ENGLEWOOD, Colo. –When the Broncos agreed to terms with wide receiver Wes Welker, Head Coach John Fox called it a "double signing."
Not only is he a new weapon for quarterback Demaryius Thomas and the Denver offense, but the team no longer has to defend against him.
Except in practice, and that is a challenge that the Broncos defenders are looking forward to.
"It's gonna be some amazing practices with me and Welker in this slot," cornerback Chris Harris Jr. tweeted after the signing was announced. "Games should be easy."
Welker caught 118 passes last year, earning his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl invitation.
Now he brings that slot-receiver skillset to a Broncos offense that ranked fifth in passing yards a year ago.
Fox knows from his experience trying to defend against Welker what a mismatch he creates in the middle of the field.
"I know from defending Wes Welker for years, what a tough matchup he is," Fox said. "When you trot that particular personnel group out there and you have names like Demaryius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker, they can't double all three of them."
The signing of Welker gives Denver three receivers who topped the 1,000-yard mark in 2012. The trio combined for nearly 300 catches, 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns last season.
"They have to pick and choose and you figure out what that is and try to exploit what they do," Fox said. "The biggest thing with him is that he has skins on the wall. He's been a very productive player in our league—and recently—and is a tough matchup. We're excited to have him."