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So if things fell into place with Branch ...

Posted by Albert Breer  February 19, 2010 09:26 AM

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"We had something special there," Branch said. "And it all goes back to the credibility everyone had with one another. The work we all put in during the offseason, in the meeting room, on the practice field, after practice, that's where everyone should get credit. And then, outside of that, you've got Tom (Brady), the biggest competitor in the world, expecting perfection and that trickles down and that's what we as receivers, as well as the other players, started to expect and realized we should want."

So what does Deion have left?

Well, we mentioned his health problems when discussing his viability last month. He said then that his knee would never be the same.

"What I'm saying is, logically, the knee will never be the same as when I was born," Branch said. "The patella graft, it's not supposed to be there. But I can still do the same things, if not better, because I'm more experienced. I'm the guy you remember from four years ago. Really, those early days, I was playing off my natural ability. I'm eight years in now, I'm more experienced, I'm more wise about certain things, and you combine that with my natural talent, I'm same guy you guys remember.

"I've never doubt myself. I know what type of player I am. I know what I can bring, given the opportunity -- Put that part in bold letters."

And so he waits. As he said yesterday, he's not sure what's next with Seattle, but he's planning on being a part of the club's offseason program, which kicks off March 15.

Whether it's Seattle or someone else, he seems pretty sure of what he can bring to a football team.

"It's playmaking ability on the field and, off the field, teaching younger guys what to do and what not to do," Branch said. "I'm a guy that wants to be a part of something special, and I'm a team player. I don't need 15 balls thrown to be -- it's nice when that happens, but I don't need it. I just want to be one of those guys who's working to get to the goals that, as a team, you're trying to accomplish. That's me."
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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