Although the New England Patriots were moving away from down-the-field passing attack anyway and have been operating a majority of time out of multiple tight-end sets, quarterback Tom Brady admitted the offense will have a different feel moving forward without Randy Moss on the field.
"You just don't replace a guy with Randy's talent and ability down the field," Brady said on his weekly visit with Boston sports-radio station WEEI. "You replace it with maybe using the strengths of other players. So Randy certainly has his strengths.
"Wes [Welker] has his strengths. The tight ends have their strengths. I think it's up to the coaching staff when you game plan to determine what your players do the best, and those are the things that you ultimately do."
Brady also said he'd "love to have an offense that controls the tempo of the game and controls the clock by running it." That would continue a notable departure from what we've come to know of the Patriots' spread offense since Moss arrived in 2007.
But ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss had it covered. Reiss presented an efficient analysis of the deal.
Branch is one of the few players that uniquely fits the Patriots' needs at this time. He knows the team's system and can play all the receiver spots, so the learning curve won't be steep. That's a key consideration for the Patriots given their complex offensive system, especially when making a trade during the season. Branch is a high-character player who joins Brandon Tate, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Taylor Price and Matthew Slater on the receiver depth chart.