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Rex Ryan a big fan of Wes Welker

Updated: September 16, 2010, 12:43 AM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When the New England Patriots lost to the New York Jets in the second game of the 2009 season, the team was without receiver Wes Welker, who was sidelined with a knee injury.

Welker's presence was felt in the rematch a few months later when he had 15 receptions, and it turns out he's a favorite of Jets coach Rex Ryan for both his play and on-field confidence.

"That's a guy I totally respect," Ryan said Wednesday on a conference call. "He's a tough-as-nails ...

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