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New England Patriots Links 4/12/12 - Welker Wouldn't Wish ACL Injury on Worst Enemy

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<em>Wes Welker was shocked to hear about the bounties in place for specific injuries; says it crossed the line</em>.
Wes Welker was shocked to hear about the bounties in place for specific injuries; says it crossed the line.

CSNNE reports Wes Welker joined DeMarcus Ware and Clay Matthews on NFL Total Access to discuss the bounty scandal.

"This is definitely is something that hadn’t been practiced," said Welker. "I don’t think I’ve ever heard of [something like this]. I’ve heard of the interceptions, a tackle inside of the 20 on kickoffs, different things like that. But I’ve never heard about trying to take guys’ ACLs out or concussions, or anything like that. That’s definitely something that I’ve never really heard of."

"Hit them hard, hit them right in the face, different things like that – OK, I understand that – being physical, wanting to play physical," he said of Gregg Williams' speech prior to the San Francisco 49ers playoff game. "But specific injuries and going after their head because they had a previous concussion or going after an ACL or anything like that, there is definitely a line that was definitely crossed."

"It was definitely shocking," Welker continued. "I would never wish an ACL [injury] on my worst enemy, just going through that and everything that you have to go through. It’s painful and it’s not something that literally I wish on my worst enemy."

Andy Benoit (NY Times) AFC East team needs.

Obvious need: pass-rusher

It’s no secret that the inconsistency in edge-rushing is a primary reason New England’s pass defense has been porous in recent years.

Hidden need: cornerback

Yes, this is always a need for the Pats. The "hidden" element here is that this time, depth is not the issue – starting talent is. Compared to his sensational 2010 rookie campaign, Devin McCourty was unfathomably bad as an outside corner in 2011. (That’s why he was moved to safety on passing downs late in the year.) McCourty deserves a chance to bounce back; he was simply too good as a rookie to discard so quickly. Even if he does bounce back, opposite him, an upgrade is needed over Kyle Arrington. It’s great that Arrington gets interceptions (tied for the league lead with seven last season), but those picks come about in part because he is so regularly targeted. Perhaps last year’s high second-round pick, Ras-I Dowling, can stay healthy and contribute. And maybe the newly signed veteran Will Allen can stabilize the spot. History says, however, that trouble will find the Patriots’ secondary. If there’s a talented prospect available, Bill Belichick should take another shot.