Wes Welker used to be Tom Brady's favorite target, but now it's likely that his number of targets will take a dramatic step backwards. That's largely thanks to the level of talent at the wide receiver position the Broncos have compared to that of the Patriots. Still, the Broncos aren't dumb, and they'll be making sure Wes Welker is comfortable by giving him familiar routes.
"I’d be lying if I told you we have not studied what worked well for Wes in New England," Peyton Manning told the Broncos team website. "There’s certain pass patterns and certain things that he’s done so well for so long, you’d be crazy not to copy some of those and bring those to your offense."
The ideas brought over from New England have helped keep Welker comfortable, and Peyton Manning hasn't made it too difficult on the Broncos' new slot receiver either.
"It’s everything you thought," Welker said of working with Manning. "The balls are just so accurate and you come out of your break and the ball is just there. It’s almost like a long handoff sometimes. He definitely makes it easy on you."
In Denver, Welker will be used more in a supplementary role than he was in New England. With the Patriots, Welker was used to bring the defense forward so other receivers could get down field. In Denver, there will be a more balanced approach of loosening the defense with the long ball and bringing them back in with Welker. Each facet will support the other, and while Welker may not be targeted nearly as often in Denver, expect him to continue to produce big numbers for the Broncos.