Bill O’Brien, former Patriots offensive coordinator, told USA Today that the now famous dropped ball by receiver Wes Welker was not a dropped ball. He came to the defense of one of his top players while he was still with New England.
The Patriots lost 21-17 to the Giants, but could’ve sealed a victory if Welker had caught Tom Brady‘s second-and-11 pass with 4:06 left, up 17-15.
O’Brien told reporters that on Saturday,
“That would have been a tremendous catch, and he (Welker) should never think twice about that. And it had nothing to do with us losing the game. There were many, many plays before that where we could have made better coaching decisions, and better plays. That’s just one play of many.”
With that statement he seemed to place more of the blame on a team failure than on any individual play.
The ball, if caught by Welker, would have put the Patriots in the Red Zone and may have well ended the game. Welker was wide open when the ball was thrown. The ball was thrown high and behind Welker.
That play specifically even drew unwanted attention from quarterback Tom Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen, who infamously spouted after the game,
“My husband cannot (expletive) throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. I can’t believe they dropped the ball so many times.”
O’Brien said New England fans should be grateful to have Welker as a part of their team.
“He is what Boston is all about, in my opinion. He’s a hard-working guy, he’s a tough guy, he’s an honest guy, nothing was ever given to him.”
What do you think? Was it a team failure on the part of the New England Patriots or was it Wes Welker’s fault?