Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Branch back with Pats, but ‘not Moss’

A new jersey hung yesterday where Randy Moss’ No. 81 shirt once rested in the Patriots’ locker room. No. 84.

A new jersey hung yesterday where Randy Moss’ No. 81 shirt once rested in the Patriots’ locker room. No. 84.

Deion Branch’s No. 84, to be exact.

A few days after Moss was shipped back to his original team in Minnesota, Branch returned “home” to New England.

But that’s where the Super Bowl XXXIX MVP wants the comparisons between the two to end.

“That’s the first thing I want to let you all know — I’m not here to replace Randy,” Branch said. “I’m not Randy Moss. I wasn’t Randy Moss when I was here, and I’m not here to replace him.

“My job is to go out and do what the offense asks of me to do, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Branch spent the first four seasons of his career with the Pats, and became Tom Brady’s favorite target — especially during the postseason, when he hauled in 41 passes for 629 yards and three TDs.

He also rushed for a postseason score.

After a Branch holdout, New England traded the wideout to Seattle in 2006 in exchange for a 2007 first-round pick.

“No regrets,” Branch said. “I wish it never happened, but no regrets … We didn’t leave on a bad note and I think that’s why it was so easy to return, because we both understood what was going on.

“It wasn’t a personal issue. I wasn’t mad at Coach, and he wasn’t mad at me. We just couldn’t come to an agreement, and that stuff happens.”

Guys like Dan Koppen know what it means to have Branch back on the team.

“He’s just a good player,” the center said. “He made a lot of plays for us in some big-time games and you want those types of players on your team.

“[He’s a] good guy to have around.”

 
 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles