Branch: Football isn't meant for everybody to play

Branch: Football isn't meant for everybody to play
August 23, 2012, 6:57 pm
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Bill Belichick's "suck it up" message regarding New England's short week has been received by the team.
When asked if the compressed schedule is good practice for the regular season's Week 11 and Week 12 games (Indianapolis Sunday, Jets Thursday), Deion Branch answered the affirmative.
Will it be exactly the same? No; managing 90 men for two games in five days adds a layer of intrigue that November will lack. But either way, whatever the month, the players have to take what comes.
"Theres one thing aboutme and Tom Brady were just talking about this game just a while agofootball isnt meant for everybody to play," Branch said in Tampa. "Its a very mentally straining job as far as the game. Only certain guys are picked to play this game and the ones who are chosen, those are the ones that stand out. You have to stand strong through these times here.
"But at the same time were blessed and we also love the game as well."
Branch is a sage veteran among Patriots; this season will be his eleventh in the NFL, seventh with New England. He's a go-to for reporters because of his mellow straightforwardness.
Consider all the ado about this year's receiver competition. The team went out and got Brandon Lloyd, Donte' Stallworth, and Jabar Gaffney this offseason. Doubt was cast on Branch's standing.
But as far as he's saying, it's just the same old, same old.
"Trust me, Im dead honest when I say this: Ive gone into each training camp since my rookie season the same as I did this one -- ready to compete and I came in prepared. Just doing everything the coaches ask of me, whether that be special teams, whatever, any position on the football field and making sure I know every receiver position.
"Thats our job and I honestly will say that has been the training throughout my entire 11 years."
A message of its own.