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Practice report: Taylor not on field

10.13.10 at 1:51 pm ET
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FOXBORO – Fred Taylor (toe) was not on the field at the media portion of practice Wednesday. The running back has not played since the Patriots’ Week 3 win over the Bills. Taylor was the only player not spotted on the field at the beginning of practice.

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Brady on Moss talk: Can we please move on?

10.13.10 at 12:16 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady thinks this rolling stone has gathered enough Moss.

Brady, sporting a Michigan State t-shirt after losing a bet to teammate Brian Hoyer, made it clear on Wednesday that he’s tired of talking about Randy Moss.

“He’s never made fun of my hair,” Brady said, referring to Charlie Casserly‘s report that the two had a beef over personal grooming habits. “I’ve moved on. We all have. I really don’t want to talk about it anymore. The roster is always in transition, with players getting injured and players moving and I think it’s something we’re all used to.”

Brady, who was reminded again that Moss said, “I know you’re watching, Tom,” during Moss’ Monday Night debut for the Vikings, said he never had a harsh word for Moss during or after his time with the Patriots.

“I know what I said,” Brady said. “I wasn’t bashing him. I don’t think any of our teammates were bashing him. Were you [media] bashing him?”

Brady also made reference to Moss’ great dislike of the media, which was so intense that the Patriots quarterback had to move his weekly briefing with reporters from his locker. Moss lockered next to Brady over their time together in New England.

“Back home,” Brady said. “Back where I belong. I feel good about being at my locker, haven’t been at my locker in while.”

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Kraft sounds positive note regarding possible new CBA

10.12.10 at 8:10 pm ET
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Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the Associated Press on Tuesday it’s a realistic goal that the owners and players will reach a new collective bargaining agreement before the end of the 2010 season. Speaking at the NFL owners’ meetings in Chicago, Kraft sounded an optimistic note about the state of the negotiations, saying “we’re moving ahead” and he’d “like to see this get done before the season ends.” Asked if that was a realistic objective, he added, “to me it is.”

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Deion Branch Q&A, 10/12

10.12.10 at 6:40 pm ET
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Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the compete transcript of today’s Q&A between the media and wide receiver Deion Branch:

DB: First of all I’d like to thank God for one, for blessing me with the opportunity to come back and be a part of a great organization, and also be a part of another great organization back in Seattle. Unfortunately things didn’t work out, but that’s part of the business, and I’m very thankful to be back.

Q: Does it look the same as when you left?
DB: Yeah, sort of. Except for all the new stuff Mr. [Robert] Kraft put out here in the parking lot. That stuff wasn’t here when I was here. 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 though.

Q: How does it feel to be back?
DB: It feels good. Still going through a lot of things. Today was pretty rough for me. A lot of traveling, I’ve been on two or three flights in less than 72 hours. Coach [Bill Belichick] is helping me feel through . Tom [Brady] is throwing a lot of stuff at me as usual, and I’m just taking everything in as much as I can.

Q: Is the playbook different than when you left?
DB: It’s a little different. It’s a little different, but some of the concepts are still the same. I still remember some plays. The crazy part is they didn’t call those plays today. The ones I remember I thought I could just get in there, but they didn’t call those plays. Coach had to pretty much filled me in before I ran in practice.

Q: Are you going to be ready for Sunday?
DB: Yeah, I hope so. I hope I’m showing Coach Belichick enough today. I know there’s going to be a little bit more tomorrow and Thursday and Friday. He makes that decision.

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Branch: ‘I’m just a piece of the puzzle’

10.12.10 at 4:27 pm ET
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FOXBORO - Deion Branch had a feeling that a return to New England was a possibility.

Why not? He maintained a good relationship with Bill Belichick, always understood that Business First is how it goes in Foxboro. No hard feelings from 2006, though he wishes leaving the Patriots “never happened.” And he knew that there might be a time when it made business and football sense for the Patriots to bring him back to the place where he won a Super Bowl MVP and made 213 catches, good for 13th on the all-time list.

A reunion was always in the back of Branch’s mind.

He just never thought it was going to be this year.

“I thought last year more than this year, actually,” said Branch on Tuesday. “Probably the year before that, too. I actually thought that last year [a trade] could happen a little bit more … it’s hard to say in this business what happens. I’m sure they asked Moss the same thing [in Minnesota]. So much stuff happens during the course of time you’re playing this game. You have to take it with a grain of salt and keep moving. Things can happen and there will be changes on every team, every year.”

And that change happened Monday, and now Branch is back with the franchise he started his career with in 2002. The timing of the trade for the wideout might seem obvious at first glance, but Branch wanted to make it clear that he’s not here to fill the shoes of Randy Moss, who leaves New England after the most prolific three-year TD reception total in NFL history.

“That’s the first thing I want to let you all know — I am not Randy Moss,” said Branch, who participated in practice on Tuesday and will wear No. 84. “I wasn’t Randy Moss when I was here and I’m not here to replace him. I’m going to do what the offense asks of me and that’s what I’ll do … I’m just a piece of the puzzle. I’m not the answer to anything. I’m just a piece of the puzzle.”

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Branch practices, Wheatley returns

10.12.10 at 1:45 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Wide receiver Deion Branch, acquired Monday from the Seahawks, was on the practice field Tuesday in Foxboro as he began his second tour with the Patriots.

Wearing No. 84, Branch walked onto the field with practice field with Tom Brady. The Patriots dealt a fourth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft for the Super Bowl XXXIX MVP, who ranks 13th in franchise history with 213 catches.

In other practice news, Fred Taylor (foot) was not spotted on the field but cornerback Terrence Wheatley (foot) and defensive lineman Mike Wright were on the field. Wheatley has not played in a game or practiced since injuring his foot in the preseason.

Branch deal official as Kaczur goes to IR

10.12.10 at 12:57 pm ET
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Deion Branch is back with the team that drafted him in the second round of 2002.

Deion Branch is back with the team that drafted him in the second round of 2002.

The Patriots made the acquisition of wide receiver Deion Branch official, announcing that the trade with the Seahawks had been completed in exchange for an undisclosed draft choice, reportedly the better of the team’s two fourth-round picks in the 2011 draft. In order to free a roster spot for Branch, the Patriots placed tackle Nick Kaczur on injured reserve with a back injury.

Branch, the Super Bowl XXXIX MVP, is expected to practice with the Patriots this afternoon. He had started three games for Seattle this year, catching 13 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown.

Kaczur, a mainstay of the offensive line, has missed all of the Patriots’ preseason and regular season games this year after suffering an injury in training camp. The 2005 third-rounder had started at least 13 games in each of the previous three seasons.

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