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Wes Welker: Peyton Manning 'everything you thought'

While Patriots quarterback Tom Bradythrows to a flock of strangers in New England, his former top target, Wes Welker, is getting chummy with Peyton Manning.

Welker, who caught 118 balls from Brady last season, has joined a deep group of Denver Broncos wide receivers that includes Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. Welker's targets in the slot are bound to drop this season, but Manning is planning to make good use of Brady's old friend.

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"I'd be lying if I told you we have not studied what worked well for Wes in New England," Manning told the team's official website. "There's certain pass patterns and certain things that he's done so well for so long, you'd be crazy not to copy some of those and bring those to your offense."

Welker -- shifting from one Hall of Fame-worthy passer to the next -- doesn't appear to regret his move west.

"It's everything you thought," Welker said of Manning. "The balls are just so accurate and you come out of your break and the ball is just there. It's almost like a long handoff sometimes. He definitely makes it easy on you."

Welker boasts an NFL-record five seasons with at least 100 receptions. He'll be challenged to make it six, but it will be fascinating to watch the chemistry build with Manning.

For film junkies, the fun comes in seeing how Welker is used in the scheme, and what remnants of the Patriots' attack ultimately bubble up in Denver. Considering the dwindling number of reliable pass-catchers in New England, it's footage Patriots fans might want to avoid.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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