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Patriots.com News Blitz - 10/12/2010

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The Patriots acquired wide receiver Deion Branch from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick late last night.

"Deion Branch brings to the Patriots another veteran presence, who knows the system and is familiar with quarterback Tom Brady," Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com said. "His arrival comes at a time in which the Patriots are recalibrating the pass-catching corps as Randy Moss, the big vertical presence, is no longer on the team. So look for the Patriots to go to a shorter more intermediate passing game, which was when Branch put up big numbers for the Patriots back in 2002-05."

Branch is signed through 2011, standing to make just under $11.5 million by the close of next season.

Read similar stories in the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald.

Read what Branch may bring (back) to the Patriots on the New England Patriots Blog.

Brady may have a few homework assignments for Branch before the Pats play the Ravens on Sunday.

"I'm not sure how much [of the Patriots offense] Deion has retained over the years. Deion is a very smart player. He's going to have his work cut out for him," Brady said on WEEI this morning. "There's a lot to catch up on. I wouldn't say things are exactly the way they were when he left. We've evolved quite a bit from that offense that we were running. Some of the things I'm sure are very familiar to him, but some of the things are very different as well. I'm sure there will be a pretty steep learning curve for him. Hopefully he gets up to speed as quickly as possible because we'll need him this week."

Read the full report on ESPNBoston.com.

In regards to the Pats offense in general, Brady is confident New England can still move the ball down the field effectively in the wake of Moss' trade.

"It just may be a little bit different than what you've seen. Who knows if it's better or worse. That remains to be seen for all of us.

"I don't think there's any one solution," he said. "You just don't replace a guy with Randy's talent and ability down the field. You replace it with maybe using the strengths of other players. So Randy certainly has his strengths. Wes [Welker] has his strengths. The tight ends have their strengths. I think it's up to the coaching staff when you game plan to determine what your players do the best, and those are the things that you ultimately do."

Read the full report on ESPNBoston.com.

Read more on the Patriots offense in the Boston Herald.

Despite several (possibly major) changes over the Pats' bye week, to coach Bill Belichick, it's business as usual.

"We'll go through the same process we go through every week, which is look at the team that we're playing and look at what our options are, and try to come up with the best game plan that we can against them," Belichick said in a conference call yesterday. "I don't think it's any different. We have guys that go in and out of the lineup from week to week based on injuries or whatever the circumstances are. It's not that unusual to game plan with a player one week and then without him the next week and then with them the following week or whatever. I think we'll still be using the same playbook."

One additional possible change to the offense this coming week is the return of running back Fred Taylor.

"We'll see how it goes. [Taylor]'s definitely doing better," Belichick said. "We'll see what happens tomorrow when we go out there, get everybody loosened up. Come in and have treatment today, get everybody loosened up ready to go tomorrow and see how much each of the players can do. We'll just take it day by day."

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