Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

The Patriots’ true leader emerges

Posted by Bill Koch on July 24, 2010

Wes Welker

Looks to me like the New England Patriots have been searching for leadership in all the wrong places. They forgot about the most obvious spot to check – right under their noses.

In this case, the man that they’re looking for barely comes up to their noses.

If Saturday’s reports are to be believed, Wes Welker is going to be ready to fully participate in practice when New England’s training camp opens on Thursday at Gillette Stadium. Welker’s miraculous rehabilitation from the torn ACL and MCL in his left knee that he suffered against Houston during the final week of the 2009 season looks to be almost complete, and Welker is climbing the walls in anticipation of a return to the Patriots in 2010.

Welker is barely seven months removed from major surgery to repair his knee, a procedure that he had done under the supervision of the team’s physicians. He’s participated as much as possible in New England’s offseason program and worked with the team’s trainers, therapists and doctors to bring himself back to full fitness. The chip that comes with being an undrafted free agent still clearly remains on Welker’s shoulder, even after signing a five-year, $18.1-million contract in 2007. All of those nights where we saw Welker courtside at The Fake Garden, watching the Boston Celtics make their postseason run? Those were clearly the way Welker chose to wind up his days of self-inflicted punishment in Foxboro.

All of this sounds quite different from the other recent major knee injury that impacted the Patriots. The Artist Formerly Known as Tom Brady chose one of his childhood buddies to perform his own left knee operation – the resulting infections and complications cost Brady two months in his recovery. Brady worked out in California while on the road to recovery, flipping the middle finger to New England’s staff. He set himself apart from the course that his teammates would have chosen or been forced to follow. Is it any wonder why everybody in that locker room is searching for some guidance?

Good news, Patriots players and fans. Your search is over. The guy you’ve been looking for all along wears No. 83 and will be lined up in the slot when New England hosts Cincinnati on Sept. 12. Jump on Welker’s shoulders and hope that he can carry the Patriots to another Super Bowl title. He’s the man to do it.

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One Response to “The Patriots’ true leader emerges”

  1. Anysee said

    S2-6400…

    […]The Patriots’ true leader emerges « Ramble On Sports[…]…

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