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Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Branch: 'Feels great' to be back

By Field Yates

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch said on Wednesday that it was great to be back on the field with his teammates on Sunday night, but that he feels he needs to do more to help his team.

"It feels great," he said. "It felt great to be on the field last week. Myself, I've got to do a lot more to help the team win."

The veteran was on the field for 42 of 82 offensive snaps in Week 3, corralling two passes for 11 yards. It's possible that his playing time will increase this week, as uncertainty surrounds the health of Julian Edelman, who left last Sunday's game with a left hand injury and was not spotted as Wednesday's practice.

Branch says his playing time will be dictated by the game plan.

"I think everything is the game plan," he said. "Whatever Coach McDaniels goes into the game plan, like I said last week, there's a lot of different things that happen during the course of the game, and we were going with whatever was working. At that time, we started the game off a certain way, and then once we got into the flow of the game, whatever is working, that's what we're going to do."

Branch is one of just two Patriots, along with quarterback Tom Brady, who were on the roster the last time that the team found itself under .500. On Sunday night, the Patriots snapped a streak of 145 regular season weeks with a record at or above .500.

He says he the unfamiliar territory doesn't feel weird.

"We haven't been in it, but does it feel weird? It's the league," he continued. "If you don't go out and take care of business on Sunday, then chances are you may lose. Sometimes you may get lucky enough to pull off a game here and there, but you're playing against a lot of great teams, we can't make any more mistakes. We've got to correct the ones that we have made, so that we dont have this situation occur again."

The most important message that Branch and fellow veterans are conveying to the younger players on the team now is that every game matters.

"Every game counts. I think that's most important. I think the guys understand that here," Branch continued. "The coaches do a great job bringing in the right guys, guys that understand what we're doing, guys that understand the program. I think once they get here they just fall in to suit with the rest of the guys. I think overall, they understand we take every game one game at a time. They're all very important."