Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Deion Branch: Stuff is just flying around
By Mike Wells
INDIANAPOLIS -- It's like new Indianapolis Colts receiver Deion Branch is back in college cramming for a final that's days away. He's spending almost every free minute he has trying to learn his new team's system.
But Branch, who signed on Monday, didn't sound a player who's sure he'll be able to contribute on the field during Saturday's playoff game against the New England Patriots.
"Stuff is just flying around," he said. "I think with the two days, I think I'm okay. I'm not where I want to be as a professional. I know how I am about me getting in and learning the offense and knowing where everybody's at. I won't say I'm up to speed on that part. As far as the things they've been throwing at me, I think I've been doing okay at it."
Branch has one more practice, a walk through and any extra film sessions or one-on-one time with quarterback Andrew Luck to grasp as much of the offense as possible.
Another reason to think Branch may not do much Saturday is because he hasn't played in an NFL game since Jan. 20, 2013.
"Not being active for a couple of months, I've been training on my own but it's totally different when you're competing," he said. "As far as playing the game, that's going to be Coach [Chuck Pagano's] decision. Me personally, I'm just every day trying to do my best to pick up everything I possibly can."
Branch has been spending a lot of time with backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to help him get caught up to speed on things. The two were teammates together with the Seattle Seahawks
"I think Matt's biggest thing is just knowing that the backup is an actual starting quarterback," Branch said. "Just hearing the plays, that's my thing. I need to hear them and I know Luck is so busy right now, he really doesn't have as much time to sit down with me and call these plays out to me. But hearing the plays from a quarterback is what I need and that's what Matt is doing for me right now."
Well Branch can at least help the Colts by giving them tips about the Patriots, right?
"I'm an old school player and I always learned from my coach back in the days," Branch said. "You can always tell somebody what you're doing, but they still got to stop you. If that came about, we still got to stop them, or they still have to stop us. If we knew exactly what they were doing, we still have to stop it. This is the NFL. These guys, the scouts, I think those guys have done a great job. They knew all the ins-and-outs about the Patriots before they thought of bringing me back."