Deion Branch says he's not replacing Randy Moss

The New England Patriots traded for receiver Deion Branch shortly after they traded away receiver Randy Moss. But Branch says that if people view that as a sign that he was brought in to replace Moss, they’re wrong.

“That’s the first thing I want to let you know — I’m not here to replace Randy. I’m not Randy Moss,” Branch said, per the Providence Journal. “I wasn’t Randy Moss when I was here. I’m not here to replace him. My job is to go out and do what the offense asks me to do, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Branch is obviously right that he’s not the same kind of player as Moss, but the Patriots obviously brought Branch in because they needed another receiver after the Moss trade. What Branch says the Patriots got is a receiver who knows his role in New England’s offense.

“I understand the game of football,” Branch said. “I truly understand the game and how to study guys, the opponent. I think my first four years here, I was playing off all athleticism and I was getting away with it for a little bit. I think now I can sit down and break down a film and watch my opponent.”

17 responses to “Deion Branch says he's not replacing Randy Moss

  1. Still say, even with the addition of Branch, if New England is smart they should go out and grab Roy Williams. You could get him for nothing and New England has all sorts of draft picks to use in doing so.
    I’d love to see all the people who have talked about him like he sucks for the last year have to eat their words if he had Brady and the New England offense to play with. It’s not his fault Romo can’t hit the back side of a barn.

  2. I sure hope the Patriots only use him in 3 & 4 reciever sets….Brandon Tate should ALWAYS be on the field as the #2 behind only Welker.

  3. They should not have given up a 4th, and trading for Roy Williams… really? How is he an upgrade from Randy Moss? Another head case primadona.

  4. Whats funny is that Seattle thought Branch was something he isn’t. He was never a huge numbers guy and i was surprised they gave up a number one for him. That being said, he has tremendous value in the pats system. He is a go to guy in clutch situations and Brady has (or at least had) great confidence in him. i am interested to see how NE uses him and hope he can regain some of his previous success with this team.

  5. Double-team Welker, force Branch to beat you? If I’m a defensive coordinator, I’m okay with that.

  6. ” if New England is smart they should go out and grab Roy Williams”
    Yeah he’s really helped the Cowboys a lot with his stone hands. NOT.
    “the Patriots obviously brought Branch in because they needed another receiver after the Moss trade”
    No, the don’t NEED another receiver the team is loaded without Moss. What they want Branch for is to give some veteran leadership from a player who understands the offensive system to the young guys. Branch will likely be used mostly as a 3rd down possession receiver.

  7. For all the hand-wringing about Moss being not replacable,
    The Boston Globe had a nice breakdown of Brady’s passer rating when targeting different receivers this year:
    Gronkowski: 143
    Welker: 122
    Hernandez: 117
    Tate: 107
    Moss: 64
    Targeting Moss and completing only 41% of the time (9-22, 2 INTs) was not really a part of the offense that was working all that well.
    Branch is not Moss, not even Tate or Welker. He will help some and he will play hard all the time, though, unlike Randy.

  8. The Boston Globe had a nice breakdown of Brady’s passer rating when targeting different receivers this year:
    Gronkowski: 143
    Welker: 122
    Hernandez: 117
    Tate: 107
    Moss: 64
    Targeting Moss and completing only 41% of the time (9-22, 2 INTs) was not really a part of the offense that was working all that well.
    —————————————————–
    And now those passer ratings will definitely change with the loss of Moss. Why? With no true deep threat they can just dbl up Welker.

  9. @KnuckleBucket:
    Holmgren and Ruskell didn’t hire Branch to be a “#1” or “vertical” WR. They needed a possession/slot receiver to replace Jurevicius when he left, and that’s why they traded for Branch. At the time, he was comparable to Wes Welker, in both skill and hype. He never delivered, and was never as good as Jurevicius.
    The main problem with Branch was all the injuries. It’s laughable that NE suddenly thinks he’s going to stay healthy for the first time in 5-6 seasons. Stupid trade when you consider the health issues alone.
    The other problem with Branch is that he drops too many passes, which is horrible for a possession receiver. You can’t blame Hasselbeck for dropped passes, especially when he’s hitting Branch’s gloves on those drops. And the fact that Branch is scared to get hit, and will give up on underneath routes as a result. That made him a terrible receiver in the middle of the field so Seattle tried (unsuccessfully) to use him on deep routes. Problem is, he doesn’t have the speed to get separation and still drops too many passes. Every once in a while, he’ll get a catch like he had against San Francisco in Week 1, but that is far more rare than his many drops.
    It’s hilarious that Belichick, and a ton of delusional NE fans, actually think the NE system is so great that it will hide Branch’s defects. But hey, we’ll take the free 4th-rounder! Thanks, NE!

  10. You guys should be NFL GM’s seriously. You guys know a ton about football.
    You regurgitate what you read on another website as your own opinion, its sad.

  11. @Belichick Is God
    I’m sure this will be discussed before my comment is finished but that is a stupid, one sided way to look at the trade. Moss stretched the field and allowed for Welker and the TEs to make all those plays. Trading Moss away will not make any sort of positive impact from a purely football perspective. That doesn’t mean the trade was stupid. Maybe he was a huge problem, and instead of sweeping under the rug like the Cowboys or Bengals, the Pats were proactive in solving it quickly. But on the field, this hurts.

  12. They should be making a play for Larry Fitzgerald and signing him long-term, save him from Arizona.

  13. I’m not sure what happened in Seattle, but when Branch and Givens were 1+2 for NE, the pair led the league in not-dropping passes. I believe they had zero dropped passess between the two of them in his final year as a Patriot.

  14. @ ECS – Brougham Boys 74
    I never said they thought he was a #1 or vertical wide receiver. What I said is that they were expecting a guy to put up big numbers. If you go back and look at Branch’s #’s when he was here originally they are no way NEAR the numbers Welker has put up the last 3 years. I think the reason Branch was good here was his performance in the clutch and chemistry with Brady. And as far as the #4 pick, you’re welcome. NE got that pic for Maroney and have more picks than they know what to do with anyway. Most fans are not delusional about what Branch brings to this team as they are not under the delusion that Seattle was as to who he is. He was injured here and missed 11 games during his first tenure. What he brings is veteran leadership, a familiararity with Brady, prior experience in this offense and the ability to step in immediatley and be an option.

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