Super Bowl 2012, Media Day: Patriots Wide Receiver Wes Welker Full Interview Transcript

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker addressed the media during Super Bowl Media Day at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Courtesy of Patriots.com.

(on the Super Bowl atmosphere and the set up in Indianapolis)
"Yeah, it's definitely set in. It's a pretty incredible place and four years ago, I believe, I was in the stands doing interviews and everything. It's kind of nice to have a seat."

(on becoming more of a marquee player since his last Super Bowl Media Day)
"It's kind of surreal in a way. You just strive to be the best you can, and do what you can out there on the field. It's great to see your career develop and into what it is today."

(on how it feels to be where he is after all of the hard work he's put into his development)
"I don't know if you can really describe it. It's a lot of hard work. A lot of late nights and early mornings, and everything else to get to this point-it's never easy, you don't really take it for granted. You just go out there and play the best you can and do what you can to be here. Now we're here and it's a great deal."

(on if he's noticed a change in Bill Belichick's demeanor this year, he's been more light hearted publicly)
"I don't know, I think he's enjoying himself. I think he's got a lady in his life, so that could definitely be the case; I don't know. We're just coming here to try and win a ballgame. However we do that or whatever demeanor we have to take, that's what it's going to be."

(on how he plays the game out in his head going into the Super Bowl)
"Hopefully good, we've put a lot into this and this is what you play for. This is why you run those extra sprints in the offseason, why you lift all those weights, this is why you play the game-to be in the position that we're in, it's the best and we have to take advantage of it."

(on if this is a rematch of Super Bowl XLII)
"It's just the same organizations are going at each other. It's different players, really, different teams playing the game. I don't think there are too many guys who are here from '07."

(on who had the better offensive weapons, Tom Brady or Eli Manning)
"I think both teams have really good offensive weapons, so we'll find out on Sunday night who does."

(on if Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history)
"I'm a little bias, but yeah I think so. Just watching him in person, the way he works, what he does out there, it's pretty incredible."

(on his concern level for Rob Gronkowski's health)
"Rob's a big boy. He's tough and everything else, so I'm not too worried about him. I know he's going to give his best out there and do whatever he can do to help us win the game. I think everyone, collectively, is going to do that."

(on how much of an impact Rob Gronkowki's injury will be if he isn't fully healthy for the Super Bowl)
"I think everybody has to step up and make plays-across the board. It's not all on Rob, and it hasn't been all year. We have to come together and make the plays necessary to win the game, and that's what it's all about and guys stepping up to do that."

(on how he can relate, as a kick returner, to San Francisco 49ers return man Kyle Williams)
"I don't think you really worry about that. The plays happen out there, they happen, and you can't really worry about it. You just have to go out there and do the best you can and make the plays necessary to win the game."

(on if sympathizes with San Francisco 49ers returner Kyle Williams being a kick returner himself)
"Sure, sure-it's tough. That's a tough position to play in critical situations. It's never easy to go out there and make those plays, but you have to do the best you can and hopefully have a better outcome."

(on if he thinks the Giants' defensive backs can cover him)
"I think they can, but hopefully not on Sunday."

(on if his confidence level is high right now)
"I think you always have to keep a high confidence level-at all times. That's the only way to play this game and how you have success out there."

(on if he has taken notice of what Giants WR Victor Cruz has done from the slot position)
"Yeah, absolutely, he's done a really good job. He has good quickness; he does a good job of setting up his routes. Watching him, he and Eli (Manning)
seem to be on the same page, as far as doing that 10-yard downhill out in the slot. He sets that up with faking that route and bending it into the middle. It's something I try to tell our defensive backs to be ready for, because either he's going to do that or he's going to try and wrap it in there and get open faking that 10-yard out. I think those two routes really set up each other well in what he does, and he does a good job with them."

(on if he watched Patriots teammate Chad Ochocinco on 'Dancing with the Stars' and if he'd ever be a contestant on the show)
"I may have caught like one episode or something like that. I think he did terrible, didn't he? He didn't last too long, did he? For being an athlete, you would think he'd be in the top two or three, right? I mean, come on. To answer your question, I really don't see myself being on Dancing with the Stars; it's not really my deal."

(on if there is a revenge factor going into the Super Bowl after the Giants beat them in Super Bowl XLII and ended their perfect season)
"I don't think you really worry about that. I think you go out there and play your game and do whatever you have to do to try and win the game. You don't get caught up in the past, you just understand that you have a great opportunity here and you just try to make the most of it."

(on how he would describe his journey from high school to sitting on a podium on Media Day before playing in his second Super Bowl)
"Long. It's been kind of crazy. I feel like it's been long, but I've just been taking it day-by-day, and every day trying to get better and trying to improve myself to get to this point. I continue to do that, and that's what you have to do. It's put me in the Super Bowl now, and even now, every day just trying to get better, and I think that's what you continually have to do."

(on some of the plays that TE Rob Gronkowski has made this season that have made him say 'wow')
"Some of the catches he makes, down by his shoelaces, being as big as he is, and being limber enough to be able to reach down and make some of those catches. We see some in practice that you just kind of shake your head. You can't really describe it. The guy has a lot of talent, and he's a really good player for us. Not only receiving, but blocking-he's a hell of a player."

(on if he'd like to say anything to the United States troops overseas)
"I just want to say, 'Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to our country! Thank you for allowing us to come out here and play this game. Without you all protecting us, who knows where we would be right now, so thank you.'"

(on how difficult it was to come back from a major knee injury, and how long it took before he felt comfortable on the field)
"I think just continuing to work, and continuing to do what you need to do to get better. It's a long, hard process, and on days that you're sore and you don't feel like pushing it, you have to. That's when you really have to put yourself in a position to get better. No matter how bad it hurts or how you're feeling, it's always those days when you want to take a day off and rest that you have to push it even more."

(on his biggest fears when he first injured his knee)
"Being the same player-being able to come back from it. Being able to cut and doing all of those different things, it was definitely a fear of mine. You know, 'What is going to happen to my career now?'"

(on how he feels going from an undrafted free agent to now sitting on a podium, getting ready to play in his second Super Bowl)
"I'm so excited. To get to this point, you know how hard it is. It's never easy. We're definitely blessed and excited to be here, and hopefully we can take advantage of the opportunity." For more New England Patriots coverage, visit our team page and blog, Pats Pulpit

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