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Jed Weaver - back again?

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Jed Weaver - back again?

Postby IRON CHEF » Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:57 pm

For all of those praising Weaver as a sleeper this year, you may yet have a chance to own him and get productivity out of it.

http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040930/APS/409301049

Jed Weaver figured he'd spend this weekend unemployed and trying to sell the house he bought in Denver before the Broncos released him.

Instead, he'll be on the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots with a chance to tie the NFL record for most consecutive victories.

"All of a sudden, I'm on a plane out here," the Patriots new tight end said Thursday. "That's just the way the NFL is. It's fast and furious and you get in and do what you can."

The Patriots called Weaver on Tuesday after learning that day that rookie tight end Benjamin Watson, a first-round draft pick, would need season-ending knee surgery. Weaver arrived at about midnight, read some of his new playbook then was at practice Wednesday.

If he's ready to play Sunday at Buffalo, he knows that any mistake he or a teammate makes could help end the 17-game winning streak, including regular season and playoff games.

"Don't be that guy," he said with a laugh.

Weaver knew about the streak even before this season and suspects the NFL, seeking an attractive matchup, scheduled Miami's visit to New England for the week after the Buffalo game since the Dolphins are one of five NFL teams to share the record of 18 straight wins.

"Before the schedules came out I told my girl, `you watch, New England's going to play Miami in the game either to tie the record or break the record,' " Weaver said. "I'm surprised it's not on Monday night."

He's also surprised the Broncos cut him.

He had a career-high 35 catches last season, his only one with San Francisco after three years in Miami. But the 49ers wanted Eric Johnson to be the starter so Weaver signed with Denver, where tight end Shannon Sharpe had retired.

"It looked like an ideal spot to go," Weaver said.

But the Broncos told him he wasn't blocking well enough and cut him after the last exhibition game when other teams are reluctant to add players with the season opener a week away.

At 28, he kept working out and knew he'd get another chance. He worked out with the Patriots on Sept. 10, the day after their season-opening win over Indianapolis and also with Kansas City and Buffalo.

In New England, he rejoins linebacker Larry Izzo, his teammate in Miami in 2000. Weaver attended Izzo's wedding in Houston last February, where he met some of his new teammates. Izzo plans to be at Weaver's wedding next February in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

"He's an interesting character," Izzo said. "His nickname is `The Dream Weaver.' You know, West Coast, Oregon guy. He's just real laid back, real friendly guy, gets along with everybody, good-hearted guy."

Weaver should fit well in the Patriots locker room, where two Super Bowl wins in three years haven't produced inflated egos.

"Everyone's just really nice, down-to-earth guys," he said, "despite all the fame and all the glory here in the last couple of years."

With Watson on injured reserve, Weaver could be around for a while. He's encouraged because the Patriots often use double tight-end formations and rotate all three tight ends in the lineup. They already have Daniel Graham and Christian Fauria.

Weaver hasn't missed a game in his five NFL seasons and has 80 receptions in 80 games. He caught just 10 passes in 2000 but five came in Miami's 27-24 win in the season finale in New England.

"Being successful up here in the games that I played in helped out a lot" in the Patriots decision to sign him, he said.

"He has some versatility," coach Bill Belichick said. "We have seen him in the division so we have a little bit of familiarity with him."

So this weekend, instead of attending a real estate open house in Denver, Weaver may be part of an 18th straight win that will put New England in the record book.

"It's unbelievable, winning that many games, especially in these days, this modern era (when) there's no real dynasties," said Weaver, who already has been exposed to the team's one-game-at-a-time emphasis.

"There's signs Belichick posted: `Don't believe the hype.' I saw that when I came in for the workout," he said. "No matter what you've accomplished, there's still another game coming up, so it doesn't really matter what happened last week."

For Weaver, last week really doesn't matter. He finally has another game to play.

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Postby jaabroonii » Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:05 pm

what about Daniel Graham? He would get most of the playing time...
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Postby IRON CHEF » Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:14 pm

jaabroonii wrote:what about Daniel Graham? He would get most of the playing time...


Eh, Graham will remain starter, but it would kind of just return to the way things were before Watson was out for the season.
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