New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick listens to a reporter's question during a media availability at the NFL football team's facility in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick blasted one of his former players Monday for a play that injured cornerback Aqib Talib in the AFC Championship game.
At a news conference in Foxborough, Belichick said Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker deliberately tried to "take out" Talib when they collided Sunday.
Talib hurt his knee on the play early in the second quarter and missed the rest of the game. Denver beat New England 26-16 to advance to the Super Bowl.
"I'll let the league handle the discipline on that play. It's not for me to decide," Belichick said.
Belichick called the play one of the worst he's seen and said Welker made no attempt to get open. On the play, Peyton Manning's pass to Demaryius Thomas fell incomplete.
Welker spent the previous six years with the Patriots before signing with the Broncos before the season. He said he was trying to get Talib to go behind him as the two headed for each other across the middle.
"It wasn't a deal where I was trying to hit him or anything like that," Welker said. "Hope he's OK. He's a great player."
Broncos head coach John Fox said he hadn't seen the tape, but he called Welker a player of "high integrity" and he said the team wasn't intentionally trying to hurt any Patriots players.