The next time he puts on his New England Patriots uniform, he hopes to start another, more successful, run toward the NFL championship.
"I'll keep coming to this game and keep trying," the quarterback said. "I'd rather come to this game and lose than not get here."
Welker led the NFL with 122 receptions but dropped a pass, a bit off target, with about four minutes left that would have put the Patriots at about the Giants 20-yard line with a 17-15 lead. Team owner Robert Kraft wants him back and Brady said, "He's a phenomenal player and teammate and I love that guy."
Welker is likely to return.
He would have a different offensive coordinator. Josh McDaniels, who held that position from 2006-08, rejoined the team as an offensive assistant for the playoffs after serving in that spot with the St. Louis Rams. He replaces Bill O'Brien, who left to succeed Joe Paterno as head coach at Penn State.
In 2008 they added linebacker Jerod Mayo. The next year they drafted safety Patrick Chung, tackle Sebastian Vollmer and wide receiver Julian Edelman. In 2010, they had a terrific draft with cornerback Devin McCourty, tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, linebacker Brandon Spikes and punter Zoltan Mesko.
"The combine is in two and a half weeks," coach Bill Belichick said Monday after returning to Foxborough, Mass. "I'm sure there will be (a) lot of things on the agenda between now and then so we'll just take them as they come. For right now, we're just kind of collecting our thoughts and we'll figure it out in due course."
Then they won their next eight games, plus two in the playoffs, as Gronkowski turned into an All-Pro and the defense improved.
The defense needs the most work.
Its pass rush was shaky, especially after sacks leader Andre Carter suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury in the 14th game. The linebacking was solid. But the secondary never got stabilized because of injuries and poor play. Belichick brought in and cut several free agents. He even used McCourty, whose play dropped off after he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie last season, at safety.
Chung, the signal-caller in the secondary, is determined that the defense will improve.
"We fought hard" in the Super Bowl, he said. "We know the taste and we don't like the taste, so we're going to keep working (this) offseason to try to get back here next year."