Kimberly-Clark Corporation and Shaw's representatives have presented the 2007 Patriots 12th Player Award to wide receiver Wes Welker. The award is presented annually to the Patriots player who personifies the Patriots team spirit, performs beyond expectations and is recognized for his contributions to the organization, both on the field and in the community. For the past 12 years, Patriots fans have selected the winner by casting their votes at Shaw’s Supermarkets throughout the season and by voting online at www.shaws.com. Recent winners include running back Laurence Maroney in 2006, linebacker Willie McGinest in 2005, wide receiver/defensive back Troy Brown in 2004, defensive tackle/fullback Dan Klecko in 2003, kicker Adam Vinatieri in 2002, quarterback Tom Brady in 2001 and linebacker Tedy Bruschi in 2000.
Welker leads the Patriots with a career-high 96 receptions this season, a total that ranks second in the NFL. His 96 receptions are tied for the third highest single-season total in franchise history and he needs six catches in the Patriots’ final two games to eclipse Troy Brown’s franchise record of 101 receptions in 2001. Welker ranks second on the team with a career-high 1,004 receiving yards and is one of just eight players in team history to record a 1,000-yard receiving season. His eight touchdown receptions rank second on the team and are also a career high. On Nov. 25 against Philadelphia, Welker caught 13 passes, tying the second highest single-game reception total in team history and tying the highest single-game reception total by a Patriot in a non-overtime game. His 149 receiving yards in that game set a new career high and stand as the second highest receiving yard total by a Patriot this season. Welker is his first season with the Patriots and was acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins on March 5, 2007 in exchange for a second- and seventh-round selections in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Only hours after it appeared Bill Parcells was on the brink of becoming director of football operations for the woeful Atlanta Falcons, that deal is off and Parcells is considering an offer from the Miami Dolphins.
That's more bad news for Falcons fans already reeling from the imprisonment of quarterback Michael Vick and the resignation of coach Bobby Petrino.
The Dolphins have an even worse record (1-13) than the Falcons (3-11). It had been rumored, before West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez took the job at Michigan, that Miami coach Cam Cameron was interested in coaching the Wolverines. It'll be interesting to see how Parcells views Cameron's situation. Or, conversely, how Cameron likes having the Big Tuna looking over his shoulder and having final say on player acquisitions.
Looks like Bill Parcells is going to get to shop for the groceries in Atlanta. He is not, however, going to do the cooking.
The New York Daily News reported Wednesday morning that Parcells is on the brink of becoming director of football operations for the Falcons -- a franchise in disarray following the criminal prosecution of star quarterback Michael Vick and the abrupt resignation of first-year coach Bobby Petrino, who quit last week to return to college coaching, at the University of Arkansas.
"Under no circumstances," Parcells told Gary Myers, the Daily News' longtime NFL columnist, "is Bill Parcells going to return to the field."
Patriots fans will remember that one of the reasons Parcells left New England after the AFC championship season of 1996 to return to New York, where he won two Super Bowls with the Giants, to become coach of the Jets was a complaint that Pats owner Robert Kraft wanted him to ``cook the meals," but wouldn't let him "shop for the groceries."
If, as appears likely, Parcells takes the job in Atlanta, no moves will be made without his approval.
His first move will be to hire a general manager, and then work with the new GM to find a replacement for Petrino.
A lock to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the colorful Parcells is a brilliant coach and strong personality who'll bring expertise, credibility, and a winning attitude to the 3-11 Falcons.
Team owner Arthur Blank was left reeling by the fall of Vick -- the highly-paid, face of the franchise --and the departure of Petrino after just 13 games. Blank approached former Steelers coach Bill Cowher in hopes he would replace Petrino, but Cowher said he wasn't interested in the job.
Bringing Parcells to Atlanta would be a positive step in restoring stability to the franchise.
Even before he became head coach of the Cowboys in 2003, Parcells had said that, while he still loved coaching on Sundays, he wasn't sure he still wanted to do the