Bill Belichick praises Deion Branch

A lot of the soundbites people hear of Bill Belichick aren’t too detailed. But when it comes to actual football questions that won’t give anything away, he seems like he gives strong answers.

Looking at the Patriots wide receiver situation, there looks to be some speed lining up out wide. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola obviously have speed as slot guys. But then there’s Malcolm Mitchell, the rookie. When asked if he was the fastest guy, Belichick said no.

“It’s hard to really compare anybody to (Deion) Branch,” Belichick told “Branch had a rare quickness. I mean, what’d he run, like a three-seven short-shuttle? You just don’t see that. Deion was very, very quick and very smart. I’m not saying there aren’t other smart receivers, but Deion was really a smart receiver and very, very quick. We’ve had quick guys like Troy [Brown], and Julian [Edelman], and Wes [Welker], guys like that. But it wasn’t Deion, they didn’t have Deion’s kind of quickness.”

Ahem? Did he forget about Bethel Johnson? For real. That dude wasn’t much of an NFL player. But man, could he run.

Yeah, that guy could run.

Maybe Belichick was talking about among great football players the Patriots have had.

Branch had two tenures with the Patriots and helped them win back-to-back Super Bowls during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. And many must remember he was MVP in the 2005 Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Branch spent seven seasons with the Pats (2002-2005 and 2010-2012). He wasn’t Troy Brown or Wes Welker, so he was not the primary target during his Patriots tenure, but he was still a solid piece nonetheless.

Clearly, the Patriots have optimism at wideout this season. They have their big options in the slot, but Mitchell’s speed has to play in. He ran a 4.45 40-yard dash. That’s solid.



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