Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch practiced for the first time in Foxboro yesterday, and the local media has plenty of reactions, quotes, etc. from Gillette Stadium yesterday on his return. So here are this morning’s headlines.
The Boston Globe has an article on Branch’s return, with the veteran telling reporters yesterday that he’s not here to replace the recently departed Randy Moss, and that he’s going to go out and do whatever he’s asked in this offense.
“That’s the first thing I wanted to let you all know: I’m not here to replace Randy,’’ Branch said yesterday. “I’m not Randy Moss. I wasn’t Randy Moss when I was here.
“My job is to go out and do what the offense asks of me to do, and that’s what I’m going to do.’’
Ron Borges of the Herald has a good column this morning on Branch’s return, with the receiver finally recently selling his old condo – just in time to return to his former team.
Ian Rapoport of the Herald has more on Branch’s return, with the wide receiver telling reporters yesterday he’s excited to be back in Foxboro.
Jeff Howe of NESN.com writes that Branch feels right at home now that he’s back in Foxboro, and says that with Tom Brady still at the helm he should be just fine.
“We have a quarterback such as Tom,” Branch said. “He can do a lot of things. You’ve just got to make sure you put the guys in the right place, and just follow this guy leading. He won’t lead you in the wrong direction.”
Howe also has 19 other thoughts on the Patriots in this column.
With the team back at practice yesterday as they get ready for the Baltimore Ravens, Rapoport reports that the loss is still on everyone’s mind and that they’re hoping for a different outcome this time around.
Meanwhile in other news, offensive lineman Nick Kaczur had his season officially come to an end after the team announced he’s been placed on injured reserve.
Bob Ryan has a column this morning and believes that this is a “house money year” for the Patriots, and thinks that getting to the postseason would be an impressive achievement for this football team.
Glen Farley writes that head coach Bill Belichick has been a “good bye guy” over the years, but will face a tough challenge in keeping that streak going against the Ravens Sunday.
Mike Reiss wonders how much stock fans can put into that streak, since every year is different and history won’t necessarily help them.
The New York Daily News reports this morning that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says that getting a new collective bargaining agreement done by the end of the season is “realistic”, but says the two sides still have plenty of work to do in order to reach an agreement.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft echoed those sentiments, with the Boston Herald reporting that he also feels it could be done by the end of the 2010 season.
“We’re moving ahead. I’d like to see this get done before the season ends.” Asked if that was a realistic objective, Kraft added, “To me it is.”
That’s it for this morning. Hope you all have a good day, and we’ll have more later on.