Washington wary of Welker

Washington wary of Welker
December 9, 2011, 4:33 pm
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Tom Brady deserves the attention as the leader of the Patriots offense and second-year tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are gaining notoriety because, well, nobody can cover them.But besides Brady, the biggest part of the Patriots offense is receiver Wes Welker.Obviously, hes the go-to guy, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said.Entering Sundays game against the Redskins, Welker Leads the NFL with 93 catches (18 more than the next-closest receiver) for 1,253 yards. Has the most catches (525) in the NFL since the start of 2007, ahead of Brandon Marshall (456). Is the first receiver in eight years to reach 1,000 yards receiving in the first nine games (and the eighth in league history). Is the fastest receiver to have 500 catches with one team (70 games). Is nearing his fourth straight 100-catch, 1,000-yard season (the other guys Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison).If he lines up in the slot as usual against the Redskins, he becomes Kevin Barnes stiffest assignment of the year.You can tell that everything he does is at full speed, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said of Welker. He knows how to come out of his breaks, hes a great competitor and he can run routes probably better than anybody in the National Football League. Just to watch how he goes about his business, you can see why he catches as many balls as he does.And to think Welker was acquired in 2007 from a division rival (Miami) for second- and seventh-round picks.Hes a remarkable receiver, Haslett said. He finds ways to get open. Hes all over the place.Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com