Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch, acquired from the Seattle Seahawks for a fourth-round draft pick Monday night, stepped out from a 2006 time machine into yesterday's press conference.
"[All the new stuff Mr. [Robert] Kraft put out here in the parking lot]...wasn't here when I was here," Branch told reporters. "All the hotels. What is this a mall now? Strip mall. You got a cinema. It's a lot of stuff I think. There's a lot of great things that are going on around here that are pretty new. But it feels pretty good [to be back] though."
In Branch's first stint with the Pats, from 2002 to 2005, he caught 213 passes in 53 regular-season games. He was the MVP for Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. In 2006, he left New England and went Seattle-bound when a contract agreement could not be reached between him and his championship team.
Now he's glad to be back.
"No regrets. I wish [me leaving the Patriots had] never happened, but no regrets," No. 84 said. "When I left there wasn't any issues between me and Coach Belichick. None at all. We talked during the course of the year. Not a lot, but I spoke to him, and I truly thanked him, but we didn't leave on a bad note. And I think that's why it was so easy to return, because we both understood what was going on."
And ready to go.
"I'm going to try my best. I'm just a piece of the puzzle. I'm not the answer to anything, I'm just a piece of the puzzle," said Branch, who's caught 13 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown for the Seahawks this year, according to *ESPNBoston.com*. "I think these guys have already been stitched and stoned with the things they're doing. Coach Belichick has been running the ship the same way: straightforward. You get in, do your job, and that's that. That's what I'm going to do."
*ESPNBoston.com* reports Patriots offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, who sustained a back injury during training camp, was placed on the injured reserve yesterday, which opens a spot on the 53-man roster for incoming Branch.
Read a similar story in the *Boston Globe*.