Deion Branch makes his peace with the trash-talking Jets
|10.07.11 at 1:33 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The emotions following last January’s 28-21 playoff loss to the Jets were pretty raw for the Patriots, even for the always-smiling and relaxed Deion Branch.
After he saw Jets players doing their airplane wings all over the field in the closing moments and hearing many of them trash-talking to the Patriots and to the crowd, he had seen enough.
“It was a lot of classless play on the football field after the game,” Branch said after that game. “But you have to expect that from some of the guys.
“You can tell they’re not used to being in this position, for some of the guys to act like that. You can tell some of the guys that have been in this position before.”
Branch was so bothered by both the Jets behavior and his own response that he felt he had to make amends. On Friday, Branch told reporters inside the Patriots locker room, that he had done just that.
“Nah, that’s stuff is behind me,” Branch said, two days before the rematch at Gillette. “I’m a refreshed man. I’m a refreshed man Everything’s good. That stuff is in the past. I don’t think about that. I spoke to those guys. I’m a refreshed man. Everything’s good. It’s all about going out Sunday and playing football.
“I think the rivalry will get guys pumped up. All that stuff that happened in the past, I don’t think guys are really fueling off that stuff. They’re not coming in here and saying, ‘We beat them last year, da, da, da.’ It’s a big game for both of us. We both have to go out and execute our plays and whatever team goes out and makes the [fewest] mistakes, I’m pretty sure that’s who will come out on top.”
Asked about the where and when of the meeting, Branch said he prefers to keep the details “private.” Branch would also not name names, though it wouldn’t be surprising if he reached out to LaDainian Tomlinson, who said the Patriots did the same to them after the 45-3 mauling of the Jets four weeks earlier.
“They did it, so it’s fair game,” Tomlinson said after the playoff game.
Then there was this from Darrelle Revis: “They’ve done it to us, so it’s no reason to be upset because you lost. Just take the loss as a man and move on.”
Branch was on the field after the playoff loss to congratulate Jets players — though not all of them.
“I’m a champion, and I’m always congratulating the guys after the victory,” Branch said. “They beat us today. They beat us when it mattered. So the ones with class, I took their hands.”
Branch said the focus is on the game Sunday, not the trash-talking of the Jets after the game last January.
“Everything’s good,” Branch said. “This is our job. We play this game. There’s a lot of emotion tied to this game. Guys want to go out and help their team win. That’s the most important thing. What happens after that, everybody’s cool off the field. No one’s about to fight, and all that mess.”
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