Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Colts insist Branch signing wasn't just for intel


Deion Branch hasn't played a down since the New England Patriots' AFC Championship loss to the Baltimore Ravens last year.

So it's only fitting that the Indianapolis Colts signed the veteran wide receiver this week as they prepare to face the Patriots in the Divisional round of the playoffs.

"He’s a proven guy who played at a high level in this league. I don’t see how it can hurt you," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said this week, via Colts.com. "It made sense to bring him on board.

". . . I think it will be a seamless transition. Time will tell. From a terminology standpoint, he’s probably run the concepts we’ve run. It’s a matter of becoming familiar with play calls and terminology."

Perception is that Branch was brought in for his knowledge of the Patriots' system. While Pagano didn't deny that, he insisted Branch's on-field potential is real.

"Every decision we make is what’s best for this team and what gives us the best chance to win," he said. "We think we have one heck of a player."

Branch caught just 16 passes in 10 regular season games with the Patriots in 2012, a year after hauling in 90 passes and five touchdowns.

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