Yesterday's signing of WR Wes Welker to replace Stedman Bailey during his four-game suspension for non-performance enhancing drugs (read: smokin weed) was met with an immediate flood of questions:
What can Wes Welker bring to the Rams mid-2015?
What did he leave the Broncos missing?
And should we be surprised that Wes Welker is playing professional football again after perhaps up to a dozen concussions in his 11-year NFL career?
So the drop off from Patriots Wes Welker to Broncos Wes Welker was pretty dramatic. Still, he was productive for you guys in general, catching 122 passes for 1,242 yards along with 12 touchdowns, 10 of which came in that first season with you guys. What was he still doing well by the end of 2014? What value did he still provide? What are fair expectations for Rams fans to have of what he can bring to the roster?
He was still running routes well at the end of 2014, but not quite as fast as we had seen in 2013. Also the injury risk was such a huge deal. He had a string of concussions in the season and really didn't see much action because of the huge risk.There really wasn't much value to be had because I honestly don't think Manning would target him because of the health risk.
I don't pretend to be a doctor, but I have some serious doubts that Wes is magically all better and can just dial up his old self. He made his living going across the middle and making tough catches in traffic. Can he still do that? Maybe, but if I were watching I'd be lying if I said that I wouldn't be holding my breath every time I saw the ball headed his direction.
In my perfect world, you'd expect Wes to come in on big passing situations and find a way to give you some good 3rd down conversions while doing everything he can to avoid the big hit. Maybe a few hundred yards and a TD or two. We'll skip my nightmare scenario.
What have you guys missed from him if anything this season? Obviously, Peyton's his own exhibit to study, but - in your opinion - has he missed Welker in any obvious form?
I don't miss anything from him honestly. The risk from everything I've read far outweighs the benefits of having him on the field. The one thing I'm sure the team misses is having him in the locker room. He's such a fun guy and a great personality. There's no way he didn't bolster the spirits of the team when he was with us.
Yes, Peyton has missed what Welker was in 2014: A deadly 3rd WR target when we are in passing situations and have our 11 personnel on the field. Welker is the best on the planet in the slot and our offense appears to be searching for a weapon that is even half what Welker was.
Are you surprised that he's back in the league? Did you think 2014 was the end of Wes Welker's career?
Yes and yes. I have a family and have a very very hard time reconciling the whole concussion risk issue for him in the long term vs playing another year in the short term. It isn't my life in the end, but football while irreplaceable is still just a game. There is no game on this planet worth my ability to think, reason, and function as a fully capable human being.
Thanks to sadaraine for the time.