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WR Deion Branch Press Conf. Transcript - 12/30/2002

Branch: Coming off a Super Bowl, teams want to go back to the playoffs and hopefully get to that point. We just got to keep our heads up.

Q: (Re: How the year went)

DB: There could have been a lot of things that we could have gotten correct earlier in the year, but things happen and we have to just keep our heads up and look forward to next year.

Q: What kind of attitude is in there? Is there a sense of frustration?

DB: You would have that regardless; all great teams want to finish out with a bang. Coming off a Super Bowl, they want to go back to the playoffs and hopefully get to that point. We just got to keep our heads up, we want to be in that position but unfortunately it didn't happen that way.

Q: As good a year as you had in your rookie year, what did you learn and what are you thinking about in terms of making yourself a better player?

DB: Well everything. A lot of things, there's not one thing that I can focus on that I'm not doing real well, so I want to get better at everything. Just thanks to my teammates and my coaches for giving me an opportunity to go out there and lay everything down on the field when I did get the opportunity to play.

Q: What was the mood like in the locker room after the game yesterday?

DB: Exciting. It was like a breath of air, like we had another opportunity to put ourselves in a good position and like you said, it was very emotional, all the guys were very happy, like how we should have been at the beginning. We put ourselves in a great position, unfortunately the other games didn't turn out the way we wanted it, but that's part of the game.

Q: Did any of the players speak in meeting you just came out of?

DB: No sir. All the coaches.

Q: Coach Belichick and everyone?

DB: Yes sir. It was all the coaches. Good positive things coming out. Coach Belichick told everybody to keep their heads up and get better next year.

Q: In terms of your thinking, what are some of the things that happened during the year that didn't allow this tea to play at the level that you all thought you should be at?

DB: We didn't finish strong, that's the majority of them. You can say that we weren't playing our game, the games that we lost, which we weren't, and that's about it really. I think the big games we did lose, we weren't playing our game.

Q: Do you feel like you grew up a lot this year?

DB: Yeah, plus being around a lot of good positive guys, that's another thing.

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