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Dubyah, Dubyah “On Two,” Ready? Break!

No, not that Dubyah …

Time for a Wes Welker update as New England continues their perfect season, which hopefully will culminate with a Super Bowl dance with The Dallas Cowboys.

Why the fascination with WW? Google him or watch a game. He is about the smallest guy in the NFL. He might be “6 feet nothing,” but I don’t think he is even that tall. Yet … big yet! … He has become the number two receiver for the Pats. And, oh my, has this confused the sports journalism world! By comparison, even the sportswriters and sportscasters can figure out Randy Moss is a force … What is he 6-5, with lightning speed, physical play and great hands? But Welker …. “Isn’t he the mini me picked up from the Dolphins? (who haven’t won but one or two games since Welker left … although I am not implying that is the reason.)

The point is … EVERYONE overlooked Welker. You might say that has been the story of his life, since he left high school in Oklahoma. Back then, Welker was named Oklahoma high school football player of the year … or something like that. Yet .. (another big yet) … Every Division I college football team passed on Welker. “Too small!” That is … except for the genius that is Mike Leach at Texas Tech. Under Leach, as a Red Raider, Welker broke several Tech records and led the entire NCAA for punt returns his senior year in Lubbock.

I say everyone overlooked him … I guess the Miami Dolphins can be credited with “discovering” Welker in the pros. It seems like I recall Welker was a free agent who tried out for the team, rather than someone the Fish drafted (correct me if I am wrong). And that was after the Chargers “kicked the tires” and then put Welker on waivers. But once he got to Miami, the Dolphins made the most of the little guy. He was their leading receiver at the time of his departure.

They used him and they used him good. Get this (from the Patriot’s Web site) …

“In a game against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 10, 2004, a pregame injury to Dolphins kicker Olindo Mare pressed Welker into service as Miami’s kicker. He converted both of his kicking opportunities (a field goal and an extra point) to become the first player in NFL history to record a punt return, a kickoff return, a field goal, an extra point and a kickoff in the same game. Welker earned AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his efforts.” The Patriots took note and acquired him …

http://www.patriots.com/team/index.cfm?ac=playerbio&bio=31608

So how did he go overlooked for so long? Well … I have noticed this crazy little catch phrase in sports – “product of the system” as in “He was a product of the Mike Leach system.”

“Product of a system?” Apparently that is sportwriter speak for “the player was awesome all along, but I was first, too slow to realize” … and secondly “too small to admit my mistake.”

The “sports experts have said that about the last 5 record-setting quarterbacks from Texas Tech … and they probably said it about Welker, since he caught a lot of passes in Tech’s Air Raid offense. They are still saying it today about junior sensation Graham Harrell. He is one of the top three, if not the best quarterback at the college level. How can I justify saying that? Well … that’s pretty simple. He is rewriting every record in the book and he is doing it with far less talent surrounding him compared with most of the teams in the Big 12, not to mention less overall team talent than major schools across the country. That brings up the issue of The Heisman Trophy. It is supposed to be the top individual achievement award. However, almost every year, it goes to the guy who has the advantage of playing with the best supporting cast. It would seem to me that a guy who wins, beats ranked teams and breaks the records with a team of misfits should get the individual award. But … that would make far too much sense. I digress …

Back to Welker.

I think they said he was a “product of the system” back when he played for Mike Leach at Tech.

Well guess what. Two weeks ago, I watched an NFL special on the tube and the on-air sports experts were talking about the Patriots. They symbolically kissed the feet of Randy Moss for about 5 minutes and then they brought up Welker. One of the three experts raved about him. But then it flew out of one idiot’s mouth, “Welker is just a product of the (coach) Belichik system.” Oh my gosh … here we go again. I don’t think there is anyway the sportsclown on TV knew the irony of saying that during Welker’s pro career, since it was a common misstatement used about his Texas Tech team.

Another irony … there are a lot of similarities to the genius of Belichik and Mike Leach. They both pass more and show more offensive sets than anyone in football. And they both win … albeit Belichik has the advantage of having the best players in football on his team.

Then today I heard another discussion of Welker … this time on HBO. The sportscasters are coming around. This time they said, “Wes Welker is the X factor. He is the unknown, diamond in the rough” … that everyone overlooked. They went on to compliment coach Belichik on his ability to find unknown talent.

Correction gentlemen. Coach Mike Leach discovered Wes Welker a long time ago. IF he is a product of a system … It is the Mike Leach system … the system that does more with less than ANY football team in the country.

Oh … and keep an eye on the Mike Leach system next year, when the best quarterback in the country comes back for a senior year, along with All-American freshman phenom Michael Crabtree … and 8 other returning offensive starters from Tech’s Gator Bowl champion Red Raiders team.

Lastly … IF the Cowboys face Welker and the Pats for the Super Bowl … oh what a game. For me … I must confess that I want the Cowboys to play “spoilers” of the perfect season … But, I hope Welker makes about 10 catches and makes a game of it. That would make the game more worth watching than the TV ads this year.