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Wes Welker Press Conference 01.29.12: Welker Remembers The Tough Times

Wes Welker wasn't always a great player. In fact, Welker remembers the days well when he was just another player fighting for a roster spot.

"Oh yeah. Trust me, I take nothing for granted as far as football goes and as far as my career and understanding that you never know when your day is up. They can cut you at any time. I remember back then, I made the team and being a rookie, I didn't know that they could cut you in the middle of the season after that. The next week I was cut. It was definitely a very humbling experience for me, but hopefully I don't relive that again."

All of those times makes this second Super Bowl trip so much sweeter for Welker, who is looking for his first ring. After such a magical season in 2007 came crashing down, the slot receiver realizes more than ever how hard it is to get to this point.

"In a way you almost do take it for granted. After having a great season like we did back then, you do almost think you are going to go every year, and ‘we'll be back next year.' It's really hard to get here. It's a tough, long road. I think I've learned to appreciate it and make sure the younger guys know just how special this is and how hard it is to do, and to take full advantage of every possibility to do what's right for the team, so we can win on Sunday."

One difference (other than not being undefeated), is the mood of Bill Belichick lately, according to Welker.

"We wonder about that all of the time. I don't know if it's a lady in his life or what the deal is, but he definitely smiles a little more than he used to. But trust me, he is just as hard on us as what he's been since day one, at least with me. He is on all of the time. He works very hard and tries to put us in the best position to win."

However, Welker and co. now that it's all business with the Giants across the field once again.

"They are playing very confident football right now. They are playing really well. They are getting turnovers, and every time they get a turnover, it seems like they are turning it into seven points. They are always hanging around the ballgame and making the plays in the end to win. They are definitely a scary team. We are definitely going to have to go out there and play a very good ballgame to win."

For the rest of the press conference, follow the link.

Also, for more on the Patriots, be sure to visit Pats Pulpit.