DENVER (CBS4) – We may never see another Triple Crown winner in horse racing as “California Chrome” finished out of the money. But Denver Broncos Wes Welker made some money because his horse “Undrafted” finished first in one of the preliminary races at Belmont.
Welker wasn’t at the race handing $100 bills like he did at the Kentucky Derby — he was at the Denver Athletic Club earlier this week being honored as the DAC’s Athlete of The Year. He sat down with CBS4’s Vic Lombardi to talk about the honor, among other things.
“I appreciate it, and again congratulations to everyone else who got an award here tonight and thank you so much for this honor,” Welker told the audience.
Lombardi asked Welker how he pulled off getting the Athlete of The Year honors.
“I think it was by default. I think Peyton (Manning) didn’t show up or something,” Welker said.
It’s always easy giving an award to a player from a record-breaking offense, but when evaluating what the Broncos did last season, it’s hard to see how they could improve.
“I think you’re always trying to improve and find ways to get better and things that you can do better next year,” Welker said.
Offensive coordinator Adam Gase likes to say that if he ever comes up with a new play or concept and it doesn’t work, Welker is quick to shoot him down.
“Sometimes … but a lot of the stuff, it’s really good, and I like it. I let him know also whenever I really like something new that he’s doing,” he said. “It’s been fun this spring to kind of play with some of that stuff … a lot of times I’m wrong, so it’s good to kind of give him a hard time.”
Welker really likes the Xs and Os of football and studying tape — as much as Manning. That could explain why he gets along so well with his quarterback.
“I think we see the same things out there on the field, and once he hears my point of view, or I hear his, we can kind of understand where each other are coming from and really get on the same page with stuff.”
In the offseason the Broncos brought in Emmanuel Sanders from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sanders can play the slot, Welker’s specialty. They also drafted wide receiver Cody Latimer out of Indiana and it’s the final year of Welker’s contract.
“I understand, it’s my 11th year and I’m 33 years old. I get all that stuff. The only thing I can control is me and the way I play out there on the field. I just want to go out there and play to the best of my ability. Whatever happens after that happens. I want us to have great players and be able to go a long ways this season.”
Lombardi asked Welker if he even wants to stay in Denver after this season and if it’s contingent on Manning being the quarterback.
“I haven’t thought about any of that stuff and I’m really not too worried about any of it at all. I’m focused on this year and what I need to do to help this team win. Obviously I love Denver and love the people here and the organization, coaches and everything else.”