Junior Seau during media day. Seau lauds linebackers coach Matt Patricia.
- Charles Pierce chastises those in the media who dismiss reports of Randy Moss playing hurt and say that he still should have played better, putting the burden of the down season squarely on his shoulders.
- Mike Reiss reports Ben Watson has signed on with agent Drew Rosenhaus as he prepares to market himself to the rest of the league when free agency hits.
- Mike Reiss notes Canadian Football League defender Rick Foley (20 sacks over the last three years) is set to visit with the Patriots Thursday.
- Jim Donaldson says Dean Pees didn't jump, he was pushed.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag with his usual terrific insight.
- Karen Guregian compares the QB-coordinator relationships between Manning-Moore and Brady-Weis, McDaniels, O'Brien noting there's success and confidence in continuity.
- Ron Borges takes the Patriots organization to task for being so tight-fisted with money and player contracts, while the Colts are willing to pay to keep their core group intact.
- Ian Rapoport notes Colts' owner Jim Irsay's comments about Peyton Manning's upcoming contract negotiations and what he has to say about Tom Brady's too.
- Adam Kilgore says Saints fullback Kyle Eckel feels indebted to the Patriots for still being in the league.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Beating Patriots made Manning a champ.
- David Biderman (Wall St. Journal) The stadium naming game: Gillette's sharp deal.
- Greg Bishop (NY Times) Jets fine Ryan $50,000 for obscene gesture.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Bill Cowher: Gut told him Buffalo wasn't right. Heck, we could have told him that too.
- Jemele Hill (ESPN) Tim Tebow's role in controversial Super Bowl ad should be praised rather than condemned.
- Tim Keown (ESPN) Tim Tebow, be careful about ads: QB should be prepared for exploitation, questions.
- Jay Glazer (Fox Sports) NFL finds replacement for head of officiating. Sunday will mark the final game of Mike Pereira's career as head of the NFL's officiating department. Carl Johnson, a current line judge, will replace him.
- Richard Deitsch (SI) Super Bowl XLIV Media Day Blog.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday edition: Martz could be good fit for Cutler, Bears; Latest on Freeney.
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) All Stars who helped their draft stock.