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Welker: 'We've Made a Lot of Progress'

Posted Jun 27, 2013

New Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker has quickly gotten on the same page with QB Peyton Manning and his fellow receivers.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- It doesn't hurt to mess up a time or two. According to Wes Welker, it actually helps.

"It’s good to go out there and almost kind of screw it up a few times -- or at least screw it up once and then get it right the next time -- to really understand how Peyton (Manning) wants me to run routes and how the coaches want me to run routes," the new Broncos wide receiver said at the close of the club's mid-June minicamp. "Really just get on the same page with everyone.”

Earlier in the offseason, Head Coach John Fox said Welker's biggest hurdle as he joins a new team has nothing to do with ability -- it's about learning "a new language" and the nuances of a new offensive system.

It didn't take Manning long to see Welker's work ethic and realize it wasn't going to take long for the receiver to fit right into his new surroundings.

"He really has an ability to read coverages and I think he takes it as seriously as a quarterback does," Manning said. "That really has worked well for him, and as a quarterback, you sort of appreciate that. But hopefully we can still keep going. There’s some things that we need to improve on, which repetitions are the best way to improve that."

Those repetitions began as early as the beginning of April at Duke University and continued throughout OTAs and the club's final minicamp.

During that time, Welker said he, Manning and the rest of the receivers "made a lot of progress," and he expects to hit the ground running when training camp kicks off in less than a month on July 25.

But that doesn't mean he's settling in to a "comfort zone."

"I never want to feel a comfort zone," Welker said. "I want to continue to push myself and put myself in the right position to try and make plays for this team.”

When it comes to moving from catching passes from Tom Brady to catching passes from Manning, Welker said he doesn't want to make any comparisons, but Manning said the team hasn't hesitated to study what made Welker so successful with the Patriots.

"I’d be lying if I told you we have not studied what worked well for Wes in New England," Manning said. "There’s certain pass patterns and certain things that he’s done so well for so long, you’d be crazy not to copy some of those and bring those to your offense."

Welker said the transition has been smooth.

“It’s everything you thought," he said of working with Manning. "The balls are just so accurate and you come out of your break and the ball is just there. It’s almost like a long handoff sometimes. He definitely makes it easy on you.”

And now that he's in orange and blue, he's making sure he does everything he can to help the team finish the year the way it wants.

"I know in Denver we have high expectations and people have high expectations for us," Welker said. "It’s a good spot you want to be in."