Throughout his playing career, Wes Welker did it all on the football field.
Now as a Texans offensive and special teams assistant coach, the former All-Pro receiver will take on a variety of responsibilities.
"He's going to help us on offense, obviously," head coach Bill O'Brien said Wednesday in Indianapolis. "He's going to help us in special teams with our returners. He's going to help us with some of our DBs – our situational DBs. He's breaking down a ton of film, helping us in the draft. He's doing everything that an entry level coach would do."
In 12 NFL seasons, Welker amassed 1,000 receving yards or more five different times. He carried the ball 19 times for 151 yards. He returned 447 kickoffs and punts, kicked a 29-yard field goal and twice booted an extra point.
The former Texas Tech standout played in the Patriots' offense from 2007 to 2012, and all but that final season saw O'Brien as an assistant on staff. The Texans head coach has a great admiration for Welker's exploits.
"He meant a lot to me in my career," O'Brien said. "To me, he's the best slot receiver to play the game. He made a lot of great plays for us when I was calling plays there and you get attached to players like that. The way he practiced, the way he loved the game."
It was natural for the player nicknamed 'The Natural' during his college days in Lubbock, to slide into a coaching role once his playing days concluded.
"He always expressed the desire to coach," O'Brien said. "So, we kept in touch. When I went to Penn State, text messages here and there. When I got to Houston, he was towards the end of his career, obviously deciding whether to keep playing or to try to coach and learn how to coach. So, we had an opportunity after he decided to stop playing - we had an opportunity to hire him, and he's going to help us."
Welker and the Texans coaches and front office staff are in Indianapolis this week for the Combine.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 3/2/2021)