New England Patriots receiver Wes Welker told the Boston Herald that he regrets his subtle dig at New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, which got him benched for the first series of his team's playoff loss to New York.
"Yeah, sure I do," Welker told the Herald at the San Francisco Airport on his way to the Pro Bowl in Honolulu.
"I'm not going to get into any details about it, but I don't think it's worth putting coach [Bill Belichick] in that situation," he said. "So in a sense, I do regret it. ... As much as you might want to get enticed into that stuff, at the end of the day, it's just not worth it."
During his news conference leading into the Patriots' divisional playoff game against the Jets, Welker made more than 10 references to feet, a not-so-veiled reference to the foot-fetish flap involving Ryan and his wife. Prior to those remarks, Ryan had said he was making the game "personal" against Belichick and defensive back Antonio Cromartie had called Patriots quarterback Tom Brady an "ass----" as the Jets turned up the trash talk leading up to the game.
Belichick benched Welker for the team's first offensive possession of the game as punishment for the zinger, though the receiver did field a punt before New England's offense took the field for the first time.
Welker admitted to the Herald "it's not always easy to keep a lid on it.'' Still, he said, he believes in the Patriots' way of doing things.
"I like the fact we don't get caught up in all that stuff," Welker told the Herald. "At the end of the day, it's about football. That's what it's supposed to be about. That's all that matters. It's concentrating on your job and what you do, and not concentrating on the riffraff that goes with all that other stuff. It's about the team and going out there and playing good football. And not getting caught up in all the media hype. It's just not worth it."