FOXBORO -- Hands wrung around New England when the Colts signed Deion Branch Monday.
The veteran wide receiver played seven of 12 NFL seasons for the Patriots; his link-up with Indianapolis five days before the teams meet in a playoff game could hardly be considered a coincidence. It seemed more likely the Colts would pump Branch for information than expect the 34-year old to have an impact after one week in the system.
Said Bill Belichick to the idea of such gamesmanship: "I think that's way overrated.
"A lot of times the information in those situations is misinformation," the coach continued. "There's things that change from when the person was -- and I’m not saying in any particular circumstance, just in general -- a lot of times players come in from another team tells you this is what they do, this is their call, this is this, this is that, and then it turns out that's not really what it really is.
"Honestly, we have enough trouble doing all the things that we do, and getting them right, and getting everybody doing it well, and I’m sure they have the same thing. With the amount of volume you have in your different systems and the amount of volume you face on the other side of the ball… to be able to mentally know everything that you’re doing but then also be able to figure out everything that they’re doing – it’s pretty overrated."
There are several points to ponder when considering Indy's interest in Branch.
The first is Darrius Heyward-Bey missing at least a week because of a hamstring suffered against the Chiefs. Branch lives in Indiana and worked out with the team last month. Yes, he has a history with New England, but he's not played for the Patriots since last year's AFC Championship game. The offense also looks a lot different since then -- no Wes Welker, no Aaron Hernandez, no Danny Woodhead, no Brandon Lloyd.
Has Belichick given any thought to changing up calls this week?
"We’ll do whatever we think is best."