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Welker: 'I'm gonna return whenever I'm ready'

Posted by Albert Breer  May 13, 2010 04:07 PM

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First, Welker was asked if he agreed with Tom Brady's assessment on whether the team needed to be more mentally tough in 2010 than it was in 2009.

"Yeah, I do agree with him," Welker responded. "There were some areas where we lacked that. There's not a whole lot of Rodney Harrisons and Tedy Bruschis and Mike Vrabels of the world. But we gotta do our best to replace guys like them, and bring a lot of mental toughness to the team.

"I think the coaches have really tried to address that. And I know it's something Coach Belichick preaches every year. We gotta make sure guys are setting good examples and channeling that down to the younger guys and making sure we're all on the same page, working hard together and playing together and being mentally tough together."

Any examples?

"I think a lot of games where we could have shut games out and we didn't, and we let some games we should have won get by," he went on. "I can't tell you there were really any specific areas, but I think that's one thing we can definitely hit on that we all need to get better at and need to improve on, and get mentally tougher with."

Then, the phone call cut off. About a half-hour later (by then, I'm fiddling with internet on the train), Welker came back on. He was then asked about being in California to rehab, and having Brady there too.

"I think doing it this way ... obviously, it'd be ideal for us to all be in Foxborough, getting work in there, doing all that," he said. "But everyone has their own personal reasons. One benefit for me there is being able to work with the trainer one-on-one."

Welker praised the work of team trainers Mike Woicik and Harold Nash, but emphasized that, with a whole team for those guys to worry about, he wouldn't get as much personal attention at the Patriots facility. He added that's been back, and Brady's been in Foxborough plenty, although he did say that "it's hard to say" what kind of impact all that will have on the team.

Welker was on in part to promote his camp next weekend at Thayer Academy, which he said will also include teammates Stephen Gostkowski and Tully Banta-Cain.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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